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Published Oct. 27, 2008

A suburban police chief likened the conflicting accounts of an accidental overdose at Isiah Thomas' home to a "coverup" and rebuked the former Knicks coach Saturday for saying it was his teenage daughter who required treatment.

"It wasn't his daughter," Harrison Police Chief David Hall said. "And why they're throwing her under the bus is beyond my ability to understand."

Authorities were called early Friday to Thomas' Westchester County home, where police said a 47-year-old man was taken to the hospital and treated for an overdose of sleeping pills. Several media outlets reported that police confirmed it was Thomas who went to the hospital.

But reached on his cell phone Friday, the 47-year-old Hall of Fame player told the New York Post he had not been treated for a sleeping pill overdose and that it was his 17-year-old daughter, Lauren, who had a medical issue.

It "wasn't an overdose," he told the newspaper. "My daughter is very down right now. None of us are okay."

Hall forcefully refuted Thomas' statement.

"My cops ... know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female," Hall said. "These people should learn something from Richard Nixon. It's not the crime, it's the coverup."

Voice mails and text messages were left on Thomas' cell phone Saturday. Messages left with Thomas' publicist and two of his attorneys were not returned.

Thomas' son, Joshua, 20, lashed out at Hall's comments.

"Saying that someone is being thrown under the bus when you are talking about health issues is disrespectful," the Indiana University student wrote in a text to the New York Daily News.

"I love both my sister and dad, and am glad that both are doing well. Thanks for all the support, but as a family, we are fine and stronger than ever."

Friday, he also said it was his sister who required treatment.

No suicide note was found, and police were classifying the case as an accidental drug overdose on "a number" of prescription sleeping pills, Hall said. He would not confirm the identity of the hospitalized man.

The developments are the latest drama in what has been a difficult year for Thomas.

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.

"Isiah Thomas spoke with members of the New York Knicks organization and is okay," the Knicks said in a statement. "He is dealing with a family matter, and we will have no further comment."

Bobcats: Lacking a power forward, the team was depending on Sean May's return from knee surgery to fill the gaping hole. After watching an unfit May lumber through eight exhibition games collecting more fouls (22) than rebounds (21), coach Larry Brown believes he isn't ready to play. "It's going to be a committee right now," Brown said when asked who would play power forward.

Trail Blazers: The team exercised its third-year option on center Greg Oden, who missed last season after microfracture surgery on his right knee after being selected No. 1 overall in the draft.