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Thomas makes strong denial of harassment claim

1/27/2006 - NBA New York Knicks

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas delivered another
strong statement Friday, saying he was never in love with the
former team executive that is suing him for sexual harassment.

Thomas attacked the allegations made by Anucha Browne Sanders,
the Knicks' former senior vice president of marketing and business
operations, in a statement he gave before the Knicks' game against
the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden.

Browne Sanders filed a lawsuit Tuesday, saying she was fired
last Thursday "for telling the truth" while going through
internal channels to stop the harassment. She has accused Thomas of
telling her he was "very attracted" to her and "in love" with
her and tried to kiss her.

"First of all, I never, ever made any sexual advances toward
Anucha," Thomas said. "Nor am I in love with Anucha. Nor did I
ever tell her that I was in love with her. Nor did I ever invite
her to any off-site premise to have sex with her."

Thomas also read a statement Wednesday responding to the
charges.

Reached by telephone, Kevin Mintzer, an attorney for Browne
Sanders, said he did not want to comment.

Thomas has received support from throughout the Madison Square
Garden organization, and got more Friday from chairman James Dolan.
Barry Watkins, a spokesman for Dolan, said Dolan has "total
confidence in the long-term strategy of the management team."

Thomas made clear he looks forward to saying more on the matter
when the time comes.

"I hope that when I'm found innocent of these allegations that
you will write it and run it with the same intensity," he said.
"I look forward to my day in court where I am proven right and she
is proven wrong."

In court documents, Browne Sanders said Thomas often berated her
and made crude comments about her to Knicks officials, telling them
not to listen to any of her directions. She also charged that last
month, he hugged and tried to kiss her, and when she pulled away,
he said, "What, I can't get any love from you today?"