Following in the footsteps of awful GM Matt Millen, former Knicks President of Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas may be coming to ESPN to be an NBA analyst. USA Today's Michael Hiestand reported Thomas had an audition with the network and notorious ogre Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says he's a candidate for a studio spot. Also, former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy will not be joining ESPN this year, despite previous reports he and Bill Simmons would be the centerpiece of a new NBA pregame show.
In between stints as a Hall of Fame player and one of the worst executives in sports history (RIP CBA), Thomas was a game analyst for the NBA on NBC in the late '90s. That was a long time ago, but I distinctly remember Isiah Thomas the analyst being decisively bland. He was the basketball version of Joe Montana. Great player, not really a fit for television.
Furthermore, like Matt Millen, why would ESPN think Isiah Thomas has any credibility with a basketball audience after his front office and coaching debacles. Yes, he was one of the best players of all-time, but the majority of ESPN's audience is going to remember Thomas first and foremost as the guy who bet the Knicks franchise on Eddy Curry, Jerome James, and Jared Jeffries. ESPN viewers may also remember that whole sexual harrassment lawsuit where a jury awarded over $11 million to a Knicks exec because Thomas was found to have harrassed her. Most recently, viewers with the shortest of memories will certainly be aware of Isiah's pitiful 26-65 record at FIU.
Why again is ESPN even considering this? Is it to create controversy and buzz by pairing Isiah with former friend Magic Johnson? Is Isiah going to host the hostless NBA pregame show? Will ESPN have Thomas debate Matt Millen on front office decisions?