The Knicks appear to be admitting that defeat in the LeBron James derby. The Daily News reports, "The Knicks formally introduced their newest signing, [Amare] Stoudemire, at a noon press conference, but while the club was happy to add a player of his caliber it was clear that the entire organization looked like a defeated group." Donnie Walsh, president, said, "I'm going to be happy today no matter what happens. We got Amar'e Stoudemire," while Knicks owner James Dolan said, "It takes courage to play where the lights shine the brightest."
And apparently Dolan sent former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas to convince LeBron James to join the team. Stephan A. Smith, who has claimed that James would be going to Miami in a while (well, he did have a 20% chance of being right), reported on the meeting, giving the News the chance to remind readers of Thomas' associations with the Knicks:
"The News has learned that Dolan handpicked Thomas over Mike D'Antoni to make the final plea to James, a decision which only fuels speculation that Thomas may eventually return to work for the organization in some capacity.
Thomas was demoted two years ago and just months after the Garden reached an out of court settlement with a former executive who had accused Thomas of sexual harassment. The Garden was found liable in the lawsuit.
Thomas worked for the club as a consultant for one season but not before being rushed to the hospital in September 2008 for what was called an accidental overdose of prescription medication. Last summer, Thomas accepted the head coaching job at Florida International University in Miami."
Some Knicks officials are already spinning the LeBron-goes-to-Miami rumor; one told the News, "By going to Miami there is less pressure on him. If the Heat lose, it's because of Wade, Riley and LeBron. Maybe he just didn't want the pressure of playing in New York." Or maybe he wants to win a championship FAST.