Isiah Thomas grades Knicks tenure: ‘C-minus to a D’

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Knicks owner James Dolan gushed about how similar he is to former Knicks president/coach Isiah Thomas.

I can see it.

Both have done awful jobs in their capacities in charge of the Knicks.

And both have somewhat exonerated Thomas for his role.

Dolan said Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks executive who successfully sued for sexual harassment, made up many of her claims against Thomas. And Thomas gives himself a passing grade for his tenure.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

Isiah Thomas says he’d give himself a grade of “maybe a C-minus to a D” for his performance as president and head coach of the New York Knicks.

“I think we had a pretty talented roster, but the chemistry was just bad. It was just bad,” Thomas said in an interview with HBO’s Real Sports, which is scheduled to air Tuesday at 10 p.m. “…. If you’re trying to paint the picture that I wasn’t at my best here and I didn’t do a good job here in New York, I’m not disagreeing with you.”

Thomas inherited a mess in 2003. His predecessor, Scott Layden, might have done even worse than he did.

But that doesn’t excuse how awful Thomas was.

Despite perennially having the NBA’s highest payroll and repeatedly trading away valuable first-round picks, the Knicks went 141-241 with Thomas as president and/or coach. They didn’t have a single winning season. They made the playoffs only once, his first season, and the were swept by the Nets.

New York’s lack of chemistry was Thomas’ fault. He acquired many difficult players and failed to set a proper structure for them. The Knicks’ talent during his tenure doesn’t get him off the hook. The nature of that talent was part of the problem.

The franchise also lost $11.6 million in Browne Sanders’ lawsuit under Thomas’ watch.

Thomas thinks he’s being hard on himself.

He’s not.

Anything above an F is far too generous.