Isiah Thomas now president and part-owner of NY Liberty
The New York Liberty and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas today announced that Mr. Thomas has been named team president, with responsibility for basketball and business operations. Mr. Thomas has also taken an ownership interest in the team.
It’s very surprising that Thomas is once again working for the Garden. According to the New York Post, “during a disastrous stint as Knicks president and coach, Thomas was implicated in a sexual harassment involving former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders, who received an $11.6 million settlement from the Garden in 2007 for a hostile work environment.”
“In the fall, Isiah and I began discussions about a possible role for him with the Liberty. Since that time, Isiah has been advising the team, and we are very pleased with the results. He has overseen the strengthening of our coaching staff, with the return of three-time WNBA Champion head coach Bill Laimbeer and the hiring of Herb Williams as assistant coach, as well as our recent free agent signings, draft strategy, trade for Epiphanny Prince and the return of Liberty legend, Teresa Weatherspoon,” said Mr. James Dolan, executive chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company. “Now, we’ve agreed that it is time for him to take a lead role with the team as president, and through his ownership interest. He’s an excellent judge of talent, and I’m confident that he will put all of his energy and experience into making the Liberty a perennially competitive and successful team.”
Mr. Thomas said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the New York Liberty and help the franchise reclaim its position as one of the elite teams in the WNBA. Following a conversation with Jim about his thoughts on the franchise, I expressed my interest and enthusiasm for taking responsibility for both the basketball and business operations, as well as for taking an ownership interest in the team. To me, basketball is basketball. These women are outstanding athletes who want to compete for a championship in New York. I look forward to this challenge – not just to win a title, but also to help broaden the team’s fanbase.”
The New York Liberty was founded in 1996 as one of eight original members of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in 12 of its 18 seasons, with four trips to the Finals in 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2002.