Florida International stinks at basketball, so I guess they figured—if we're going to stink we might as well leave a spectacular stench all over the basketball world. That's the only explanation for hiring Isiah Thomas.
Let's take a look at what Isiah Thomas' credentials are to run a college basketball team. None. He played two years for Bobby Knight almost 30 years ago and, for all we know, hasn't set foot on a college campus since. He was a lousy coach in the pros, taking a conference champion to a .500 record and three straight first-round playoff defeats. He has never given the slightest indication that he would be anything but mediocre on the bench.
But he's more of an executive type, right? His experience can probably straighten out a troubled organization? Except in that department he's even worse. He ruined both a historically proud NBA franchise and a completely unblemished one, and also single-handedly bankrupted an entire league. He's been a total disaster in any sort of management role that he's had.
His basketball resume alone should disqualify him from ever getting another job in the sport again, but that's before we even get to his numerous off-the-court issues. There was the $11 million sexual harassment lawsuit, other accusations of racism, misogyny, general jerkiness, and ... oh yeah ... the man (probably) overdosed on sleeping pills and then tried to claim that it was his daughter who got carted away in an ambulance. That was six months ago. How has everyone forgotten about that?
Will Florida International get better? It would be hard not to. They're a lousy team in a lousy conference, but Isiah's presence alone will probably get them a game or two on ESPN and more interest from top recruits. The one good thing that everyone always says about Thomas is that he has a knack for finding talent, which I guess is not untrue. But do you really think he's interested in flying around the country and eating meatloaf in the living rooms of high school kids? Or even opening the NCAA rule book? I guarantee you he leaves that school with at least one major recruiting violation. FIU is selling their soul and they know it, but what do they really have to lose?
Oh, and his popcorn his terrible.
Former New York Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas named coach at Florida International [NJ Star-Ledger]