Isiah Thomas’ tenure as president of the New York Knicks ended in 2008, in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal that led to an $11.5 million settlement with his accuser, Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks executive who had been fired after making accusations against Thomas. Seven years later, Knicks owner James Dolan — thinking everyone forgot about that whole sexual harassment thing — decided it would be a great idea to re-hire Thomas as president of the New York Liberty, the WNBA team Dolan also owns. In addition to the presidential post, Thomas would also become part owner of the team. As you can imagine, Dolan’s plan — similar to many of Dolan’s plans — did not go over well.
Thomas had been a consultant for the Liberty the past two seasons, but his ascension to a prominent front office role struck a nerve among the WNBA community. Today, the WNBA released a brief statement on Thomas’ ownership application:
— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) June 22, 2015
To clarify, the WNBA’s statement only addresses his potential ownership stake, which the Board of Governors must approve (which seems very unlikely, at this point). He’s still free to be team president. Although, after making it clear they want no part of him as an owner, being president is bound to be awkward as hell.