Sabina Gadecki

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 (,

Today we learned from both New York Papers that Knicks’ Team President Donnie Walsh nearly tendered his resignation over the hiring of Isiah Thomas (above) by Knicks’ and Rangers’ owner James Dolan (above), who will come in and work as a basketball consultant, and who, apparently, has remained very close with the owner with the deepest pockets and the shortest memory in the league.  It was only recently that Dolan was ordered to pay $ 11.5 M in a settlement to Anucha Browne Sanders, who Thomas sexually harrassed.  And Thomas got to keep the remaining money on his $ 21.5 M contract when Dolan finally fired him the first time, and deservedly so.  Thomas’ moves as GM put the Knicks in this woeful position where they had to totally strip the roster down to zero and build from scatch–a position that cost them points with the free agents that matter, who were all looking for other good players to play along.

A federal jury decided Madison Square Garden and its chairman must pay $11.6 million in damages to former New York Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders in her sexual harassment lawsuit.

A verdict earlier Tuesday found that Knicks coach Isiah Thomas subjected Browne Sanders to unwanted advances and a barrage of verbal insults, but that he did not have to pay punitive damages.

The jury did find, however, that Madison Square Garden committed harassment against the woman and decided she was entitled to punitive damages.

Thomas was hired, despite already having a job, as the coach of the Florida International University basketball team, which he is retaining.  Somehow.  Because this seems like a glaring conflict of interest, the fact that Thomas is coaching against potential future Knicks, or coaching potential future Knicks.  Hopefully, the NCAAs and the NBA will figure out the rules that this breaks, and enforce them to the max.  Thomas is back less than a week and has already almost caused the resignation of Donnie Walsh, who, say what you want about him, will be running a fairly competitive team this year with a potentially great future ahead.

Walsh, when consulted by Dolan on the possibility of hiring back Thomas, completely disapproved of the move.  And Amar’e Stoudemire told a reporter that Walsh was “livid” over it.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh is livid that Isiah Thomas is back in the organization and feels his standing with the franchise could be compromised by owner James Dolan’s decision to rehire Thomas, The Post has learned.

According to a Knicks source, Walsh told Thomas in a face-to-face meeting two weeks ago he did not want him working for the organization. Dolan and Thomas had agreed that Thomas could fill the team’s general manager vacancy if Walsh was OK with it.

When Walsh told Thomas he objected, Thomas went back to Dolan, who still has a love affair with the Hall of Famer and seemingly is on a mission to rehab Thomas’ image.

Without Walsh’s knowledge, Dolan and Thomas hatched a scheme in which Thomas could become a part-time consultant while remaining the coach at Florida International. (The NBA is reviewing whether the arrangement violates NBA rules on scouting procedures.)

Walsh, who had thought the Isiah issue was dead, was not debriefed until after the hiring was agreed upon, and he reluctantly put his name on a joint statement with Dolan. It was only recently that Walsh found out Thomas had been in Dolan’s ear for months, offering free advice.

So Isiah has apparently hit home with Dolan on a few points that have resonated.  Definitely on the recruiting angle, though Thomas never would have had the space to acquire even one difference making free agent, the way he extended the Knicks’ salary cap, so that should be moot.  Here’s his other big argument: D’antoni sucks.  For Thomas, that’s a great angle because Dolan does not like D’antoni.  Remember the game the Knicks were up 15 in the 4th with 7 minutes to play against Sacramento at home and lost?

Apparently, Dolan was very unimpressed with the coaching and he let Walsh know about it for a reported 15 minutes.  But having Isiah back here to make any type of decision related to basketball, whether it be on a coach–recall he hired Lenny Wilkens over Mike Fratello–or a player or a contract is very questionable.  What free agent wants to come to a disharmonious franchise?  From that standpoint alone, Thomas hurts the team.

The other thing at play here is that Walsh, love him or hate him, has made some important relationships in the league.  When he steps aside, he will be able to usher in a very reputable guy here to run the team.  But what reputable guy is going to come in, as is, with Isiah whispering in Dolan’s ear over any mistakes or criticisms?

Dolan is a loyal guy.  He is sticking by Glen Sather through this ten plus years of mediocrity on the hockey side.  But if he doesn’t like you, you are gone.  D’antoni could be that guy who is gone, in those terms.  But where does Isiah fit in, in a positive sense?  It’s a universally unpopular move, and as such, would probably be frowned upon by potential additions to the team.

And let’s not forget he sexually harrassed that woman.

