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James Dolan: No scenario Isiah Thomas returns to Knicks

Isaih Thomas Introduced as New Knicks GM

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22: (L-R) Cablevision chairman James Dolan, newly hired New York Knicks General Manager and Team Presedient Isiah Thomas and President of Madison Sqaure Garden Sports Steve Mills pose for a photo op following a press conference that announced the firing of Scott Layden as Knicks Team President and GM and the hiring of Thomas as his replacement on December 22, 2003 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. (Photo by Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ray Amati

The Knicks demoted Isiah Thomas from team president in 2008 and fired him as coach a couple weeks later.

But they hired him as a consultant in 2010 (though the NBA nixed it because he was still coaching Florida International), probably used him as a consultant in 2011 and offered him a job in 2012. The WNBA’s New York Liberty, also owned by James Dolan, named Thomas president in May.

As long as Dolan, a friend to Thomas, is around, the threat of Thomas returning to the Knicks looms.

Can Dolan imagine any scenario where that happens?

Dolan, via HBO Real Sports:

There’s 29 teams, right, out there in the NBA, any one of which would be an easier assignment than this one. I don’t think that the New York market would ever give him a fair chance at this. And I can’t imagine why that would be. what would make it worthwhile to go and try and get one.

Knicks fans everywhere: “Promise?”

There’s only one reason Thomas should never return to the Knicks: He did a terrible job the first time. It should have nothing to do with whether the New York market would forgive him. That’s a ridiculous excuse, one that shows how detached from reality Dolan is.

Asked about returning to the Knicks, Thomas wasn’t quite as resolute.


That’s a slippery-slope question. I can comfortably tell you this: I don’t see myself ever coaching the New York Knicks.

Coaching?! I thought we were all thinking front office. Thomas clearly leaves that door open.

As long as Dolan doesn’t change his mind, Thomas won’t be back – not nearly enough of an assurance for Knicks fans.