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Ain't no thang but a notorious former GM doing some consulting.

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I should probably address the Isiah stuff again since it's smoldered well into the weekend. While certain media presences are cherry-picking stories to stir up as much fear and contempt as possible, I'll go ahead and do the exact opposite with my linking skillz.

Howard Beck (NY Times "Off the Dribble" blog):

When the Knicks announced Friday that Thomas was returning as a consultant, it sparked a predictable torrent of outrage and derision. To commentators, the hiring was comical. To Knicks fans, tragic. It is not entirely clear, however, just how much panic is warranted.

Thomas’s new job is ambiguous and limited. According to the team’s statement, he will assist in scouting prospects and recruiting free agents. He will rank, at best, seventh in the basketball operations hierarchy, behind Donnie Walsh (the team president), Glen Grunwald (senior vice president), Misho Ostarcevic (director of player personnel), John Gabriel (director of pro scouting and free agency), Jamie Mathews (vice president) and Coach Mike D’Antoni.

In effect, Thomas is merely resuming the role he had from April 2008 through April 2009, when Walsh — after replacing Thomas — made him an informal adviser. In that year, Thomas did some scouting and provided sporadic feedback to Walsh.

Lisa Lucas and Larry McShane (Daily News):

Thomas told the Daily News on Saturday that he has no designs on the general manager's job at Madison Square Garden despite his ties to owner Jim Dolan or rumors about his future with the franchise.

"Nah, I don't think so," Thomas told the News outside his luxury Miami condo. "I'm not going anywhere. I love my life here."

"It's just hitting the paper," he said. "It's just getting announced."

"Really, I've been a consultant for years," said Thomas, who was fired in April 2008 after turning the Knicks into a league laughingstock.

Oh, and remember that this hasn't been officially sanctioned yet. There are still roadblocks in the legality of the thing. Marc Berman (NY Post):

When the NBA changed the entry age four years ago and prohibited teams from drafting players out of high school, the league eliminated the scouting of high school players by NBA front-office types except for unique circumstances such as All-Star games.

But in Thomas' role as coach of Florida International, he is allowed to scout and communicate with high school prospects on a much more regular basis. That is not the only conflict. NBA front-office personnel also are not allowed to talk with draft-eligible college players until they declare for the draft, so coaching FIU's players could be interpreted as a violation.

It's ugly, but everything's gonna be alright. Do yourself a favor and dodge the hysteria.