–Crack (,

If new Knicks’ power forward and $ 100 M man Amar’e Stoudemire (directly above) thought he’d be playing for Team USA at the World Championships next month and chilling on the Dream Team’s bench at the elbows and in the ears of the best America has to offer, then he couldn’t have been happy when the Knicks told the centerpiece of their rebuilding project this week that they were denying him permission to play. 

The Knicks informed their new power forward Monday night, just days after Stoudemire tweeted: “There isn’t anything that would stop me from playing for the U.S.”

Stoudemire was disappointed but accepted the decision, according to team president Donnie Walsh, who wasn’t willing to risk his free-agent prize on a 15-day tournament in Turkey. The U.S. team opened training camp Tuesday in Las Vegas.

“He really wanted to play but understood our position,” said Walsh, who added that Stoudemire needed more rest after playing through the end of May in the Western Conference finals. “He was a man about it.”

Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, did not return a phone call.

Insured players typically don’t need permission to compete for national teams, but Stoudemire’s contract wasn’t covered because of his medical rap sheet. Microscopic surgery on his left knee in 2005 and a detached retina in 2009, among other health issues, have limited the 27-year-old to only three 82-game seasons in his eight-year career. Durability was a major reason the Suns declined to offer Stoudemire a max contract, even after he was named to four consecutive All-Star teams and played every game last season.

Stoudemire, the only top tier free agent the Knicks have managed to acquire this off-season, albeit one near the bottom of the top tier, was one of only 5 players this month to earn a contract at $100 M or more.  But Stoudemire’s 2005 microfracture surgery makes his contract uninsurable.  The Knicks are still reminded of the last mistake they made on an uninsurable player because that player is on the roster and a constant eyesore–Eddy Curry.  Isiah Thomas signed Curry to a $56 M/7 yr deal in 2004 that was uninsurable due to a Curry heart condition.  The Knicks had hoped that Curry would attend their summer league in Las Vegas because he has played so little basketball the last two years.  Curry did not show up for the voluntary workouts and Curry already thinks Knicks’ coach Mike D’antoni is holding it against him.

Last week, when the Knicks made the mysterious decision to sign Russian 7 footer, Timofey Mozgov, it is believed they informed Mozgov that he would back up newly acquired Center Ronny Turiaf who came to the Knicks as part of the David Lee sign and trade.  At least, that’s what Curry’s agent believes took place, as was reported by the New York media.

It seems strange that they would guarantee playing time to a guy unable to start on his European League team and who has never played a minute in the NBA.  When D’antoni was asked about it, he responded by saying that he couldn’t promise any time to a player he hasn’t really seen, and that the Knicks would find a place on the floor for a well conditioned Curry.

In terms of the decision to hold Stoudemire out of the Worlds in Turkey next month, it’s simply a smart play on their part from the standpoint of protecting their big new investment.  Remember, this is the Knicks we are talking about, who found a way to trade Marcus Camby for Antonio McDyess and then watched McDyess go down for the year in the final minute of the first half of an exhibition game.  While they have lost out on their target of 2-3 years in Lebron James, they have probably had the 2nd best off-season of any team, were in the mix for James despite doing everything wrong up until that very week, and despite the very questionable Mozgov signing.  I like the decision to hold Stoudemire out of international competition.

If Stoudemire thought he’d be pitching potential free agents like Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony on joining him in New York next month in Las Vegas and Turkey, he will either be doing so as a spectator, or via twitter and text message.  Hopefully the decision to hold him out of these games does not impinge on the Knicks’ ability to recruit or acquire top tier players in the future.

As for Amar’e, who took the money the Knicks threw at him, he doesn’t play for country anymore.  Now he’s just a New York Knickerbocker.

–Crack (

The New York Knicks, in need of a center, turned their attention to little known Russian Timofey Mozgov (above), who they have signed to a three year contract worth almost $ 10 M.  Mozgov, is 24 years old and is 7’1.  His agent describes him as a “late bloomer” and as “the best free agent outside the NBA.”  If that were really the case, Mozgov would demand more than the $ 32 M Josh Childress is signing for with the Phoenix Suns, who played last season in Greece.

