Finally, the missing piece of the Knicks' road-to-a-championship puzzle has been found: It's Isiah Thomas! The Knicks announced that they rehired their old coach and president as a consultant, saying, "Isiah Thomas brings unique experience as a Hall of Fame player, coach, executive and owner, and we believe having him as part of our organization will be extremely beneficial to the team’s success."

The team also noted. "Isiah was helpful to the team’s senior management during our most recent recruitment efforts, including assisting with the acquisition of Amar’e Stoudemire. He will provide valuable insight and analysis of young prospects from around the world." (But wooing LeBron James didn't work out!) Thomas will continue to coach at Florida International University.

According to the Post, "Thomas has been on a campaign to try to rebuild his image for a return to the NBA, but Dolan risks the backlash of the fans if he gives Thomas a prominent role. Dolan, however, clearly wants to help Thomas... Thomas was 56-108 coaching the Knicks in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, and was president of basketball operations from 2003-08. The team did not win a playoff game in that time, making them only in 2004." Also, there was that whole sexual harassment case that cost the Knicks $11.6 million.

The Daily News adds, "According to a person close to Thomas, he has convinced Dolan that if he were in charge of the Knicks' free agent recruiting efforts, he could do a better job than team president Donnie Walsh or coach Mike D'Antoni of convincing the NBA's young stars to come to New York." (Carmelo Anthony?) But since Thomas is also a college basketball coach, the NBA is reviewing the agreement to make sure its in compliance with league rules.

For a reminder of the Thomas-years, read this 2008 New York magazine story, "Absolutely, Positively the Worst Team in the History of Professional Sports," and our look at the Knicks' lost decade.