Late last week brought the hilarious news that former New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations and head coach Isiah Thomas was returning to the organization as a consultant. Now, to most reasonable people, it would seem like a bad idea to rehire someone who is directly responsible for setting your franchise back a decade with poor personnel decisions and a well-publicized sexual harassment lawsuit, but Knicks owner James Dolan is clearly not most reasonable people.
Buoyed by the latest Isiah news, SB Nation AZ has learned that the following Arizona sports figures have passed their resumes along to their former employers for consideration:
Wally Backman - Currently the manager of the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones, the scrappy former Mets infielder was the Arizona Diamondbacks manager for all of four days in November of 2004. As it turns out, Mr. Backman had a few arrests and various other financial troubles the D-Backs weren't acutely aware of and it resulted in a managerial tenure that even Al Pedrique scoffed at.
But time heals all wounds, does it not? Let's bring Wally back into the D-backs family; maybe he can even stay a full week this time!
Rick Tocchet - This former Coyotes assistant coach received a two year suspension from the NHL in 2006 for his involvement in a sports gambling ring. Although his gambling ring didn't involve bets on hockey, it did include multiple NHL players and the wife of then-current Coyotes head man Wayne Gretzky.
What makes this situation different from the others is Tocchet did actually return to the bench in 2008 for the end of the season. Yet another reason the Gretzky tenure was just baffling.
But now that on-ice fortunes have shifted for the Coyotes under Dave Tippett, wouldn't it be a great time for the currently out of coaching Tocchet to get his second chance? Because what bankrupt team without a solid ownership group doesn't need a guy willing to take your $1,000 parlay of the Rams and the under?
Hedake Smith - Though the former Sun Devil guard wasn't in the employ of Arizona State, he was at the center of a point shaving scandal that rocked the college basketball world.
During the 1993-94 season, Smith conspired with a campus bookie to make a few (thousand) bucks by holding the ASU margin of victory under the point spread for the contest. Suspicious as to how they were continually taking a beating in Arizona State hoops, casinos tipped off the Pac-10 and the situation was investigated. What resulted was a year in prison for Smith and a black mark following him wherever he went.
Seems to me that everything about that resume reads "Arizona State Director of Compliance." Make it happen, Lisa Love.