Here are some recent stats on Mozgov:

Season: 2009-2010 (Russia)

BC Khimky Moscow Region 32 579 241 81-145 0-1 79-110 60 94 154 8 86 32 15 0
BC Khimky Moscow Region 32 18.1 7.5 55.9% 0.0% 71.8% 1.9 2.9 4.8 0.3 2.7 1.0 0.5 0.0


Season: 2009-2010 (VTB United League)

BC Khimky Moscow Region 8 163 87 33-52 0-0 21-35 19 25 44 2 13 4 7 8
BC Khimky Moscow Region 8 20.4 10.9 63.5% 0.0% 60.0% 2.4 3.1 5.5 0.3 1.6 0.5 0.9 1.0


Season: 2009-2010 (Euroleague)

BC Khimky Moscow Region 16 209 96 39-77 0-0 18-29 25 40 65 2 50 15 5 0
BC Khimky Moscow Region 16 13.1 6.0 50.6% 0.0% 62.1% 1.6 2.5 4.1 0.1 3.1 0.9 0.3 0.0

The Knicks are nearing an agreement with him in a deal stealthily navigated to the dismay of several N.B.A. teams. Few were aware that Mozgov would be willing or able to step out of his contract with Russia’s B.C. Khimki.

“No, I didn’t talk to him,” Mozgov’s agent, Bouna Ndiaye, said when asked if Prokhorov had tried to land Mozgov for the Nets. “I really focused on the Knicks. And I did not focus on the Nets because the Nets would take longer to rebuild. I liked Mike D’Antoni’s system better than the Nets.”

Mozgov played limited minutes with Khimki last season, but gained attention during last summer’s European championship when he averaged 11 points and 4.6 rebounds.

It’s a bit disturbing that Mozgov didn’t have what it took to start on his European team, and it strikes us a very generous contract for an unknown quantity, but it happens all the time with centers.  While some have described Mozgov as a banger with bad hands who can finish around the basket, it is a red flag to us that nobody else was trying to sign him in a league that scours the ends of the Earth for talent.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Mozgov remains planted to the bench as a Knick and is used as trade bait when he is eligible to be traded in 3 months.

In other Knicks’ news, reports surfaced over the weekend that the Knicks are trying to trade to G/F Wilson Chandler who averaged over 17 points a game, for a more traditional shooting guard.  On Friday, the Knicks reached a 2 year, $15.8 M deal with starting point guard Raymond Felton.,-Explore-Trade-Possibilities-For-Wilson-Chandler-a16089

–Crack (

Newest Knick, point guard Raymond Felton (above).

The Knicks may have lost out on the Lebron James sweepstakes, but one day after announcing the David Lee sign and trade that netted them Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf, the Knicks have solved a problem at a long standing trouble spot, agreeing to terms on a three year contract with former Bobcat and North Carolina Tar Heel, Raymond Felton–who was perhaps the best remaining free agent available.

The Knicks reached an agreement in principle Friday with Felton, the free agent who played five seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, including the last two under former Knicks coach Larry Brown.

The deal could be finalized as early as Saturday. Three days ago, Duhon signed a free agent contract with Orlando.

Felton’s contract is believed to be a three-year deal worth approximately $25 million, which doesn’t preclude the Knicks from pursuing Chris Paul or Tony Parker next summer. The Knicks were also considering Luke Ridnour, but felt that Felton was the better player to go along with Amar’e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari.

Raymond Felton’s career stats:

05-06 CHA 80 54 30.1 0.391 0.358 0.725 1.0 2.4 3.3 5.6 1.3 0.1 2.27 2.26 11.8
06-07 CHA 78 75 36.3 0.384 0.330 0.797 0.7 2.8 3.4 7.0 1.5 0.1 2.95 2.31 14.0
07-08 CHA 79 79 37.6 0.413 0.280 0.800 0.5 2.5 3.0 7.4 1.2 0.2 2.70 2.33 14.4
08-09 CHA 82 81 37.6 0.408 0.285 0.805 0.7 3.1 3.8 6.7 1.5 0.4 2.78 2.33 14.2
09-10 CHA 80 80 33.0 0.459 0.385 0.763 0.7 2.9 3.6 5.6 1.5 0.3 2.10 2.15 12.1
Career 399 369 34.9 0.410 0.327 0.782 0.7 2.7 3.4 6.4 1.4 0.2 2.56 2.28 13.3

Felton is 26 years old, is a career starter, and has only missed 11 games in his NBA career.  He represents perhaps the best point guard solution the Knicks have come up with since a young Mark Jackson.

–Crack (

The New York Post has just reported that Lebron James has booked a large number of rooms at a South Beach hotel, and that he is planning a party in Miami.

LeBron James is ready to party it up in what may be his new basketball home.

