On the court, Isiah Thomas’ career is a thing of legend. Off the court, the NBA great has had an embarrassingly string of issues, most notably, losing a $11.6 million lawsuit where he was found to be sexual harassing former Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders.
In a blindsided announcement, the 54-year-old Hall of Famer was just named as the new president and co-owner of the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the New York Liberty and help the franchise reclaim its position as one of the elite teams in the WNBA,” Thomas said in a statement.
Thomas will preside over both basketball and business operations for the Liberty, which along with the Knicks is owned by Madison Square Garden chairman James L. Dolan, who hired Thomas as Knicks president in 2003. Thomas has served the Liberty in an unofficial advisory role for the past few years, consulting on the hiring of head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer, his former Detroit Pistons teammate. Laimbeer was relieved of his duties after two seasons in October 2014, before the Liberty hired him back in January as coach only.
In his new duties with the Liberty, Thomas told ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley that he will have no role with the Knicks. Thomas said that he’d been serving as a consultant to Dolan on the WNBA team since the fall.
“He asked me about coming to the Liberty and working with the Liberty and I gave it some thought,” Thomas said. “And we got to the point where I was comfortable enough to accept the role.”
Thomas added that he hasn’t consulted with Dolan on the Knicks recently.
“Just the Liberty,” he said.
During his two-year coaching tenure, Thomas led the Knicks to a paltry 56-108 record, leaving no indication he belonged in the Garden aside from the sexual harrassament fiasco.
Yet here were are today. Take a look at the outcry Isiah Thomas as WNBA exec has immediatedely spawned.
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