Sports & Beyond: Dolan Gives Isiah Liberty • Latino Sports

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Sports & Beyond: Dolan Gives Isiah Liberty

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Queens, NY – It is safe to say that the WNBA’s New York Liberty, who are now entering their 19th season, have never gotten as much publicity from the mainstream New York sports media than they did last week when Madison Square Garden CEO James Dolan announced that Isiah Thomas would serve as the president of the team as well as obtain a minority equity stake in it.

Thomas had both a stellar college and NBA playing career and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame 15 years ago. What New Yorkers  remember however is the damage that he inflicted as president of basketball operations of the Knicks which included numerous bad trades the forfeited lottery draft picks as well as signing players to bloated contracts that used up all of their salary cap room for years.

If that weren’t bad enough, Thomas was accused of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment by a former Knicks executive, Anucha Browne Sanders, who filed suit against the Knicks’ corporate overseer, Cablevision. In 2008, Sanders was awarded an $11 million judgment by a jury.

The idea of Isiah Thomas running a professional women’s basketball team sounds like an idea hatched by the writers at “Saturday Night Live.” James Dolan, who has always been a target of media derision once again felt the full barrage of outrage from the press for showing misguided and inexplicable loyalty to an old friend who had actually cost his company millions in the past.

The funny thing is that I don’t have a problem with what Dolan’s decision to hire Isiah. The New York Liberty have been underachievers for years. They are still haven’t won a WNBA championship and have been an afterthought at best in the world of New York sports for certainly the last 15 years.

I have noticed that a lot of the folks who are outraged over Isiah Thomas getting a second chance are the same ones who thought that the Yankees should never Alex Rodriguez play for them again after he was suspended in 2014 by Major League Baseball and yet are now cheering for him as he is helping the Yankees to stay in first place in the American League East.

Not to minimize the Sanders case but it should be pointed out that Isiah Thomas was found guilty in a civil suit and not in a criminal matter. Even his biggest detractors have never accused him of being stupid. My guess is that he learned from his mistakes of nearly a decade ago and will not repeat them and certainly not in this high profile position.

The Liberty have a strong roster led by center and Jamaica Estates native Tina Charles. Isiah has a far better chance of winning a title than his Knicks counterpart, Phil Jackson, does right now.    

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About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com. In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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