The New York Daily News is reporting this afternoon what has been rumored for the last couple of days: Isiah Thomas is the new Head Coach of men's basketball at Florida International. While some may feel this is rock bottom for Thomas, I think this is a good move for him. He needed to get out of the spotlight and out of a big-time situation where he was counted on to come through on the grandest of scales. Expectations will be much lower at FIU where, in a one-bid conference, just getting to the NCAA tournament will be a huge accomplishment. Based in the Sun Belt Conference, the school in basketball circles might best be known for producing Raja Bell or Carlos Arroyo (stump your friends with that trivia).
By no means do I give him a pass on nearly destroying my favorite team - the New York Knicks - but now that they seem to have things going in the right direction, I can back off my grudge with Isiah. This latest move officially removes him in all facets from the Knicks franchise, and that is a great feeling. Why do I think FIU or any mid-major college is a good stop for Isiah? I think Isiah is well-suited for the position of college coach. Say what you want about his decisions as a general manager, but the one thing the guy could always do was evaluate talent, something that is a great asset as a college recruiter. Secondly, he is has that smile. That smile will win over potential boosters and supporters of the program. Lastly, he is Isiah Thomas, and while he piloted train wrecks in Toronto, Indiana, the CBA, and New York, before all of that he was a heck of a player and that - possibly, hopefully - should resonate with recruits who don't have the juice to cut it at a higher level.
I know college hoops just ended, but I am looking forward to next season to see that smile patrolling the sidelines, on those road trips to Louisiana-Lafayette and other southeastern stops that never made your college tour. It will also be nice to see him square off against another New York City castoff in Mike Jarvis who is holding it down at Florida Atlantic. Regardless, Isiah is back, whether you wanted it or not.
-Posted by Cadillac Mescallade
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