Why, you ask? From the NY Times: Some See Liberty Hire as an Insult to W.N.B.A. Fans
“On a basketball level, his track record is just horrific,” Wheelock said of Thomas, before noting his role in the suit that Browne filed.
“It boggles the mind he’d be in the same space as a women’s basketball team,” Wheelock said.
Even if Isiah Thomas were the foremost basketball mind of his generation — and any Knicks fan will tell you he’s not — there is no way he should be named president of the New York Liberty.
But before attempting to parse out the nuance in this hire, let’s start in a place we can all agree: The optics of this are terrible.
Like, really bad.
In fact, the optics might be so bad that any potential good that can come from the hire will be overshadowed by just how truly terrible this looks.
Of course, some good could come from this — if given the chance.
I might agree with Kate – if I felt basketball Thomas was at all interested in the Liberty being anything more than a stepping stone to Phil Jackson’s job. I welcome NBAers to the WNBA club. Often, they are the most ardent advocate of the game, in contrast to many of their myopic and misogynist NBA fans. I don’t doubt Thomas appreciates the women’s game. But nothing in his past suggests he has the skill to improve the game or respect the women who play it.
From Johnette Howard: Against all reason, tone-deaf Dolan once again turns to Isiah
Thomas has always had a Rasputin-like knack for survival, gliding from one job or controversy to the next talking about fresh starts, unfair raps and the out-of-the-box vision he has for turning also-rans into winners.
But even for Dolan, this move takes guts. Few professional sports owners would choose to give a second act to a man who a jury found to have sexually harassed a female Garden employee — let alone put him in charge running the Garden’s women’s professional basketball team.
But that’s what Dolan has done with this move.
From AP Doug: WNBA prez caught off guard by Isiah Thomas announcement
The WNBA has been thrown into the national conversation about domestic violence and sports, and now is facing a decision involving sexual harassment.
The league is reviewing the hiring of Isiah Thomas — once the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit — as president of the New York Liberty, an announcement that caught the WNBA president off guard. The WNBA was already immersed in a domestic dispute involving All-Stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, who were arrested two weeks ago after assaulting each other at their home.
How the premier women’s sports league handles both is drawing interest.
Welcome to the big time, Laurel. If the Liberty have to be sacrificed, let them go out with a bang, not a whimper.