May 05, 2011
According to the New York Post, which is never a good thing, New York Knicks owner James Dolan has assured Donnie Walsh that he won't rehire Isiah Thomas to any sort of front office position with the Knicks.
And your point is?
Walsh, who spearheaded a proper rebuilding project in New York that was well on its way toward leading the Knicks to a playoff appearance even before the Carmelo Anthony(notes) deal, wanted some sort of assurance that the embarrassment of last August's hiring of Thomas as a Knick consultant wouldn't happen a second time. That move was done without Walsh's knowledge, and Dolan (who is attempting to re-sign Walsh to his second contract as Knicks el jefe) has apparently given his word to Walsh that he won't be attempting the same move. Not even if it were legal for the coach of Florida International University to have a job with an NBA team at the same time.
But does this matter any? Of course not. Not only has Isiah Thomas made his big move with the Knicks, spearheading the Anthony deal, but he doesn't need an official title to hold any sway with Dolan. He's already got that, no matter the gig.
Also remember that "spearheading the Anthony deal" isn't the best thing. The Knicks were going to get Anthony as a free agent whenever the lockout ended, and they didn't need to send numerous assets and draft picks Denver's way for the privilege of signing Anthony to a contract extension that will be out-moded and cap-killing once the new collective bargaining agreement is hammered out. In a move that reeked of Isiah's trade for Stephon Marbury(notes), the Knicks got the guy but lost the team, and it's hard to see this group improving any from here on out.
Yes, the Knicks will have only four players under contract in the summer of 2012, but those four players (thanks to Anthony's massive, old-school extension) might make up the entirety of the 2012-13 salary cap with their contracts.
So it's not as if Isiah can do much, it's not as if he hasn't done too much already, and it's not as if any lack of executive designation will stop Dolan from giving him the final say in matters. James Dolan, not Donnie Walsh, runs the New York Knicks; and when he wants to, Isiah Thomas runs James Dolan.
And for Marc Berman to write that "The Thomas Cloud has lifted"? Yeah … no. Dolan still can't see clearly, now.