Rest easy, fans of teams all over the NBA: Isiah Thomas won’t be coming to coach your team. As Thomas told ESPN.com, “In terms of going back as a coach, I don’t see myself doing that.” But be afraid — be very afraid: he wants to come back as a general manager.
Right now it appears that the good old boys who accommodate both the NBA and NCAA won’t allow him to be an NBA GM and head coach of Florida International University’s basketball team, and thank God for that. FIU fans don’t want to see Thomas distracted — after all, he did post a 7-25 record in his first season, and things could get worse.
On the other hand, they might get better. After all FIU’s won-lost percentage last season was .220, and in Thomas’s last year with the Knicks, 2007-2008, the team’s won-lost percentage was .280 (23-59).
What is more baffling than why FIU would have hired Thomas in the first place is why Knicks owner James Dolan would bring Thomas back to as a “consultant.” No, there’s one thing even more puzzling than that: the response of some of those in the New York sports media, such as William C. Rhoden in Sunday’s New York Times:
“Some Knicks fans still feel Thomas should spend the rest of his life trying to gain their forgiveness. That’s a fool’s mission, and he should have none of it.
“Isiah Thomas was given a second chance; Knicks fans also got a second chance, to move in.”
Thomas’s PR agent couldn’t have said it better. Let’s try saying it a different way: Isiah Thomas has done nothing to indicate he deserves a second chance. And so far as Thomas is concerned, they don’t want him to have a second chance. A Knicks fans idea of “moving on” means leaving Isiah Thomas and his era behind.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 9, 2010