The Isiah Thomas trial tipped off in Manhattan yesterday with testimony from his accuser. Anucha Browne Sanders is accusing the Knick majordomo of sexual harassment and she was quite willing to share the comments that Thomas made to make her uncomfortable. First and foremost she seems to have a problem with being referred to as "Bitch" at the start of every sentance.
"Bitch, I don't give a f--k about the sponsors ..." Browne Sanders testified Thomas told her. "I don't give a f--k about ticket sales."
She also said Thomas rebuffed her March 2004 request that he sign renewal-request letters sent out to past season ticket holders with a pointed shot at loyal Knick fans.
"Bitch, I don't give a f--k about these white people," Browne Sanders said Thomas told her.
As a white season ticket holder I feel I should weigh in on that last comment by Browne Sanders. It doesn't have any place in this court proceeding. Other than calling her a bitch it doesn't have any place in a sexual harassment case. It's just there to make Thomas look bad to the jury, like he's some kind of loose cannon that will say anything that comes to mind without regard to appropriateness. Beyond that, I don't know why this would come as a shock to anyone who has watched the Knicks play since Thomas was hired by the Dolans. Anyone who signs Jerome James and Jared Jeffries, trades for Stevie Francis and drafts Nate Robinson clearly doesn't give a fuck about ticket sales or the white people who buy said tickets. You don't need Anucha Browne Sanders to tell you that, you just need a program and the slightest knowledge of basketball to know that Thomas isn't interested in making any friends inside Madison Square Garden.
Getting back to the courtroom, Browne Sanders testified that Isiah told her he loved her after playing a game of Horse. He realized that their relationship was like the one in the film "Love and Basketball." I'm not a huge fan of the film, although Omar Epps and sports films remain a winning combination, but I think there's a chance that it wasn't the romantic relationship that Thomas was referencing when he made that comment. If you've seen the movie you're probably familiar with the scene when the USC coach tells Monica that she's starting and she asks him why he's always being so mean to her. "You think I'd go hoarse for a player with no potential? When I ignore you... then you worry," is his response. If Thomas is going to employ a defense using the movie I think that's the direction he should go.