It’s the questions most often asked around the New York Knicks saga: Why in the world would the Knicks even consider bringing Isiah Thomas back? Are they dropping acid like it’s 1968 in the Knicks offices?
Bringing him back makes no sense if you’re thinking like a basketball executive. It makes no sense if you’re thinking like a businessman (remember the $11 million sexual harassment suit he cost the franchise).
But that’s not how Knicks owner James Dolan is thinking — he is thinking like a friend.
Dolan and Thomas are tight, as Frank Isola reminds us in the New York Daily News Sunday.
“Isiah is one of Jim Dolan’s best friends,” says a person close to Thomas. “That’s good enough for him.”
That relationship, the source of frustration and tension among Knicks executives and fans, will almost certainly lead to Thomas returning to the Knicks, perhaps as early as next April when FIU, the college team Thomas currently coaches, concludes its season.
If Thomas does come back, it will be as a consultant. But what happens if by April 1 Dolan decides not to pick up the option on team president Donnie Walsh’s contracts. The Knicks have been looking to groom a successor. Maybe Allan Houston, maybe Mark Warkentien (last of Denver).
But if Thomas has his foot in the door and the ear of Dolan, and if he can help recruit someone such as Carmelo Anthony (or convince Dolan he can) it’s easy to picture a world where he gets the team president job again.
A crazy, sickening bizzaro world for Knicks fans, but a realistic world nonetheless.