James has booked 25 rooms at the W Hotel in South Beach starting tonight, a source told the Post. That fuels speculation that James will announce that he will sign with the Heat tonight at 9 p.m. during an ESPN special.

Though the Knicks are still clinging to a sliver of hope, they have heard through back channels that James is not likely headed to the Big Apple.

A source connected to James said, “ You should be writing about the Heat,’’ and there are multiple reports saying James is likely to join Pat Riley’s Miami club. The Knicks also believe Cleveland is still in the running and ahead of them in the chase for James.

We certainly hope this report proves to be false.

The Knicks can’t be happy right now.

–Crack (

Anthony Randolph (above).

With multiple reports claiming the Miami Heat have won the Lebron James free agent sweepstakes, with those sources including Knicks’ Newsday beat writer, Alan Hahn, saying that James’ people “did not realize” that Greenwich was so close to the Knicks’ facility in SUNY Purchase, and that James has decided to join forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, it seems as though the Knicks have begun to move on, and will announce a sign and trade for David Lee that would make power forwards Anthony Randolph and Rony Turiaf to New York, and perhaps F Kelenna Azubuike and/or Vladimir Radmanovic,  not point guard Monta Ellis, which has been widely reported.

Acquiring Randolph, the 14th pick in the first round of the 2008 draft out of LSU, who is scheduled to make $ 1.96 M next year, Ronny Turiaf is scheduled to make $ 4 M and $ 4.3 M in 2011-2012, and Azubuike is scheduled to make $ 3.36 M this year, and has an expiring contract.  Vladimir Radmanovic is scheduled to make $ 6.8 M this year, and his contract would also expire after next season.

Here are Randolph’s career stats:

Career Season Averages
08-09 GSW 63 22 17.9 0.462 0.000 0.716 2.0 3.7 5.8 0.8 0.7 1.2 1.27 2.24 7.9
09-10 GSW 33 8 22.7 0.443 0.200 0.801 2.2 4.3 6.5 1.3 0.8 1.6 1.48 2.79 11.6
Career 96 30 19.6 0.454 0.111 0.758 2.1 3.9 6.0 0.9 0.7 1.3 1.34 2.43 9.2

Turiaf’s career stats:

Career Season Averages
05-06 LAL 23 1 7.0 0.500 0.000 0.556 0.5 1.1 1.6 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.30 1.30 2.0
06-07 LAL 72 1 15.1 0.549 0.000 0.664 1.2 2.4 3.6 0.9 0.2 1.1 0.72 2.81 5.3
07-08 LAL 78 21 18.7 0.474 0.000 0.753 1.2 2.7 3.9 1.6 0.4 1.4 0.92 2.55 6.6
08-09 GSW 79 26 21.5 0.508 0.000 0.790 1.1 3.4 4.6 2.1 0.4 2.1 0.89 3.08 5.9
09-10 GSW 42 20 20.8 0.582 0.000 0.474 1.3 3.3 4.5 2.1 0.6 1.3 1.17 2.33 4.9
Career 294 69 17.9 0.514 0.000 0.690 1.1 2.8 3.9 1.5 0.4 1.4 0.85 2.63 5.5

Azubuike’s career stas:

Career Season Averages
06-07 GSW 41 9 16.3 0.445 0.430 0.782 0.6 1.7 2.3 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.95 1.20 7.1
07-08 GSW 81 17 21.4 0.445 0.364 0.717 1.3 2.7 4.0 0.9 0.6 0.4 0.72 1.96 8.5
08-09 GSW 74 51 32.1 0.464 0.448 0.808 1.5 3.5 5.0 1.6 0.8 0.7 1.28 2.47 14.4
09-10 GSW 9 7 25.7 0.545 0.370 0.679 1.3 3.2 4.6 1.1 0.6 1.0 0.78 1.78 13.9
Career 205 84 24.4 0.459 0.409 0.770 1.3 2.8 4.0 1.1 0.6 0.5 0.97 1.99 10.6

The Knicks feel Azabuike would be a good fit as a perimeter shooter in Mike D’antoni’s speedball offense.  A trade involving Randolph, who would be a good fit next to Stoudemire, and who averaged 6.5 rebounds per game in only 22.7 minutes, could replace a lot of the rebounds that David Lee will be taking with him.  A trade involving Azabuike, Radmanovic and Randolph, and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract would give the Knicks approximately $ 22.5 M in cap space for next year.

–Crack (

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