Wait, the Knicks really re-hired Isiah Thomas?

by August 07, 2010

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

One day after the Knicks announced they were bringing back Isiah Thomas as a consultant, it’s still hard to figure. For once, reactions in this morning’s New York papers seems to mostly be unified.

Mike Lupica in the Daily News

Here is what happened the last time Isiah Thomas was an employee of Madison Square Garden: A jury decided he sexually harassed Anucha Browne Sanders in the workplace and that when Browne Sanders complained, James Dolan – owner of the Knicks and the Garden – fired her.

Thomas and Dolan still blame that on everybody except themselves. BP is more accountable than they are.

Harvey Araton in the Times

But Dolan’s affection for Thomas seems to have no bounds, despite the sludge that had to be swept under Pennsylvania Station two years ago. And Knicks fans setting their eyes on the “He’s back” headlines can’t help but feel as if they have stepped inside a “Friday the 13th” movie or a time capsule back to the days when George Steinbrenner never tired of Billy Martin sequels.

Marc Berman in the Post

Knicks owner James Dolan and Thomas remained friends after he left the organization for FIU following his demotion to advisor. On the surface, Dolan appears to be helping out a desperate compadre seeking an NBA return. But the public-relations damage of giving Thomas a position and paying him is a sickening blow to their loyal fan base still reeling from the LeBron James loss and who detest Thomas for what he did to the franchise.

The Knicks claim not to read anything more into it, that he is not on a fast track to supplant president Donnie Walsh or become his GM. Walsh has one guaranteed year left on his contract and his health has become an issue this summer after neck surgery placed him in a wheelchair.

But when The Post reported two weeks ago Thomas visited the Garden’s offices at 2 Penn Plaza for several hours to meet with Dolan and others, the club denied it was a job interview. So with Dolan, anything’s possible.