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Knicks owner James Dolan says bringing back Isiah Thomas would be 'a distraction'

Knicks owner James Dolan says he expects the team to compete for championships. (Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images) Knicks owner James Dolan says he expects the team to compete for a title. (Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)

New York Knicks owner James Dolan said that former coach and general manager Isiah Thomas won't return to the team in any capacity.

Dolan gave an interview to Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post and explained that while he is still friendly with Thomas, he can't hire him back.

Thomas was the Knicks general manager from 2003 to 2008 but Dolan said Thomas returning to the team would be a "distraction" to the organization. Thomas was also the team's head coach for two seasons, compiling a 56-108 record.

"I don't know that he'll ever be able to work in New York again," Dolan said. "I just don't know that he'll ever get a fair shake going forward in New York."

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In 2007, a jury awarded $11.6 million to former Knicks senior vice president of marketing and business operations Anucha Browne Sanders after determining Thomas had sexually harassed her and Madison Square Garden had improperly fired her. The jury said that Thomas made crude insults and unwanted advances towards Browne Sanders.

"Do I think he deserves another shot?" Dolan said "Yeah. It just can't be here. And I think he's talented. I think he's particularly talented at finding basketball talent. But I think he's probably dismayed at this point. But I don't see him coming back to New York. I couldn't do that to him, and I couldn't do that to the organization."

"He would probably do it as my friend, but I couldn't do it to him or his family," Dolan said. "And you know what the press would do here."

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