MIAMI (AP) - A year ago, Isiah Thomas was asked more than a few times about how long he planned to remain coaching at Florida International.
The same question keeps coming these days, too.
He was hired as a consultant for the New York Knicks this past summer, even going as far as to help them try to recruit LeBron James during free agency. James ended up in Miami, of course, and a few weeks later Thomas essentially recommitted himself to the job he has in Miami as well by deciding to rescind his deal with the Knicks.
So the story ends there, right?
Oh, no. Not even remotely close.
Thomas‘ future remains the source of incessant speculation, especially after he was quoted by outlets last week saying that he still dreams of one day running the Knicks. For now, here’s his answer: He likes FIU, believes he’s on the cusp of building a winner at FIU, and will be on the FIU sidelines Friday night when Year 2 of his reign with the Panthers begins against Florida Memorial.
“When the choice was presented, either be a consultant with the Knicks or stay at FIU, I chose to stay at FIU,” Thomas said. “Now, if you would have told me at the start of the summer, I probably would have bet you that I wouldn’t have made the choice to come back to FIU. But I like what we’re doing. I’m excited about what we’re building. I chose the kids, I chose FIU and I’m glad I did.”
The Thomas-Knicks remarriage seemed odd, given that from the time he started as their team president in December 2003 until his firing as general manager and coach in 2008, the Knicks never won a playoff game despite having one of the NBA’s highest payrolls.
Besides, there’s rules keeping those working for NBA clubs from having contact with players not eligible for the draft.
There’s no way Thomas could have bypassed that one if he tried to keep working for both the Knicks and at FIU, where he went 7-25 last season with a roster that had glaring holes; he got the job too late in the recruiting cycle to have a chance at fixing much of anything in his first season.
This time, there’s a little more reason for hope.
The roster looks different. Players are bigger, faster, more athletic. And the holdovers from last season now know what the Hall of Fame player expects.
More importantly, they also know how to deal with the attention FIU gets just by having Thomas around.
“Coach Thomas, that’s a big name,” guard Marvin Roberts said. “He put this team together. If the attention is going to be all on him, if this is going to be Coach Thomas and the Thomases, that’s no problem at all with us.”
Naturally, there are drawbacks to that attention.View Entire Story
By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
We welcome you to the intimate and personal thoughts on the news and events we, as editors, watch, read, and discuss with our writers every day.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention