This post will help you understand why, during the press conference introducing Carmelo Anthony as a Knick next week, you will hear Donnie Walsh thank Isiah Thomas through gritted teeth.
Thomas was on sports talk radio in Miami Tuesday night and, amazingly, there was little talk about FIU basketball and a lot about the Knicks. Marc Berman of the New York Post suffered through the interview so you and I don’t have to, and he noted the highlight was Thomas not denying he still is a friend and basically unpaid consultant to Knicks owner James Dolan.
And of course, there was Carmelo Anthony talk.
“Everyone agrees they need to keep improving to get to a championship level,” Thomas said of the Knicks on Miami radio Tuesday. “I don’t think anyone’s saying, ‘This is it.’ I do think the organization wants to improve to get better and get to the next to level.
“But for me to speculate on this Carmelo situation, I just don’t think it would be proper to insert myself in such a public way knowing what I know.”
Thomas added, “In order to get to a championship level, which every team aspires to get to, you try to get the best players and try to get as many as you possibly can and see if you can win it.”
Thomas is not a paid consultant with the Knicks — the league shot that down. When asked if he was an unpaid advisor to Dolan, Thomas said:
“The conversations I have with any of my friends are always private and confidential,” Thomas said. “The conversations I have with friends and people that I know, those are private conversations.”
Private, but potentially influential. And the more Dolan sticks his nose in the Anthony deal, the more likely the Knicks overpay. Because if Thomas can be counted on for one thing, it’s overpaying.