Layden was the President of the Knicks.
The Record is 11 W and 18 L, very bad!!!
Knicks Reportedly Fire President and Hire Isiah Thomas
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 22, 2003
Filed at 1:31 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) -- Scott Layden was fired Monday as president of the New York Knicks and Isiah Thomas was hired to replace him, a source told The Associated Press.
The move comes after New York missed the playoffs the past two seasons with a roster largely assembled by Layden. The Knicks are 10-18 this season, and recent speculation centered on coach Don Chaney possibly losing his job.
Instead, the odd man out is Layden, who replaced Ernie Grunfeld in the summer of 1999 after the Knicks were coming off an appearance in the NBA Finals.
The team scheduled an afternoon news conference but would not specify what was being announced. An Eastern Conference official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed Layden was out and Thomas in.
Thomas has been out of the NBA since being fired over the summer by the Indiana Pacers, where he was the coach for three seasons.
``I want to stay in coaching,'' Thomas told the AP last month. ``I enjoy it. I had a great deal of success helping shape and mold young people, making the playoffs with the youngest team to do it in 25 years. I got bit by the bug.
``I'll wait for my next opportunity,'' he said. ``I wouldn't rule out college but I prefer the pro game.''
Thomas' first task with the Knicks will be evaluating a roster with the league's highest payroll and ascertaining whether any of those massive contracts can be moved in a trade.
Layden's last major move was the four-team deal that sent Latrell Sprewell to Minnesota and brought Keith Van Horn to New York. The deal has looked tilted in the Timberwolves' favor over the first two months of the season as Sprewell has averaged 17.2 points for Minnesota while Van Horn has struggled, averaging 14.8 points and getting benched for the fourth quarter of several recent games.
Prior to the Van Horn trade, Layden's biggest move came on draft night in 2002 when he sent Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson and the Knicks' lottery pick to Denver for Antonio McDyess.
McDyess fractured his kneecap in an exhibition game and missed the entire 2002-03 season, finally returning 11 games ago.
With the Knicks losing regularly while failing to draw the sellout crowds that were a staple during the 1990s, Layden became a lightning rod for criticism. The anti-Layden feeling was so strong in New York that when LeBron James was selected with the overall No. 1 pick in the draft last June, commissioner David Stern's announcement of the selection was drowned out by a loud chant of ``Fire Layden.''
James Dolan, chairman of the team's corporate owner, Cablevision, notified Layden of the move late Monday morning, the AP's source said.
Layden did not answer a call placed to his cell phone.
but after reading those paragraphs, I'm convinced Dolan runs the Rangers.
Layden out and Thomas in. Thomas' last job, from which he was fired, was as a coach and he expressed interest in becoming a coach, and wouldn't rule out the NCAA, although the NBA's his first choice. Enter the Knicks, hiring a guy who's never been a President and has recently said he hopes to coach again, to hire him as President.
It's like the Rangers - sign a checking center to become the team's top center with one of the league's former top centers as his wing.
Here's an good article linking the Knick's and Rag's woes:
December 23, 2003
SPORTS OF THE TIMES
Dolan Is Switching Channels, but Nothing's Worth Watching
By SELENA ROBERTS
S a sucker for classic stars, and given his premium channel access, the son of the Cablevision czar must find himself curled up in front of his in-home theater at night, mesmerized by the genius of Mickey Rooney and friends when faced with a crisis.
Orphanage closing? Pal got the blues? "Hey, let's put on a show."
Using the same problem-solving technique, James L. Dolan applied his TV know-how to living color yesterday, deciding the best way to cure the curdling image of the Knicks franchise was to trot out a throwback icon yesterday.
Introducing . . . Isiah Thomas, new president of basketball operations. To create the illusion of change by casting off the stilted Scott Layden, to juice up fans with an artificial shakeup, Dolan proudly unveiled Thomas as the leader who would guide the Knicks to the playoffs this year, with a championship soon to come.
Just how is that? The incoming Thomas doesn't change the Knicks' bloated salary-cap conundrum, the ill construction of a forward-happy team or even Don Chaney's status on the sideline (not his status today, anyway), but it does produce a diversion from Dolan's ownership of ineptitude.
Nearly a decade after taking over the Knicks and Rangers as his play toys, Dolan has transformed the Garden into the Most Irrelevant Arena in the World by being a meddler in operations behind the basketball scenes, by being enamored with past hockey lords like Glen Sather, by running the two teams as if fantasy league points were at stake.
"Jim Dolan wanted to be Daniel Snyder," one N.B.A. official with knowledge of the Garden's machinations said, referring to the Washington Redskins' unsophisticated, deep-pocketed owner. "Well, he has accomplished that."
He has allowed the Rangers to be misguided by a general manager and coach all-in-one with Sather. And although this kind of autonomy has proven to be the undoing of many N.B.A. power brokers — like Pat Riley, for one — Dolan is the type of serial contrarian who just might give Thomas the double title in the future.
"I don't think anyone has carte blanche but Mr. Dolan," Thomas said with a cagey smile. "I will be following his direction."
•* That's quintessential Thomas, always saying the right things. He is the anti-Layden in so many ways. A polished Hall of Fame player with a presence smoother than mousse, Thomas is equipped with an engaging smile that camouflages his untidy past as the exec who walked out on Toronto, as the businessman who left the Continental Basketball Association in ruins, as the coach who was outpoliticked in Indiana.
Dolan insisted he had done his homework on Thomas before pushing out the faithful, if naïve, Layden. Did he cram? More likely, Thomas had Dolan conquered at "Hello."
The two met for the first time on Saturday. Two days later, the slick Thomas is in and Layden is out, left punch drunk from the blows he took for the Knicks' starstruck owner.
Patrick Ewing for Glen Rice? That was Dolan, dismayed by a superstar center in decline, but smitten by an aging jump shooter on cinderblocks. Latrell Sprewell for Keith Van Horn? That was Dolan, willing to ship off the rebel that challenged him for a retread who bores him.
"I'm learning, too," Dolan said yesterday. "I have good people with a lot more experience in these areas to rely on, but in the end it's still my job. I'm not going to say I've done everything right."
Not as hands on, he maneuvers differently around the Rangers, but is so taken with Sather's glory days in Edmonton, he allows his resident Yoda to impede progress by rewarding Mark Messier with ice time for star services rendered years ago.
Reflecting the state of both teams' malaise in time-lapse style, Dolan begins each night happily upright in his seat. By halftime, he is usually distracted by the pretty lights and celebrity sightings. By the end, he appears sleepy and ready for a warm glass of milk. Some people wonder if he truly understands the intricacies of what he is watching.
And yet, Dolan continues to tinker from within. For a while, he was able to hide behind Dave Checketts and then Layden after him, but lately, Dolan has been the one increasingly blamed for the inferior state of the Knicks and Rangers.
•* With the Knicks at 10-18, someone had to be sacrificed. For all of his loyalty, Layden was treated with a firing. True, he was too timid at trade deadlines and was not the draft genius he was billed to be, but his fate is curious.
Too unaware to notice it, too trusting to ponder it, he was unwittingly caught up in a power struggle within the Garden. Just how did he lose favor with the owner he had protected to his own detriment? Interestingly, the Garden executive Steve Mills was given a promotion only two days after delivering his buddy Isiah Thomas to Dolan.
So in walked Isiah, wearing a sharp navy suit, pinstriped shirt and perfectly knotted tie. Naturally glowing, all but backlit before the camera lights even hit him, Thomas had the look of a classic star. Problem solved. Let the show begin.
Copyright 2003*The New York Times Company |