GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -Isiah Thomas believes the best way he can fix the Knicks is by staying on the bench. And in the front office.
Thomas said Saturday that he has no plans to give up either position he has with the team, which sits at 9-26. He has been the president for four years, and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan also made him the coach after firing Larry Brown in June 2006.
And Thomas said he hasn't considered talking to Dolan about whether it's best for the team if he wears just one hat.
``I've never given it that thought. I only think about how fix it, how to make it right,'' Thomas said. ``That's all my time and energy is focused on and until I do that, I'll be here trying to make it right.''
The New York Post, citing an unnamed source, reported Saturday that Thomas told a friend he was considering stepping away from coaching to concentrate on the team presidency.
``That was a lie,'' Thomas said. ``That was just a flat-out lie. I would never, ever, ever quit. Ever.''
Of course, he could eventually be fired, and even Thomas seemed to acknowledge that. Asked about the idea that he could be removed, he responded: ``When that happens, we'll all know.''
Dolan hasn't spoken to the media since giving Thomas a multiyear contract extension in March. And though Thomas insists he believes he'll last all season, he won't say if that belief comes from anything Dolan has told him.
``I think the fact that there hasn't been a change will let you know that when Mr. Dolan wants to do something, he does it,'' Thomas said. ``And I show up for work every day and I said to you before, you're not going to find a person who's going to work harder at this than I am to try to fix it.
``And I'm hellbent on fixing it and I don't like that we're in this situation, but we are and I don't plan on leaving it.''
Still, the speculation that Thomas may be in his final days could make it difficult to deal with his players. In Friday's 99-90 loss to Toronto, Thomas had his second incident in three weeks with a player on the sideline.
Last month, it was a heated exchange with Quentin Richardson during a loss at Charlotte. On Friday, forward Zach Randolph chose to sit toward the end of the bench when he was pulled, seeming to refuse Thomas' request to sit next to him.
Could the players be disrespecting Thomas because they believe they're going to outlast him?
``I don't think that enters into anyone's mind at that time,'' Thomas said. ``I think it's just a heat of the moment thing.''
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