Worst New York Knicks executive: Phil Jackson or Isiah Thomas? | The Tylt
Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are parting ways, ending one of the most inept presidential reigns in franchise history. Phil Jackson clashed with two of his star players, and attempted to force an offensive system down the team’s throat. However, Isiah Thomas’ tenure with the Knicks was wrought with questionable trades and a sexual harassment suit. Who was worse? 🏀
(Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story misspelled Isiah Thomas as Isaiah Thomas, the Boston Celtics player. We apologize for the error and have corrected all references.)
Worst New York Knicks executive: Phil Jackson or Isiah Thomas?
No one can deny Phil Jackson’s greatness as a coach, but his turn as an executive was awful—like, “The Happening” awful. As soon as he came to New York, he hired Derek Fisher as a head coach, who was totally unprepared for his first coaching job. It also didn’t help Jackson was trying to fit square pegs into a round hole by trying to implement the Triangle Offense with Carmelo Anthony.
Speaking of Carmelo Anthony, he and Phil Jackson don’t seem to get along. It's a big problem when your top executive and best player aren’t on the same page. Their public feud has only added to the usual New York Knicks dysfunction, especially now that Carmelo Anthony refuses to leave or waive his no-trade clause. Throw in Kristaps Porzingis and his problems with the Knicks, and it isn’t hard to see why Jackson was canned.
Phil Jackson has been bad for the New York Knicks, but no one did a more spectacular job of consistently running the franchise into the ground than Isiah Thomas. This is the guy who thought trading Tim Thomas and an unprotected first-round draft pick for Eddy Curry was a good idea. Because of the deal, he lost the 2nd overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and the ninth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Phil Jackson might be bad, but Isiah Thomas mortgaged the franchise on a player with a heart condition. Bravo.
Not only was Isiah Thomas an embarrassment in the front office, he was an embarrassment outside Madison Square Garden. In 2007, a former Knicks executive alleged Thomas sexually harassed her. The suit went to trial where a jury awarded $11.6 million in punitive damages. As bad as Phil Jackson has been, at least he didn’t humiliate the organization like Thomas.