Blog Entry

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

Posted on: March 31, 2011 2:51 am
Edited on: March 31, 2011 11:29 am
Posted by Royce Young

I'll cut right to it: Go read this piece on Isiah Thomas at It's terrific. It's a wide ranging feature that basically sums up everything about Thomas in a couple thousand words. Some good, some bad and some strange.

One question that was asked of Thomas was his involvement in getting Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. There was a lot of speculation that was the case as well as solid reporting on it too. Thomas, who of course was once the general manager of the team and is still close friends with owner James Dolan, was said to be quite wrapped up in the Melodrama.

And right before the deal was done, he didn't deny involvement. When he was asked in this most recent interview, he toed around the question carefully.
“I do have a lot of friends,” he says carefully. “And I am asked to advise in a lot of different scenarios. Players, coaches, and ... ” A very long pause. “I won't comment on the Knicks situation, but I do like helping the Knicks, and I do want them to do well.”
I kind of wonder if the Knicks were 17-4 with Melo instead of 9-12 if Thomas would be ready to take a little more credit for it. Of course he has to tread carefully with his dealings with the Knicks as he's still a college coach at Florida International and was already turned down by the league when offered a consulting job with the Knicks.

But the strangest moment of the interview came when Thomas was talking about how badly he wanted to get back into the NBA. He's convinced he soon will be, mainly on the legs that he has lots of friends. And at one point, he pushed the writer interviewing him to call up one of those friends on the spot. Problem was, the one he wanted him to call was one that was going to tell it like it is -- Charles Barkley.
We sit by the Biltmore pool and talk, and after a while I ask him for phone numbers of people who can speak to his situation. I ask him what Charles Barkley would say.

“Here's his number. Call him and ask him.”

I tell him I will.

“Call him now.”

I squirm. Reporters aren't crazy about conducting interviews in front of a story subject. For one thing, if Charles Barkley says bad things about Isiah … well, that could be awkward.

I start to dial and Isiah says, “Don't tell him I'm here! I want to know what he says,” and the full extent of Isiah Thomas' exile hits me.

Here is this accomplished, wealthy, famous, Hall of Fame athlete — and he needs me to tell him what Charles Barkley thinks about him. Exiled indeed.

But still, why not call? Isiah Thomas is dumping numbers on me, including for people, like Barkley, who might very well rip him to shreds. That speaks volumes about his comfort level with being analyzed and discussed. And it's not like whatever Barkley tells me won't appear in this story anyway.

It's going to be public and published, and Isiah will surely read Barkley's comments. Isiah knows this. Barkley, if he takes my call, will know this. I know this.

The phone keeps ringing, but Barkley doesn't answer, and so I hang up, relieved. I send a text instead. I feel like I'm off the hook, and then the phone rings.

“Hey, it's Charles.”

So, with Isiah listening intently, I ask if Isiah belongs in the NBA, as a coach or general manager.

“He's coaching right now,” Barkley says. “He got fired, and when you get fired you don't just go get another job. He's a great guy and I like him, but he made some bad decisions with the Knicks, like I think everyone knows. He has a job now, so that should be his No. 1 priority. Gotta do that.”

I hang up. I tell Isiah what Barkley said. His face falls.

Wildly interesting stuff. And a view into the weird world of Isiah Thomas. One of the all-time greats searching for approval from peers. He's still confident in himself, as he always has been. We all know his record of good and bad and as you'll see in the interview, he's not shy about sharing them, especially the good.

What to make of it all though? I don't really know. With everything on the Isiah Thomas resume, it seems hard to imagine him returning to the NBA soon. He obviously wants to though. But, like Barkley said, he has a job to do now with Florida International, one that he's not doing a very well with (FIU went 11-19 this season) and one that he already tried to divert attention from with the Knicks consulting thing.

Like he said though, having friends in high places is certainly a nice thing to have in your pocket. And it's pretty clear Thomas is still buds with James Dolan. Make of that what you will.


Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: April 5, 2011 5:53 pm

Denver Nuggets: Best Team in NBA

Yes, there I said it. I'm all in, putting the chips on the table. The Denver Nuggets are the best team in the league and will win the NBA title.

