Mention the name Isiah Thomas to any New York Knicks fan and watch their faces turn red and begin a dissertation on the many ways he single-handedly wrecked the Knicks franchise.
And those fans are right to hold some resentment towards Thomas.
From handing out large contract to players who never panned out (Eddy Curry), traded away draft picks, to causing a financial hardship for the Knicks that they just recently came out of, Thomas will forever go down in Knicks’ history as a a complete failure.
During Thomas’ run as President of Basketball Operations with New York, he brought in former NBA coach Larry Brown to lead the team for the 2005-2006 season but it ended up in a 23-59 season. Eventually, Brown was fired from New York.
Now that time has passed, Brown recently opened up about his time working with Thomas and was frank about his thoughts on Thomas:
“I don’t have a relationship with him at all. He gave me a chance. I appreciate that, but I wouldn’t consider him a friend. I don’t look forward to seeing him, but I don’t wish him bad.”
When asked about if there is any bitterness, Brown responded with the same frankness:
“I didn’t like working for him.”
When asked why he still has bitterness towards Thomas, Brown was to the point:
“No I don’t want to…people beat him up. I don’t want to beat him up. I just didn’t enjoy working for him. He thought what he did was right and I’m going to leave it at that.”
They say time cures all, but it seems Brown still harbors resentment. While Brown has moved on to other head coaching jobs since his time with New York, Thomas is still viewed in a negative light by many when it comes to running a basketball club.
He may have been a great NBA player, but as a front office guy, Thomas has yet to prove himself and erase the reputation he has garnered.