Posted by rtmsf on April 13th, 2009
If this were April 1st, we’d definitely be wondering about the veracity of this story, but both Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports and Andy Katz at ESPN are reporting that Mr. Congeniality, Isiah Thomas, may be close to accepting the head coaching job at Florida International University (apparently the school is located in Miami, which suddenly reveals a modicum of why to this story). The former head coach, Sergio Rouco, was reassigned after a 55-94 record over five seasons.
You may remember Mr. Thomas (not to be confused with the mercurial rising star Isaiah Thomas from the Washington Huskies) from his days as a player at Indiana (national champs in ’81), or as a Detroit Piston (world champs in ’89 and ’90), or as a relatively successful Indiana Pacers coach, or his most recent disastrous stint as team president and coach for the New York Knicks. If Thomas actually takes this coaching position, he’ll join other Sun Belt retreads John Brady (LSU to Arkansas St.) and Mike Jarvis (St. John’s to Florida Atlantic) as coaches with the uncanny ability to turn water to vomit in the blink of an eye. Somewhere Stephen A. Smith, Bill Simmons and Will Leitch all began independently yet simultaneously typing in unison.
The problem with Thomas in New York was his utter incompetence in the ability to successfully put a team together (well, that and the sexual assault thing). He seemed to believe that having fifteen me-first guards on the roster was a healthy concoction, and the thought of him getting to craft and coach his own team of players in the combustible environment of Miami should break all kinds of blogosphere records throughout his tenure there.
On its face, this job makes absolutely no sense unless Thomas is now importing packages through South Florida from Bolivia and he wants to keep a close eye on his product. He has absolutely no college coaching experience whatsoever, and the truth is that he still could have gotten a bigger ‘name’ job had he heretofore shown any interest. Additionally, why wouldn’t he wait for another NBA opening? He may be damaged goods in many fans’ eyes, but that’s never stopped stupidity in the form an NBA GM before. At least Thomas would still be in his comfort zone, though. We can already envision Thomas trying to sell an unsuspecting mother of some 16-year old prodigy on the virtues of FIU Basketball, with his snakeskin shoes and 100-watt smile beaming across the room.
Come to think of it, maybe this will make for a good fit after all.