The New York Knicks fired team president Phil Jackson on Wednesday morning. One surprising candidate to replace him is former Knicks president Isiah Thomas.
It’s only been a day since the New York Knicks decided to move on from team president Phil Jackson. He might have been a great player for the Knicks back in his day and one of the best head coaches in NBA history, but his tenure as team president was a horrendous one.
Just because Jackson and owner James Dolan stopped working together on Wednesday does not mean the craziness with the Knicks will stop any time soon. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, “one person close to the Knicks described Isiah Thomas as a ‘dark horse candidate’ to become Knicks president”.
While Thomas is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, his reputation as an NBA executive is anything but that. Since being the best player in Detroit Pistons history, Thomas had worked in the Toronto Raptors front office when they were an expansion team, coached the Indiana Pacers and was the Knicks team president from 2003 to 2008.
In the eyes of many Knicks fans, the only team president worse than Jackson was Thomas. New York had been a competitive team in the 1990s with Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy as its head coaches and Patrick Ewing as its star player. All three left the organization and the Knicks bottomed out catastrophically under Thomas.
His Eddy Curry deal with the Chicago Bulls in 2005 turned out to be one of the worst deals of all time. Two of the picks Thomas sent Chicago’s way ended up becoming LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah.
Under Thomas, the Knicks became the gold standard for overpaying fringe star players that are on the decline physically and giving just about every draft pick away imaginable. He also drew MSG into a sexual harassment suit that was filed against him while he was with the team. Thomas may do great work on NBA TV, but he cannot go back to run the Knicks front office.
However, reaching into the past seems to be something Dolan is really on board with out late. He did hire Jackson to run the team with no front office experience over four years ago. Knicks fans cannot possibly stomach a second presidency of Thomas in Manhattan.