Will the NBA Allow Isiah Thomas to Work for Knicks?

by August 10, 2010

According to multiple media reports, the League may prevent New York from employing Zeke as a consultant and continue to coach at FIU, since it’s basically against NBA rules. CBS has the details: “The Knicks, sources say, are going to have a very difficult time getting this hire past NBA officials. Not because it’s a stupid idea, but because it’s probably against league rules. The NBA Constitution and By-Laws include very strict prohibitions against team employees having contact with draft-ineligible players –- i.e., high school prospects and college or international players not yet eligible to be drafted. NBA team officials aren’t even permitted to utter the names of such players, much less coach them, scout them, or comment about them in press conferences. Seeing as Thomas is the head basketball coach at Florida International University, it would seem to be elementary that such contact is a daily requirement of his day job. Thus, unless the Knicks can pull a fast one on David Stern –- and good luck with that -– sources say it is highly unlikely that the team’s attempt to hire Thomas will pass the smell test, much less the legal one …  In their carefully worded news release Friday, the Knicks only vaguely defined Thomas’ duties by saying he would assist the organization ‘in various capacities, including player recruitment.’ But the announcement went astray –- and the hiring potentially ran afoul of league rules –- when it proclaimed that Thomas would “provide valuable insight and analysis of young prospects from around the world” while remaining coach at FIU. That part of the job description is against the rules, plain as day. NBA guidelines expressly forbid team employees from having any kind of contact with draft-ineligible players, including international players. The rules apply to all ‘basketball operations staff, coaches or scouts, whether full-time or part-time or whether classified as employees or consultants.'”