I'm sorry that you had to wake up to this on a Saturday, but settle down. Breathe. In through the nose, out through the ears. Maybe sit in a comfortable chair and put the axe down. Okay. Let's actually read this, shall we?
Knicks owner James Dolan staged a business meeting with Isiah Thomas yesterday morning at the Mandarin Hotel in Midtown, according to a person familiar with the situation.
A band of security men surrounded the two men who were both dressed in business suits in a quiet corner of the lobby. Thomas has lobbied to return to the organization since he was fired as the Florida International basketball coach last spring. The meeting took place two days after the resignation of MSG sports president Scott O’Neil, who, according to a source, helped convince Dolan rehiring Thomas wasn’t a good move for the Knicks brand.
Business suits! Indeed, the timing is interesting, considering O'Neil's recent departure. Remember, though, that, despite his incursion into basketball operations, O'Neil was President of Madison Square Garden Sports and in charge of brand partnership and marketing-type things for all the Garden's franchises and visiting occupants. Isiah Thomas probably isn't a candidate to replace him (although, honestly, having Isiah in charge of selling ads for, like, the PBR rodeo thing would be hilarious). Berman goes on to hypothesize that Dolan could be consulting Thomas for advice on O'Neil's replacement or (and this is scarier) soliciting his services as "some sort of coaching consultant".
Dolan actually hiring Thomas again-- something he's attempted before-- would be pretty upsetting, but this isn't that, at least not yet. Dolan seeking Thomas's opinion continues to be aggravating, but it's not surprising. Our owner never, ever speaks to media, yet went out of his way to announce his intention to "solicit his views" back when David Stern shot down the hiring of Isiah as a consultant in 2010. It's not a secret that Isiah has influence, and it seems evident in the fact that his college teammates are currently New York's coach and general manager. It's one of those persistent, unsavory features of the organization that I just try to ignore so I can sleep sometimes. There are several.
But yeah, Isiah's name is back in the news. This happens every few months. There has been no report-- though you'll see secondhand headlines of it-- that the Knicks intend to hire Thomas, and let's hope that report never comes. Hopefully, this is nothing more than Jimmy 'n' Zeke dressing up in their business suits to trade stories and blank stares.