Tag:Isiah Thomas
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:59 am
Edited on: March 26, 2009 4:09 pm

Isiah to return with Clippers? (UPDATE)

You knew he would come back. You just didn't know when. Or where. Or in which basketball league.

My friend and colleague, Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com, reports that the Clippers have had discussions with disgraced Knicks executive Isiah Thomas about an unspecified role in their front office . So this is what it's come to for Isiah. The Clippers. I guess the Fort Wayne Mad Ants aren't hiring.

Thomas has gradually returned to the public eye in the months since a bizarre incident at his Westchester County, N.Y., home in which he apparently was hospitalized following an overdose of sleeping pills. To this day, it's not clear exactly what transpired. The incident has become yet another strand of the complicated fabric that is Thomas' basketball life.

He's still on the Knicks' payroll, having been relieved of his duties as coach and team president last spring and taking on an ill-defined role as a scout and consultant to Knicks president Donnie Walsh. On several occasions this season, Walsh has been asked what Thomas has been doing to earn his paycheck, and Walsh has seemed unsure how to answer. He'd say things such as, he talks to Isiah all the time but then couldn't remember the last time he spoke with him. He'd say Isiah was scouting players, but couldn't name one player he'd discussed with him.

Then Thomas surfaced in several college arenas where he was scouting players, and told the Associated Press earlier this month while taping a TV appearances with his former college coach, Bob Knight, that he's been "very active" in his role with the Knicks and was doing OK since the October incident at his home. Thomas has endured some tough times since then, with the death of Pistons owner William Davidson and news that his former coach and father figure, Chuck Daly, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Sheridan's story points out that the talks between Thomas and the Clippers have been "informal yet substantive," and makes it clear that no job has been offered. It's not even clear what the job would be. GM? Scout? Assistant GM? Coach? So let's not jump ahead of ourselves.

OK, let's. If the Clippers, or any team for that matter, were to hire Isiah for the right job, it wouldn't be as disastrous as some people would suggest. For all his faults -- running his mouth about things that aren't his business, making enemies, inciting brawls by telling Carmelo Anthony not to go into the paint, signing Jerome James -- Thomas has been known throughout his career for his ability to evaluate talent. He made some miserable moves as the Knicks' president, but look at the pieces that the new regime finds worth salvaging for the future. Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, and David Lee -- all drafted by Isiah. Scouting college players and running a draft are two things Isiah can do, and do well.

Clearly, Mike Dunleavy is in trouble in Clipperland and will not retain both the coach and GM titles. In a strange way, perhaps Thomas is the one who can throw Dunleavy a lifeline that they both could use.

UPDATE: Have no fear, Clippers fans. (Are there Clippers fans?) A person with knowledge of the discussions between Thomas and the Clippers told CBSSports.com Thursday that the flirtation amounts to Thomas putting out feelers and said there is "zero Clipper interest."






Posted on: January 13, 2009 12:05 am
Edited on: January 13, 2009 1:21 am

Knicks' Curry hit with harassment suit (UPDATE)

I was about to include Eddy Curry on my list of the 10 players most likely to be traded by the Feb. 19 deadline. Look for the column Tuesday, but don't look for Curry's name in it. Not after he was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit Monday in court papers that go into graphic detail about abuses Curry allegedly perpetrated against his former male driver.

The court papers and news story in the New York Post are so sensational and disturbing -- complete with allegations Curry solicited sexual favors from the driver and bombarded him with racial slurs -- that I'm not even comfortable linking to it. I'm sure you'll find the story if you want to. But suffice it to say that Curry now has more problems than playing only two minutes, 38 seconds all season because he was out of shape and dealing with a knee injury.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also alleges that Curry threatened the driver, David Kuchinsky, with a loaded gun on at least two occasions. Curry's attorney, Kelly Saindon, denied all the allegations and told the Post they are "absolutely untrue." Leon Rose, Curry's agent, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night. Curry, who was inactive for the Knicks' game in New Orleans Monday night, declined comment before the game.

Though the cases are entirely unrelated, parallels will be drawn between the allegations against Curry and the sexual harassment case brought by former executive Anucha Browne Sanders against Madison Square Garden in 2007. That lawsuit, which centered around the conduct of former Knicks coach and president Isiah Thomas, resulted in a guilty verdict. Browne Sanders received an $11.5 million settlement.

UPDATE: I can link you to the Curry stories in The New York Times and Newsday, because they have all the information without the lewd details and offensive language; the Newsday story has a lengthy, vigorous defense from Curry after the Knicks upset the Hornets 101-95 Monday night in New Orleans.


Posted on: December 16, 2008 10:52 am

Tuesday Shootaround

* In a sign that his sense of self importance knows no boundaries, Stephon Marbury is planning to attend Tuesday night's Knicks-Lakers game at Staples Center. How, you ask? Hasn't he been banished from the team? Why yes, loyal BergerSphere reader, he has. But that $22 million he's getting paid is good for something, like buying a courtside ticket. This is strange, and sad. Where does strangeness and sadness end and stalking begin? The Knicks could become the first team in NBA history to take out a restraining order against one of their players.

* Strange but true: All six coaches fired this season share the same agent, Lonnie Cooper. If I were Jim O'Brien, also a Cooper client, I'd be sweating profusely. Just for grins, guess which infamous basketball figure also is/was represented by Cooper? You got it, Isiah Thomas. A proposed position paper for any and all aspring sports agents out there: Did Isiah Thomas ruin Lonnie Cooper's career? Discuss.

* Dime starts a good debate about which NBA team has the best local TV announcers. If you live in the NYC area, gotta love Mike Breen and Clyde Frazier, as long as you are experienced at reading between the lines of their Cablevision-filtered commentary. I have to admit, Clyde's fluidity, his shakin' 'n bakin' 'n percolatin' have grown on me. If you're a Lakers fan, you can't do better than Joel Myers on play-by-play. I would add a wrinkle to Dime's unofficial poll: Which team has the worst local TV announcers?

* Phil Jackson says Vladimir Radmanovic wants to assassinate him.

* Empty The Bench names six double-double machines who aren't household names.

* Mark Jackson struck out in his bid to become the Knicks' coach this past summer. But with at least six teams in the market for a new coach next summer, Jax's chances of landing a job are off the charts. I'd quibble with his approach in this one respect: Maybe he would've been better served to pursue an assistant's job so that he could parlay that experience into his pursuit of a head coaching job in '09.

* When TrueHoop pointed out an ad for a "Derrick Coleman Estate Sale," it was only natural to wonder if DC had squandered the more than $90 million he earned in his NBA career and needed to sell stuff to raise money. Not so, Coleman insists.

* My favorite stat lines from Monday night's games were in the losing teams' box scores: Miami's Mario Chalmers had 20 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds in a 98-83 loss to the Bucks, and Paul Millsap had 32 points and 10 rebounds in a 100-91 loss to the Celtics.

* Breakin' Down The Game takes you around the NBA link-o-sphere, including an item on Bonzi Wells signing with a team in China for $40K? How could that be?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com