The message the WNBA is sending to Isiah Thomas is quite clear — you can be the president of the New York Liberty, but we're still on the fence about you being a partial owner of the team.
A month after New York Knicks owner James Dolan once again hired Thomas, this time as a team president for the Liberty, the WNBA and Liberty agreed to put the Hall of Fame point guard's application for partial ownership on hold.
“After further discussion and with the season underway, the WNBA and the New York Liberty have agreed to suspend consideration of Isiah Thomas’s application for an ownership interest in the Liberty until further notice,” the league said in a short statement to the press, as reported by USA Today Sports. “The process will resume at a future time as determined by the Liberty.”
This comes nearly three weeks after the league announced it had formed a committee of six owners to evaluate Thomas's application to become a partial owner. The WNBA's Board of Governors don't have a say in the Liberty naming him team president, but they can veto his ownership application.
Nearly eight years ago, Dolan had to pay an $11.6 million settlement to a former team executive, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment while he was the Knicks' head coach. That clearly didn't stop Dolan from hiring him again and Thomas from maintaining his innocence.
“I’ve always maintained my innocence, I’ve moved on from that, our organization has moved on from that,” Thomas told reporters of the 2007 lawsuit against him at the Liberty’s media day last month. “I’ve lived my life. If you go and look back the way I’ve lived my life and the people who have dealt with me personally, I’m proud of the way I live my life and I’m proud of the man that I stand here today before you.”
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(Photo: NY Post / Splash News)