7:50pm: A spokesperson for Ishbia tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link) that while Ishbia and Thomas are friends, Thomas will not be part of the Suns’ front office.
7:02pm: New Suns owner Mat Ishbia is planning to hire NBA TV analyst Isiah Thomas for a “prominent role” in the team’s front office, sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT (Twitter link).
According to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link), Thomas is on the board of directors of United Wholesale Mortgage, Ishbia’s company, so the two are obviously familiar with one another.
Thomas, who is in the Hall of Fame, is widely considered one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. He spent his entire 13-year career with the Pistons, which included two championships and 12 All-Star appearances.
The 61-year-old became a front office executive with the Raptors from 1994-97 after his playing days ended. Thomas also coached the Pacers from 2000-03 and was the Knicks’ president of basketball operations from 2003-08 (and their coach from 2006-08), so he certainly has a lot of experience.
However, his time in New York was controversial. As Vorkunov notes (via Twitter), in 2007 a Manhattan jury found that Thomas sexually harassed a former Knicks executive, who was improperly fired for reporting the unwanted behavior. The victim was awarded $11.6MM as part of the lawsuit.
Thomas’ tenure with the Knicks was also lousy from an on-court perspective. The team went just 151-259 during his five seasons as the lead basketball executive, a .368 winning percentage.
Hiring someone accused of sexual harassment and creating a hostile working environment is a pretty terrible look for Ishbia’s first move as an owner, considering the reason he was able to buy the Suns is because former owner Robert Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10MM for engaging in behavior that “clearly violated common workplace standards.”
24 thoughts on “Suns Spokesperson Denies Team Hiring Isiah Thomas”
I’m sure this will work out well.
Must have desire to lose! Isiah is a joke
So the Suns will now be the New York Knicks of the West??? I have faith Zeke will only need 2-3 seasons to get Phoenix back in the lottery again.
It’s not even April 1.
Wow! After what this franchise had gone through with Sarver creating a terrible culture on the staff, they bring in Isiah. Yeah, that might be worse.
Wow if he does for the Suns what he did for the Knicks…LOL
James Johnson built a great team and endured the Sarver drama. He doesn’t deserve this. Someone will hire him away from the Suns.
James Jones btw.
He was still one helluva player and a winner!
He knows winning basketball. Let’s give him some benefit of doubt.
he was awful in two previous stops in an executive role so he lost all benefit of the doubt.
-Destroyed the CBA
-Couldn’t get out of the first round as Indiana’s HC
-Awful as Knicks HC
-Awful as Knicks PBO
-Awful as FIU HC
-Good as Liberty Team President
-Harassment lawsuit in 2006 that was settled for $11.5 million
Pretty horrible track record. I think he’s been given enough benefit of the doubt.
if the best thing you can say about him is that he has experience then that tells you all you need to know.
Oh, he has experience all right…
He’s a handsome guy they should just put a mannequin or a cardboard cutout of him in the front office if Michigan Ishbia is that obsessed with having Detroit royalty around. Save everyone some headaches…
Not as handsome as the mustachioed Stan VG but you get my point…
What the actual…
What a way to cover yourself in dirt after trying to clean up a franchise…
PHEW. That is some zhitty, scary reporting.
Get rid of one bad owner and get another guy with terrible judgment in friends
A team uses it’s spokespeople to issue a denial of a hiring; that says it all.
I said Suns were starting to fall apart. Didn’t know it was this bad.
Isiah the team killer, the league killer. Why ??
This man has wrecked everything he’s touched. Why anyone would consider this man for anything is beyond me.
Bring him in!
For the love of God don’t even think about this!!! The team is trying to distance themselves from the very actions Zeke is accused of!! You’d be sending a terrible message to the fans of our treasured OG franchise!!