Anucha vs. Isiah: No One Really Wins

By Jerald L. Hoover
Updated: September 20, 2007

NEW YORK Where there’s smoke there certainly fire, so the old saying goes.

And that takes into account whether it’s a towering inferno, a forest fire or just a small burning bush set atop of a hill.

Usually when the dust settles and the ashes are evident there is major carnage.

Such could be the case in this horrifying trial of “who dunnit” and “who didn’t do it”.

The sexual harassment case between former New York Knicks vice president of marketing, Anucha Brown Sanders and current Knicks president and head coach Isiah Thomas has all the makings of a made for television drama akin to “Dallas”, “Falcon Crest” and “Dynasty”.

The only problem with this is that once the director yells: “action”, “cut” or “that’s a wrap”, the actors and actresses go out for drinks or go home to their families and call it a day.

But, in this wise there will be no such thing without backlash and scars; some of which may linger forever. To which in hindsight one has to question the wisdom or lack there of the Garden and their legal counsel for allowing Isiah and others to take the stand.

One could ask was the millions (supposedly saved from not conceding on a financial settlement) really worth their weight in gold at the expense of shattered reputations? Maybe perhaps lost jobs because of what has been revealed?

A lost or breach of trust over the results of cross exams gone array?

Or damning testimonies from disgruntled former employees that made its way to the print media for the entire world to form an opinion?

With all that has been said and done the answer is probably, NO!

No, I would never suggest that a corporation or a company should just go about giving away its monies to satisfy claims for this reason and that reason.

But, after the legal team had a chance to view the deposition and knowing full well that it would be on blast so to speak once it was made public there should have been a conversation in the back room to discuss figures.

Reason being, for one can the Knicks or the NBA for that matter really afford another public relations setback such as this? With the Knicks it seems like the drama never ends. Last year, this time there was the Larry Brown mess.

But, that pales in comparison to this nightmare.

The one thing that is so said in this case is that in the Garden/Knicks hierarchy Brown Sanders and Isiah were in the top five in command, prestige and power.

You had James Dolan the CEO and head honcho, then there’s Steve Mills (a Black man) then you had Isiah and then Brown Sanders.

Then you have one or two others who rounded out the “wall of distinction”.

If one were to go back in time say 30 to 40 years ago when civil rights, equality for all, human rights and having a fair shake at life in general, was what African Americans were fighting and in so many cases dying for and to see this played out on the screen like this is purely ridiculous.

You have two high powered and wonderfully paid African Americans fighting in public in a disgraceful and otherwise malicious way is a setback to all that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and all of the other famous and not so famous civil rights leaders, marchers, martyrs and protesters stood for.

In the end, who wins this game of chicken?

Someone needed to take a Time Out!