Who knew that Isiah Thomas had so much in common with Rich Rodriguez? Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski claims the Knicks have conducted clandestine workouts with draft prospects in the Atlanta suburbs, a practice that violates NBA regulations.
Knicks director of East Coast scouting Rodney Heard coordinated and conducted the sessions, three players who were involved in some of the workouts told Yahoo! Sports “ including one May 2007 session that resulted in a devastating knee injury to Kansas All-American Brandon Rush (above). A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in Rush™s right knee forced him to withdraw from the 2007 draft and required surgery plus six months of rehabilitation.
In addition to the Rush session “ which was an apparent violation of NBA bylaws forbidding teams from working out players before the annual predraft camp “ Heard may have broken more rules by conducting predraft workouts with additional players during restricted time periods in 2007 and for excessive sessions in 2009 and 2010.
¢ League sources with knowledge of the workouts said Heard trained forward Wilson Chandler for multiple weeks before the 2007 predraft camp. The Knicks went on to draft Chandler with the 23rd overall pick that year
Rush, now a member of the Indiana Pacers, said he was injured during a workout with Heard at a gymnasium connected to the former home of former NBA player Shareef Abdur-Rahim in Marietta, Ga. Rush had previously maintained that he sustained the injury in a pick-up game in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo. Multiple NBA executives, who researched Rush for the following draft in 2008, and sources in college basketball, the sneaker industry and those close to Rush and Heard said they were aware the injury happened in a workout with the Knicks.
While it’s tempting to view the above allegations as more evidence of MSG being the World’s Most Ethically Challenged Arena, give Thomas and Heard this much credit ; at least they opted to draft someone else after they’d assisted in torpedoing Rush’s career.