NEW YORK –was fired as coach of the on Friday after a season of listless and dreadful basketball, a tawdry lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding Thomas’ dismissal.
Thomas, the coach for two seasons, will remain with the organization reporting directly to, a rapid fall for Thomas who also was team president a little more than two weeks ago.
“It’s very difficult to be the coach and general manager,” he said. “Maybe it was too much.”
Walsh took over Thomas’ role as team president April 2, and his first big decision was to change coaches as he begins the process of turning around a team that never won a playoff game in Thomas’ tenure.
“I just believe a new voice, a new coach, is necessary to change the direction of the team,” Walsh said. “This is a coveted job. People want to coach here.
“I can’t tell you really where we failed,” Walsh said. “The bottom line is we haven’t won, and the team didn’t look like it was motivated to try to win.”
Two of those 59-loss debacles came in the last three years, when the Knicks solidified themselves as the NBA’s most dysfunctional franchise with poor play on the court and embarrassing behavior off it.
This season alone, Thomas was found to have sexually harassed a former team employee, feuded with point guardand benched center — the players Thomas acquired in the two biggest of a number of moves that never panned out.
Walsh wants a new coach in place by the draft in June, when the Knicks will finally have their lottery pick again after handing over their last two toin the Curry trade.
Walsh said he hasn’t talked to any candidates, but mentioned former Knick and current TV analyst Mark Jackson, and assistant coach Herb Williams as people who likely would be interviewed. He said he has no timetable to make his decision.
“Obviously, when you’re losing, there has to be a culture change,” he said. “There’s no easy answer. … We’ve got to work 24-7 to become competitive.”