Since: Jul 6, 2009
Posted on: April 5, 2011 3:58 pm

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

Isiah is a problem child alright. He bought the CBA a few years back and subsequently rode them into bankruptcy (sp). He is poison at the adinistrative level.

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:25 pm

No! Not Isaiah! Here's when the Knicks were great

 John Starks defined the poster dunk in '93, but the iconic image doesn't capture the full story.
The New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls of the 90's were a classic, yet one-sided rivalry, in which the Chicago Bulls bullied their kid brother Knicks.
Going into the 92-93 season, the Bulls had won the previous three playoff series against the Knicks, but New York had reason to believe... 

Since: Mar 22, 2011
Posted on: April 2, 2011 12:41 am

Fools Gold: Denver laughs as Knicks sells future

Fans outcry saying the Knicks' underachieving is D'Antoni's fault. He's got twosuperstars, how can he not win?

Here's how... they're not two superstars!

Carmelo Anthony is not a superstar... he's not a star... he's a scorer. He's a scorer who plays selfishly, with little defense, and no energy. A player who, when he comes into the game, you never think, okay, things will get better now, because they never do.

What a steal this was for Denver! What highway robery!

The Nuggets got rid of dead weight! A guy who clearly doesn't improve his team (in fact, seems to make everyone worse);who was whining to the organization and who was preparing his luggage for New York anyways! Yet we fawned over him and paid any price.

Those folks out west laughed at us as we sold the farm - drooling over their shiny nugget - before realizing he was fools gold!

And what made us think he'd improve the Knicks?

What made us think the #2 scoring offense would improve with a guy who can only score?

What made us think 'melo could replace the savvy of a budding Danilo Gallinari and the versatility of a Wilson Chandler?

What made us think that a 36 year old point guard leaving his home town was an upgrade from a Raymond Felton in his prime?

What made us think Carmelo Anthony wasn't going to bring his piss-poor attitude over here to New York?

How wrong to think it. How naive. How foolish. The Nuggets had Carmelo Anthony in their waste bucket and like fools we forced our treasures into the hands of Nuggets management who snickered to each other while upping the price.

Blame whoever you want for this - coaching, 'melo, management, time - but know this, if the Knicks improve it won't be because of 'melo, it will again be the under-sung role players around Anthony making him look golden.

Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: March 31, 2011 6:09 pm

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

I find it quite funny everyone saying the Knicks are crazy to give away what they did to get Melo.  This is insane; who would watch them at all right now if he wasn't there?  They actually make ESPN now and not just MSG network.  Not to mention you cannot replace a Carmelo Anthony.  Can you replace a Rodney Felton or Danilo Gallinari?  Or how about the last piece of the puzzle.......Timofy Mosgov.....WOW.....big score overgrown Russian that can't make his way off the bench on a very mediocre Knicks team.  Every player they got rid of is replaceable within a year or two.  Melo wasn't going to take a chance on losing millions of dollars.  Does anyone happen to remember him coming out with quotes in the media to pressure the Knicks into making the trade this year?  I believe if they held out until next year they ran the risk of putting a bad taste in Melo's mouth......that coupled with the fact these guys have pretty big egos.........I can hear it now....Melo sitting at home saying....seriously .....they won't give up Felton and a couple foreigners for me?  Next thing you know he is rocking a Lakers uniform out of spite.  Not to mention they have actually meshed better than the Heat did right off.

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 5:01 pm

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

Isiah loves to help the knicks by hamstring them into bad contracts that take 10 years to recover from.  Good Job, Zeke!

Since: Jul 24, 2009
Posted on: March 31, 2011 4:49 pm

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

Isiah once stated that if Larry Bird were Black, "he would be just another good player". He also said that if all the players were 6-1 like Isiah, he would "beat the s*** out of them" on the court.
     Isiah is just bad news - drama always playing out in whateve he does. He is just a problem child who stirs things up.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:24 pm

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

if isiah had anything to do with selling the farm to get the prized bull he should remain moot.....carmelo was ny bound regardless.....if the knicks didnt give up so much for something they could have gotten for free they would be much better placed in the years to come.....if isiah had anything to do with that trade then i would conclude that he is deliberately trying to sabotage ny despite his declaration to the contrary

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