Isiah Thomas says it Was His Daughter who Needed Treatment; Police Dismiss Claim

October 25, 2008 at 7:50 am Leave a comment

isiah-thomas3.jpgFormer New York Nnicks coach Isiah Thomas denied being hospitalized for a sleeping pill overdose Friday, but police dismissed his claims that it was his daughter that required medical treatment.

Police said Friday that authorities attended the Thomas home, and the person hospitalized and treated for the overdose was a 47-year-old man. Thomas is 47.

But reached on his cellphone, Thomas told the New York Post that his 17-year-old daughter Lauren had a medical issue.

It “wasn’t an overdose,” he told the newspaper. “My daughter is very down right now. None of us are OK.”

David Hall, police chief for the town of Harrison in wealthy Westchester County outside New York City, refuted Thomas’ claim about his daughter.

“I understand that this person claims it was his daughter; he is lying,” Hall told the New York Times newspaper. “It was definitely not his daughter, it was a male. We know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female.”

Hall said the case was not a suicide attempt.

“We’re classifying it as an accidental overdose of prescription sleeping pills,” Hall said. “I’m not going to confirm or deny that it was Isiah Thomas. It was an individual at his home.”

He told The Daily News that the man took about 10 Lunesta sleeping pills. “He was unconscious, but breathing on his own,” Hall told the paper.

Thomas’ 20-year-old son Joshua also said it was his sister, not his father, who required treatment.

“He’s fine,” the Indiana University student told the Daily News. “Reports of sleeping pills are false.”

The episode is the latest in a difficult year for Thomas. He was fired as the Knicks coach on April 18 after a season of dreadful basketball, a sexual harassment lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding his dismissal. Still, he was retained by the organization as an adviser and consultant to Donnie Walsh — who had replaced him as president as basketball operations.

“Isiah Thomas spoke with members of the New York Knicks organization and is OK,” the Knicks said in a statement. “He is dealing with a family matter, and we will have no further comment. He has asked that we respect his privacy, and we will.”

Hall said an ambulance and two police officers responded to a 911 call that came in from the Thomas home just after midnight. The victim was taken to White Plains Hospital Center, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the home.

Officials there would not say whether Thomas was a patient, or identify the overdose patient.

As a player, Thomas was one of the NBA’s great point guards, winning titles with the Detroit in 1989 and 1990. In college, he led Indiana to a national championship in 1981.

He joined the Knicks as the team president in December 2003 and became coach in June 2006 after Larry Brown was fired.

Source: AP


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