NBA Knicks award Thomas extension

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Isiah Thomas got a multiyear contract extension Monday, nine months after he was warned the Knicks needed to show "evident progress" or he'd be out of a job.

With the Knicks in the hunt for a playoff spot, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan went back on his vow to wait until after the season to make his decision, saying that Thomas would return as coach and team president.

Thomas added the coaching duties to his other role in June after Dolan fired Larry Brown following one season. But along with the job came the ultimatum, though Dolan never publicly said what the Knicks needed to do this season to show that progress.

"We were all well aware of the circumstances coming out of last year as far as the ultimatum to win," point guard Stephon Marbury said.

But with New York (29-34) already six wins better than last season and currently eighth in the Eastern Conference, Dolan said the improvement is substantial and Thomas "needs to be recognized now and not wait."

"I believe we have clearly seen significant and evident progress," Dolan said.

-- AP

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