New Suns owner Mat Ishbia ‘intends’ to hire Isiah Thomas

Signs are pointing toward an NBA return for Isiah Thomas.

Chris Haynes of Turner Sports reported on Tuesday night that new Suns owner Mat Ishbia “intends to bring on Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas to have a prominent role in the front office.”

Thomas is on the board of Ishbia’s mortgage company, United Wholesale Mortgage.

New Suns owner Mat Ishbia reportedly 'intends' to hire Isiah Thomas into the front office.
New Suns owner Mat Ishbia reportedly ‘intends’ to hire Isiah Thomas into the front office.
Getty Images

Ishbia, who reportedly considered getting into coaching after playing Division I ball at Michigan State, purchased the team from Robert Sarver, who was forced to sell after an NBA investigation into workplace misconduct. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, the 43-year-old is worth $6.19 billion.

Ishbia’s acquisition of the franchise, as well as the WNBA’s Mercury was approved by the NBA with the transaction set to finalize this week.

“It started when I was about 7 years old,” Ishbia told Fox Sports of his passion for basketball. “I just fell in love with it, and I loved watching Isiah Thomas. The way he led his team and his competitive nature made me look up to him. It made me want to get to the NBA.”

Isiah Thomas in 2021.
Isiah Thomas in 2021.
NBAE via Getty Images

Thomas, one of the greatest NBA point guards of all-time, was the president of basketball operations and later coach of the Knicks. During his tenure with the team, the Knicks settled a lawsuit with a former employee Anucha Browne, who alleged sexual harassment, for $11.5 million. Thomas and the Knicks have denied the claims.

Thomas was executive vice president of the Raptors (1994-98) and coached the Pacers from 2000-03. He also served as president of the New York Liberty from 2015 until 2019. Thomas is currently an analyst for NBA TV.

The 61-year-old Chicago native was a 12-time All-Star over his 13-year NBA career that saw him win a pair of championships and two MVP awards with the rough-and-tumble Detroit Pistons. His exploits with the league’s “Bad Boys” earned him entry into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.

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