NEW YORK (AP) -NBA commissioner David Stern won't punish Isiah Thomas or Madison Square Garden for their role in a sexual harassment trial that embarrassed the Knicks and the league.
``Instead, we are going to continue to focus our attention on a league-wide program ensuring that all teams have appropriate policies, clearly communicated to their employees, focusing on respect in the workplace including the prohibition of sexual harassment,'' Stern said in a statement.
On Monday, Thomas and MSG settled the case brought by former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders for $11.5 million. A jury awarded her $11.6 million in punitive damages in October - a trial Stern wanted the Knicks to avoid, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
The person, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak about the matter, said he didn't know if Stern ever told MSG chairman James Dolan of his wishes to settle without going to trial.
Stern did criticize the Knicks in an ESPN interview in October. Asked what was learned by the trial, the commissioner responded: ``It demonstrates that they're not a model of intelligent management. There were many checkpoints along the way where more decisive action would have eliminated this issue.''
Though frequently asked, Stern has refused to discuss specifics of his conversations with Dolan.
``The NBA is pleased that the parties have agreed to a settlement that dismisses the litigation,'' Stern said in the statement. ``I had previously determined not to consider any action against the Knicks while the litigation was still pending, which, with appeals, could have been several years. In light of the settlement, which I strongly supported, I have decided to take no further action.''
The Knicks had no new comment.
In Monday's statement, MSG said it disagreed with the jury's decision ``however, at the strong request of commissioner Stern and in the interest of focusing on basketball, we can all agree that it is time for us to move on and put this issue behind us.''
The deal came as Browne Sanders prepared to return to U.S. District Court in Manhattan this week for the compensatory damages phase of her civil trial, ending the appeal process and freeing Stern to issue his ruling.
At the league's Board of Governors meetings in October, Stern said he was waiting to decide if he would take action, because he didn't want to issue a penalty he would potentially have to take back if the decision was overturned by appeal.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Tim Duncan retires The San Antonio Spurs lost their franchise player on Monday, as Tim Duncan elected to retire after an amazing 19-year...
Thumbnail Rockets give Harden an extension The Houston Rockets locked up their star player for years to come, announcing an extension with James Harden on...
Thumbnail OKC's title odds plummet without Durant Following the announcement that Kevin Durant will be signing with the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder's NBA title...
Thumbnail Durant heading to Golden State The shoe finally dropped in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, as he has elected to sign with the Golden State Warriors for next...
Thumbnail Warriors now 2/3 to win title with Durant The Golden State Warriors were already favored to win the 2017 NBA Finals championship, but their odds improved even more after...
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages