Pistons deny considering Isiah Thomas for front office role

Ethan Miller

Unsurprisingly, Detroit has distanced itself from rumors about Isiah Thomas returning to run the team.

When Isiah Thomas' name surfaced in rumors about the Detroit Pistons front office over the weekend, there was reason to be skeptical, or at least to expect a swift denial. Given the results of Thomas' last stint as a general manager -- where he took over a reeling New York Knicks and ensured they would stay mired in mediocrity for years after his dismissal -- bringing him in to make basketball decisions for any franchise would anger its fans. Even in Detroit, where he was so great as a player. Sure enough, on Sunday a spokesperson for Pistons owner Tom Gores strongly disputed the report from the New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence, calling it "absolutely false," via MLive's David Mayo:

"He is not a candidate for any job with the Pistons," Mark Barnhill wrote about Thomas in an email to MLive.
Barnhill, a partner in Gores' Platinum Equity, wrote that he and Gores had dinner with Thomas a couple weeks ago in Los Angeles but the upcoming Bad Boys reunion "was the sole topic. Period."

"If people are gonna manufacture rumors every time we are seen in the same room as someone, it's gonna be a long few weeks as we head into the Bad Boys reunion and beyond," Barnhill wrote.

For Brian Packey of Detroit Bad Boys, there was never much worry that the team would hire Thomas:

My first reaction to Lawrence's post was literally laughter out loud - LLOL! Thomas' career after playing basketball has been quite the whirlwind. His failings at operating a team are far more substantial than Dumars', and Dumars never cost his organization in an expensive and embarrassing sexual harassment lawsuit. If Gores wants the Pistons to return to glory, he'll leave Thomas' Pistons legacy where it belongs --  retired with No. 11 in the rafters. Don't touch it. Don't even look at it.

Elsewhere, Phil Jackson talked to USA Today's Sam Amick about his role as an "unpaid advisor" for Detroit, and called the team's free agency decisions "curious."

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