Thomas says he's committed to running Knicks

Updated: February 2, 2005, 8:12 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Isiah Thomas took himself out of the running for the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching job, issuing a statement Wednesday saying he was committed to remaining in his current position as president of the New York Knicks.

The Lakers' job opened up when Rudy Tomjanovich resigned, citing health issues, and Thomas' name was floated as a possible candidate to be the eventual successor.

Isiah Thomas
Thomas says his focus is on a Knicks team that is struggling.

Thomas has maintained he would like to return to coaching some day, although he has ruled out being both coach and president of the Knicks.

New York has lost 14 of its last 16 games to drop from first to fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Thomas made a coaching change a week and a half ago, replacing Lenny Wilkens with Herb Williams.

"All my focus is going into rebuilding this franchise, and any innuendo that I would leave my position because of the difficult stretch the team is currently going through is incorrect," said Thomas, who is on a scouting trip in Europe.

"I have a duty to the organization, to our ownership and to our fans to find ways, both short and long term, to return the Knickerbockers to a championship caliber team, and I am steadfast in that commitment."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press