Rudy Fernandez

Three years after a jury ruled Knicks’ coach Isiah Thomas sexually harrassed Anucha Browne Sanders, and awarded her $ 11 + M, Isiah Thomas is still making back page headlines because of his relationship with the Knicks.

The Knicks finally gave angry fans what they wanted–Isiah’s head on a platter–when new president Donnie Walsh relieved Thomas of his coaching duties in April of 2008.  But to our dismay, Thomas was re-hired by the team last week to be a consultant, even though he is already employed by Florida International University as coach.  Not only is Thomas not dead, but he is poised to become the team’s next general manager and team president, despite the damage he has done to the Knicks on and off the court.  Thomas has remained good buddies with Knicks owner James Dolan, as favoritism/nepotism is one of the only suitable explanations for such shenanigans.

At least the league did what it could earlier, when NBA commissioner David Stern announced that Thomas’ new position with the Knicks violated league bylaws.

Isiah Thomas’ official role as a part-time consultant for the Knicks lasted less than a week.

Saving Jim Dolan from himself, the NBA on Wednesday ruled Thomas can’t serve both as head coach at Florida International and work for the Knicks because of a handful of conflict of interests, according to an NBA source.

“After speaking with Commissioner Stern and Knicks executives, it has become apparent that my new agreement violates certain NBA bylaws. Because of this, I have decided to rescind my contract with the team,” Thomas said in a statement. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jim Dolan, Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni and the entire Knicks organization, and I want to thank them for affording me this opportunity.”

While the NBA has stepped in to help the Knicks, on the surface, with their Isiah problem, rampant speculation persists that Thomas will be taking over the reigns of the organization soon anyway.  While it had been commonly assumed that Donnie Walsh would be picking and/or possibly grooming his successor, we were all painfully reminded who the owner was last week, and that Dolan is going to have the final say with the team he owns.

“Although I’m disappointed that Isiah will not be working with the Knicks as a consultant, I continue to believe in his basketball knowledge, including his ability to judge talent,” Dolan said in a statement. “He’s a good friend of mine and of the organization and I will continue to solicit his views. He will always have strong ties to me and the team. We wish him continued success at FIU.

“I also believe Donnie Walsh has done a terrific job since joining the Knicks and my tremendous respect for him has only grown since he’s joined the organization. I’m confident that the work that Donnie, Coach Mike D’Antoni and their staffs have done this summer has the team poised for long-term success.”

You have got to love this Dolan fellow.  In his statement, he basically starts by flouting the NBA’s ruling and saying, “I’m going to do what I like and get away with it”, then he commends Thomas on his “success” at FIU where he went 7-25 last year, and then passes out the backhanded compliments to his own people in the 2nd paragraph. 

While Thomas may eventually find himself back in his old digs with the Knicks, look for Walsh to stick it out for a while.  He’s not the type to re-sign away any “Knicks money.”

–Crack (,

Isiah Thomas, with his biggest ticket Knicks’ acquisition, Stephon Marbury (above).

Thomas and the former apple of his eye, Anucha Browne Sanders, whom he sexually harrassed.

On Friday, October 24th, 2008, Isiah Thomas overdosed on sleeping pills, and then promptly tried to blame the incident on his daughter, despite ample facts to the contrary.

Police were reportedly sent to the home of former New York Knicks head coach and president Isiah Thomas early Friday morning in response to a call that Thomas had overdosed on sleeping pills.WCBSTV in New York reported Friday afternoon on the overdose. The television station said that Thomas was rushed to a White Plains Hospital for treatment, but his condition is not yet known.

The Chief of Police in Harrison N.Y. blasted former NBA star and New York Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas for using his daughter to “cover up” his accidental overdose according to the New York Daily News.

Harrison Police Chief David Hall said the former NBA great was throwing his 17-year-old daughter “under the bus” by claiming she was the one rushed to the hospital Friday, not him.

“My cops … know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female,” Hall told The Associated Press. “It wasn’t his daughter – and why they’re throwing her under the bus is beyond my ability to understand.”

Why would Isiah throw his daughter “under the bus” like that?  Why would Isiah practice a consistent policy of sexual harrassment in the offices of MSG?  And why would Garden owner James Dolan, made to pay Anucha Browne Sanders, the woman whom Thomas harrassed, $ 11.5 M, bring a guy like Thomas back, after the guy has hurt his wallet, embarrassed the franchise and nearly ruined it, and who threw his own daughter under the bus?


Because Dolan doesn’t care, though the NBA does.

The NBA, which started an investigation of the arrangement Monday, prohibits people who coach or work for a team at the collegiate level, or work for an international team, and who have regular contact with underclassmen or other draft-ineligible players, from also working for one of the league’s 30 teams.

“This arrangement runs right in the direction of that illegality,” said one Eastern Conference team president, requesting anonymity. “We have very distinct rules on this because, obviously, it could mean a team would have an unfair advantage over everyone else when it comes to having contact with a player who is not ready for the NBA.”

