WNBA halts Isiah Thomas' application to become a N.Y. Liberty owner

WNBA and Liberty suspend move to give Isiah Thomas an ownership stake in the team

The WNBA said Monday that it has stopped Isiah Thomas' attempt to become an owner of the New York Liberty, at least for now.

The team and league have decided to suspend Thomas' pursuit of partial ownership, according to a statement released by the WNBA, although he is still serving as the team's president.

The Liberty announced in May that Thomas would take over as team president and seek an ownership stake. That puzzled basketball fans given his disastrous run as president and coach of the New York Knicks, which included a sexual-harassment suit that cost Madison Square Garden, the owner of the team, an $11.6-million settlement.

Two days later, the WNBA said it would review the Liberty's decision.

Monday's announcement came in the form of a brief statement that offered little explanation as to why Thomas' pursuit of an ownership stake had been stalled.

“After further discussion and with the season underway, the WNBA and the New York Liberty have agreed to suspend consideration of Isiah Thomas’ application for an ownership interest in the Liberty until further notice," the league said. "The process will resume at a future time as determined by the Liberty.”

Thomas' ownership rights would have been subject to a vote of the WNBA Board of Governors at a later date. 

Phone calls to the Liberty's communications office were not immediately returned.

Thomas was a successful player and former member of the "Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons teams, but his time as the Knicks' president (2003-08) is widely considered one of the most embarrassing executive stints in league history. The team posted eight straight losing seasons and traded away numerous draft picks, turning the franchise into a punch line.

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