The New York Daily News recently published a story about Isiah Thomas titled "Menace Behind The Smile." No, it isn't about the time he teamed up with Dr. Doom to steal the world's supply of disco balls. It's basically a heartfelt retrospective on how Isiah is a savage monster who single-handedly destroyed the Continental Basketball Association.People may have forgotten this, but Isiah bought the CBA -- not a team, mind you, but the whole damn league -- and promised to turn it into "the Microsoft of basketball." Instead, he lost between $5 and $7 million, ran the 55-year-old business into bankruptcy, and then jumped ship to coach the Indiana Pacers. In between the "buying" and "running the hell away" parts, he managed the league like he was Adolph Hitler and the CBA team owners and employees were little Anne Franks. At least Der Fuhrer shot himself in the head eventually, whereas Isiah continues to inflict his own special brand of stupidity and incompetence on the sport of basketball. I just thank the Basketball Gods that he's with the Knicks now.
Anyway...you can read the article for the full skinny, but here are some of the more poignant quotes:
"He ruled with intimidation. It was just like, 'If I swear enough or if I act like I'm tough enough you're going to back down."So what can we take from this? That Isiah is ornery, first of all. He also likes to use the F-word. He's rude to people. And he's a bad businessman. Hunh. Please excuse my giant pulsating brain, but I think most of us had already worked that out for ourselves. But still, I never get tired of hearing (well, reading) people rag on Isiah, so thank you New York Daily News. You made my day.
"Just the rudest person that I have ever run into in my entire life. He's a very poor business person. He doesn't listen to people. He's always right. He makes poor decisions, and I'm talking about the CBA in particular."
"Who he listens to are people who tell him what he wants to hear. The fact that he's still in basketball and running the Knicks just astounds me."
"I shook my head when I saw (that the Knicks had hired Thomas as their president). I thought, 'Geez. Maybe he can coach. We certainly know he can play - he's got a good basketball mind. But why would somebody not check into his business references?'"
"We went from the very well-spoken Isiah to the Chicago Isiah that kind of got the lingo going and every other word was a swear word, and 'This is how it's going to be.' I thought, 'Oh my god...' I don't think we have as many f-words and swear words here."
"A few of us said, 'Hey, this isn't going to work.' To which his answer was, 'It is going to work and if you don't like it, quit. Or 'I'll fire you.'"
"He tends to do business just like he played basketball. He's very clever and cunning and friendly until the rubber hits the road. And then he can really bow his back up and get pretty ornery and hard to get along with when he doesn't get his way. It would go from us being best friends to him calling me a little bit ethnic-related names."