Knicks president hopes to foster relationships
MADRID -- New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas visited Real Madrid on Sunday at the start of a European tour in which he is hoping to establish good relations with the continent's clubs.
The Detroit Pistons legend met Real Madrid general director Lolo Sainz on Sunday to discuss future relations with the Spanish League club, then watched Tau Ceramica win, 74-69.
"It's not the first time that I've come to Europe," Thomas told www.realmadrid.com. "But now I have decided to come here, not to follow players, but to establish relations, make new friends and make new contacts with clubs. I wanted to see how this historic and prestigious organization in Europe, such as Real Madrid, works."
Accompanied by Knicks European scout Kevin Wilson, Thomas was a guest of honor at the weekend's ACB League game between Madrid and Tau Vitoria.
The Knicks have had good relations with Real Madrid ever since signing Polish power forward Maciej Lampe, who had come through Madrid's youth teams.
"Thomas had an excellent image of our club following our relations with respect to Lampe's transfer," Sainz said. "Thomas believes that the moment has come to relaunch the links between the NBA and Europe."
The interest of NBA franchises in European basketball has increased in recent months.
Three weeks ago, Madrid received a visit from Golden State Warriors vice president Chris Mullin -- a member of the famous "Dream Team" that won the gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Meanwhile, Italian champions Montepaschi Siena recently confirmed a future collaboration with the San Antonio Spurs.
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