Sometimes, if there is a looser connection, the league will grudgingly allow for the arrangement. But Thomas’ high-profile job as a Division I head coach is seen by several GMs as a cut-and-dried case of breaking the rules.

Wouldn’t it be ironic though if the NBA invalidates Thomas’ consultantship, only for Dolan to go over Donnie Walsh’s head and hire Thomas as Walsh’s heir apparent? 

Dolan, the Garden chairman, wants Thomas to come back and again be in charge of the team – he tried to make Walsh hire him as GM two weeks ago – so if the league rejects Thomas as a consultant, it could speed his return.

He then could leave FIU for the Knicks, and that likely would result in Walsh stepping down, which he considered doing when he rejected Dolan’s suggestion to hire Thomas as general manager.

Even if the NBA rejects the arrangement and he stays at FIU, Thomas would still enjoy the direct pipeline he’s had to Dolan ever since leaving the organization in disgrace.

Here’s our take.  Dolan was less embarrassed by the sexual harrassment and by Thomas running the Knicks into the ground, than by the perception that the league and the media forced Dolan’s hand in firing Thomas, who Dolan has always been smitten with.  Dolan played nice when David Stern publicly endorsed Walsh and a short list of other candidates as possible Thomas’ replacements.

Dolan hired the preferred choice of David Stern, who has been pushing Dolan hard for months now. Stern pushed him into dropping an appeal and settling Anucha Browne Sanders’ sexual harassment suit for $11.5 million. Stern pushed Walsh on Dolan, too. This hire delivers a dose of credibility to the Knicks’ bottomed-out operation, goodwill to a city of basketball writers who’ve always been partial to Walsh’s goodwill and Bronx charm.

Well, how far and for how long could David Stern push a billionaire brat like Dolan?  Dolan probably sat quietly for Stern’s choice Walsh, and for all the guys that Walsh brought in.  Dolan probably bought into the hype surrounding this year’s free agent class, and probably thought that if the Knicks landed Lebron, then being shamed by Stern into hiring Walsh would be worth it, even if the league and the media did correctly paint Dolan as the dumbest man in sports.

But when Lebron had announced that he was announcing his decision on ESPN, and the Knicks well paid basketball hierarchy didn’t have enough juice to even get James on the phone–a clear sign that James had not chosen New York–all bets were off.  That night, Dolan dispatched Thomas to Akron, and Isiah does have enough juice to get in a room with Lebron’s lesser lackeys, who heard one last desperate pitch from Dolan through Isiah.  That may be the best thing that Thomas has going for him in Dolan’s eyes–a connection to urban athletes that the Knicks’ white brass lacks.  No matter to Dolan that Thomas had a 7-25 record in his first year as the steward of young urban athletes at FIU.

Dolan may as well have made Thomas the General Manager at that moment.  The Knicks may have whiffed on free agency’s big 3, and they may not be a playoff team, but at least a lot of their image problems had been cured, and their position for the future looked better still. 

As of right now though, the Knicks’ future looks a lot like the past they have been carefully distancing themselves from, and with good reason.  This Isiah consultantship is right up there with Dolan’s greatest accomplishments–keeping the Yankees off cable TV for over a year, and scuttling the Jets’ bid for a West Side stadium.

I’d look for Donnie Walsh to quit, but I don’t think he wants to resign from a job when he has a $ 4 + M/year paycheck coming.  As team president, if he stays on, Walsh would have final say on personnel and coaching moves, and could insulate the Knicks from Isiah’s bad judgment, if Dolan forces Thomas down Walsh’s throat and names him General Manager.  But Walsh has only one year left on his contract, guaranteed, and if Dolan really wants him out, he’ll happily pull the plug and write Walsh a check for the remainder of his pact, if he doesn’t step down.

Mr. Stern?  It was a nice try, but we are probably well beyond the spectre of your assistance here at MSG.

–Crack (,

Lakers backup shooting guard Shannon Brown (above).

The Knicks, who seem to be in the mix to acquire the services of Portland point guard Rudy Fernandez, may also be attempting to improve their off guard position t0night as well, as several sources have reported that New York has made an offer to two time NBA Champion and Lakers backup guard, Shannon Brown.

Reports are surfacing the New York Knicks have made an offer to Lakers free agent shooting guard Shannon Brown.

The terms of the deal are still unknown.

At this point, Brown has two options: Take the offer from the Knicks, or wait and see if the Lakers can trade Sasha Vujacic so that he can resign with the two time defending champions.

Brown, a first round pick in 2006 by the Cleveland Cavaliers (25th overall), played 3 years collegiately at Michigan State.  Here’s a look at Brown’s professional regular season statistics:

Career Season Averages
06-07 CLE 23 5 8.8 0.378 0.280 0.714 0.3 0.7 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.61 1.04 3.2
07-08 CHI 6 0 3.7 0.200 0.000 0.500 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.83 0.33 1.5
07-08 CLE 15 4 14.5 0.369 0.310 0.609 0.3 0.9 1.2 1.1 0.7 0.1 1.27 1.80 7.0
08-09 LAL 18 0 7.6 0.524 0.667 0.889 0.2 0.9 1.1 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.50 0.50 3.2
08-09 CHA 30 0 11.4 0.455 0.286 0.800 0.3 0.5 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.2 0.97 1.10 4.8
09-10 LAL 82 7 20.7 0.427 0.328 0.818 0.4 1.9 2.2 1.3 0.7 0.4 0.82 1.57 8.1
Career 174 16 15.0 0.421 0.327 0.778 0.3 1.2 1.5 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.82 1.29 6.1

Brown’s playoff stats:

06-07 CLE 1 0 0.0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.00 0.0
08-09 LAL 21 0 13.1 0.434 0.480 0.792 0.4 0.8 1.2 0.6 0.5 0.1 0.48 1.29 4.9
09-10 LAL 23 0 14.1 0.393 0.281 0.714 0.3 1.0 1.3 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.57 1.61 4.9
Career 45 0 13.3 0.411 0.368 0.750 0.3 0.9 1.2 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.51 1.42 4.8

Shannon Brown is not an unrestricted free agent.  As a restricted free agent, the Lakers have 7 days to match any offer the Knicks made to their bench player, who some think fits well as a shooter in Mike D’antoni’s system.  Brown is a 42 % 3 point shooter in his career. 

This summer Brown has tried to get a deal done with the Lakers, with his asking price being the NBA’s average salary, which is about $ 3.5 M.  Brown made $ 2.388 M last season.  Though the terms of the offer are not yet known, one could imagine the Knicks using a portion of their mid level exception on Brown, likely in the neighborhood of 2 years/$ 8 M.

It would be insane for the Knicks to commit more years than that to Brown (but the Knicks have done stranger things), who most likely, would like to see this offer matched and remain a Laker, but who could not pass up on the pay raise.

Also, an arrest warrant was issued in Illinois for Knicks’ center Eddy Curry earlier.

A Cook County judge ordered an arrest warrant for Curry after learning that the Knicks bust “failed to sign an agreement to pay the balance of a $660,000 legal settlement reached after he was sued for allegedly having sex with an underage girl,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The case goes back to 2001 when Curry, then 18, reportedly had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Last month, another arrest warrant was filed and later quashed when Curry and a woman agreed on a payment schedule for the $100,000 the oft-injured center owed her.

“Knicks’ bust” Eddy Curry…gotta love the label.  Curry did not show up to the Knicks’ summer league in Las Vegas despite having his best opportunity in light years to win a significant role on a basketball team. 

–Crack (

The New York Post is reporting that the Knicks could acquire Portland point guard Rudy Fernandez (above), who lost his starting job there to Brandon Roy.

The Knicks are one of three teams in the running to acquire guard Rudy Fernandez from the Portland Trail Blazers, The Oregonian reports.

The 6-foot-6 Spaniard and his agent have requested a trade, and the team had discussions with the Knicks, Celtics and Bulls.

“I’m confident that Portland is cooperating and finding a solution for everyone involved,” agent Andy Miller told the newspaper.

Two seasons ago, Fernandez made 159 3-pointers, an NBA rookie record. He is unhappy serving as a backup to Brandon Roy and being used primarily as a shooter rather than a playmaker, according to the report.

The Knicks don’t appear to have much to offer for Fernandez, who was drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft by the Phoenix Suns.  Below are his career statistics:

Career Season Averages
08-09 POR 78 4 25.6 0.425 0.399 0.839 0.6 2.1 2.7 2.0 0.9 0.2 1.10 1.42 10.4
09-10 POR 62 2 23.2 0.378 0.368 0.867 0.6 2.1 2.6 2.0 1.0 0.2 1.16 1.40 8.1
Career 140 6 24.5 0.406 0.387 0.851 0.6 2.1 2.6 2.0 0.9 0.2 1.13 1.41 9.4
All-Star 1 1 22.0 0.400 0.500 0.500 1.0 3.0 4.0 3.0 1.0 0.0 2.00 1.00 14.0

Fernandez is 6’6 and 25 years old, and comes from the same hometown as Rafael Nadal.  Fernandez feels he can be more of a playmaker than Portland has allowed him to be with Roy commanding the ball so much, and rightly so.  But what the Knicks would reasonably give up and live with parting with is not very much.  Since Fernandez was a first round pick, Portland should expect at least a first round pick in return, and that is a steep price for the Knicks to pay considering they recently spent $ 16 M on Raymond Felton.

The report says. “Some of the teams interested in Fernandez have offered a future first round draft pick, while other offers would pair Fernandez with another Blazers player.” It does not say what the Knicks’ offer would be.

Again, you’d hate to give up the draft pick, especially with a team so thin, but Rudy Fernandez would upgrade the talent level on the team and would be a viable chip as an asset they could trade.

–Crack (