Isiah Thomas
AP Photo/Gerry Broome

New Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia intends to tap Naismith Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas for a “prominent role in the front office” and work with general manager James Jones (h/t Bleacher Report and TNT’s Chris Haynes).

Thomas, the former franchise cornerstone and leader of the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons from the entire 80s decade, helped the franchise to clinch its first two titles in a back-to-back fashion. He established himself as one of the game’s all-time greats with that superior playmaking and immense talent as a feisty floor general.

But despite the tons of success he achieved as a player, Thomas has been widely condemned and criticized for his basketball career shift as an executive.

Thomas started his front office tenure for the Toronto Raptors from 1994 to 1997. He proceeded to coach the Indiana Pacers from 2000 to 2003. Amid the team’s talent and blossoming lineup around star swingman Reggie Miller, he wasn’t able to lead them to a needed postseason success.

As such, Thomas was even marred by controversy during his time with the New York Knicks. As the franchise’s president of basketball operations, he placed the Knicks in a gigantic dilemma regarding their salary cap management. His added responsibility to coach the team only worsened the team’s condition, dropping them to a 56-108 record (.341% win rate) for two seasons in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Thomas also received public backlash in his time as a Knick executive, when he was subjected to allegations and a 2006 employment and harassment lawsuit that was filed by Anucha Browne Sanders due to workplace sexual harassment. The case was eventually settled and cost New York to pay $11.5 million.

The Suns had an unwanted experience with ex-governor Robert Sarver with his improper workplace misconduct within the team. Having Thomas on the new regime of Suns’ ownership certainly raises eyebrows on the safety of every team member and the direction of the franchise moving forward.