WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Officers who responded to Isiah Thomas' home after a 911 call reporting an overdose on sleeping pills found a man passed out on the floor and gave him oxygen until an ambulance arrived.
Former New York Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas points to a malfunctioning scoreboard during their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Oregon, February 1, 2008. [Agencies]
Authorities have not publicly identified Thomas as the victim, but a person familiar with the case, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official police report has not been released, has confirmed it was the former NBA star and Knicks coach.
On Tuesday, Harrison Police Chief David Hall provided new details about last week's emergency in which officers were handed a bottle of prescription pills at Thomas' Westchester County home.
Hall said the bottle had a name on it, but he would not disclose the precise medication. He said police called the overdose accidental because there was no suicide note and no indication the victim suffered from depression.
Hall continued to criticize Thomas for not acknowledging he was treated for the overdose and for saying it was teenage daughter, Lauren, who had a medical issue.
Thomas' spokesman, Jesse Derris, said, "This continues to be a private family matter and the family respectfully asks for privacy." A call to Knicks spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz was not immediately returned. Thomas, fired as coach last April, still works for the team.
Some of the latest details about the Thomas case were first reported by Newsday.
Hall said the 911 call made late Thursday from Thomas' multimillion-dollar home in the Purchase section of Harrison went first to state police, then to Harrison. Harrison police on patrol nearby got to the scene first, saw a 47-year-old man on the floor and went into "standard operating procedure," Hall said. They administered oxygen until an ambulance crew arrived and took over, eventually lifting the man onto a gurney and taking him to White Plains Hospital.
He said it was his department's first call to Thomas' house. An emergency services log, with the names of the caller and the patient blacked out, indicates the ambulance arrived at the house minutes before midnight.
Hall said someone at the house gave his officers a prescription bottle, and the officers gave it to the ambulance crew so the hospital doctors would know about it. They then searched the house for other medications that might have been involved but found none, he said.
As a player, Thomas won NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990 and an NCAA championship with Indiana in 1981. He joined the Knicks as the team president in 2003 and became coach in June 2006 after Larry Brown was fired.
He was fired as the Knicks' coach April 18 after a season of dreadful basketball, a tawdry sexual harassment lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding his dismissal. Still, he was retained by the organization as an adviser and consultant.