After meeting with the NBA, Florida International University coach Isiah Thomas announced that he would decline an invitation to work as a consultant for the New York Knicks. There was controversy surrounding the Knicks decision to hire Thomas since the announcement last week and the league urged Thomas not to accept the position.
Here are statements from all parties:
Commissioner David Stern: “We have been informed by the Knicks that Isiah Thomas has rescinded his consulting agreement with the team. As a result, it is not necessary for the league to take any formal action on the proposed arrangement. However, we have reminded the Knicks of NBA rules that prohibit team personnel, including consultants, from having contact with players not eligible for the draft.”
Isiah Thomas: “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. 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.
“One of the biggest regrets of my life is that the Knicks didn’t perform up to the standards the fans had every right to expect while I was in charge. I take full responsibility for that. I was very much looking forward to this unique opportunity to help the organization do what I do best: find basketball talent. I wish the team nothing but success in the future.”
And finally from Knicks chairman James Dolan: “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. 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.”