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Isiah Thomas Returning To The Knicks?

It is amazing to some that Isiah Thomas is welcomed back in New York City, much/less back to the New York Knicks.

The Hall of Fame player with the Detroit Pistons was a wreck as president of the Knicks. And yet, his relationship with Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan is so strong that the New York Daily News reported that Dolan has given Thomas an opportunity to return to the team in a management capacity.

According to the newspaper, Thomas and Dolan have had numerous discussions about a position in the organization, but Thomas has been reluctant to accept the job offer.

“Isiah is very close with Jim Dolan but he’s told me that he’s not ready to jump back into the NBA just yet,” the News reported from a source who was with Thomas on Friday at the Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Springfield, Mass. “There’s this perception out there that Isiah is desperate to get back, but that’s false. I think it will eventually happen but just not now.”

Friday, Thomas who presented inductee Chet Walker at the Hall, was spotted in a Manhattan hotel having breakfast with Dolan, which according to the source is not uncommon.

“They’re friends. They talk all the time,” the source added.

Two years ago, Dolan wanted to rehire Thomas as a consultant, but the NBA vetoed the move because Thomas was coaching Florida International University at the time. Once the league nixed the hiring, Dolan famously said that he could continue to solicit Thomas’ views on basketball-related matters.

It is clear that Thomas is serving as an unofficial adviser, considering that his two former college teammates and longtime friends, Mike Woodson and Glen Grunwald, are the Knicks’ head coach and general manager, respectively.

But there is animosity between Thomas and other top MSG executives in the aftermath of the highly publicized MSG sexual harassment trial in 2007.

Thomas, who was fired by FIU last spring, is said to be content working on earning a master’s degree in education from UC-Berkeley and reconnecting with his Chicago roots.

Recently, he recently participated in a “Stop the Violence” march in Chicago, where he told gang members, “This is genocide. You have to stop the killing.”

Thomas, along with Bulls center Joakim Noah and former Knick Quentin Richardson, is scheduled to attend a basketball tournament on Sept. 22 to promote peace in Chicago.

Last month, Thomas returned to the West Side of Chicago to honor his late mother at a ceremony in which Homan St. was changed to Mary Thomas Way.

Thomas is not a candidate to replace Scott O’Neil, who was removed from his position as Garden president on Wednesday.

Instead, Thomas will remain as the unpaid — but very visible — friend and adviser to Dolan, the Garden’s most powerful man. And no doubt one day they’ll officially be co-workers again.

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