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Isiah Thomas on Miami Heat: Being Hated Is Not a Bad Thing

The Miami Heat is one of the best shows on television and the biggest reason why is because they’re so polarizing. Everyone has an opinion on the Heat: you either like them and want them to win or you hate them and want them to lose. Either way you’re watching their games to see what they do. For that reason and more, Isiah Thomas told our buddy Jorge Sedano on 790 the Ticket in Miami that being hated is not a bad thing:

“Hate is not a bad thing in sports. You need the good guy and the bad guy and not everyone can be the good guy. When you have the good guy matched up against the bad guy, that’s what we all want to see. We don’t want to see two good guys go at it. We want to see the adversaries and the rivalries. Right now I think it’s great for the NBA and it will be great for all these guys in their careers as time moves on that having a little hate and being a little despised that’s not bad all the time. That means that you’re pretty good, you’re touching people’s emotions, a little controversial, and you’re being talked about. That’s what sports is all about. It’s not about the good guy all the time. If they’re chosen as the bad guys that means they’re going to be on television a lot, they’re going to be written about a lot, and they’re going to win a lot of games.”

Between his days on the Bad Boy Pistons and as coach and GM for the Knicks, Isiah knows exactly what it’s liked to be hated. See, the thing is it’s only good to be hated for the right reasons. Being hated because you’re good and the team that always wins is the right reason to be hated. Being hated because of this, this, and this are the wrong reasons to be hated. Good thing Isiah was clear he was talking about being hated for the right reasons considering he knows how bad it is to be on the other end. And after the Heat wins a title this season, they’ll be even more hated.

(thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for the transcription)

Why NBA Is Allowing Isiah Thomas to Consult for Knicks

One of the most bizarre stories in sports the past few days has been the news that the Knicks are hiring Isiah Thomas as a consultant for the organization. This is mind-boggling on several levels. First, Thomas serves as the coach at Florida International University which seems like an inherent conflict of interest because the NBA forbids its employees to have contact with college basketball players. Second, Isiah’s time in New York was miserable and the losing was like he was on “death row.” Lastly, Isiah running the Knicks was like a “three-ring circus” and he cost the organization $11.6 million in a sexual harassment suit.

It’s hard to determine what’s worse: that the Knicks would actually want Isiah back despite him running the franchise into the ground, or that the NBA would allow such an apparent conflict of interest. While there’s no real answer for the former (except that Isiah must have been James Dolan’s favorite player), we do have an answer for the second item. None of the other owners are opposed to Isiah consulting for the Knicks. In fact, they’re all supportive of the move. Their mentality is that whatever team with which Thomas is associated will never be a contender. It’s simple logic, but just compare two scenarios: what would the NBA do if John Calipari said he was going to consult for the Chicago Bulls? And what are they doing with Isiah? The obvious answer is no harm no foul. That’s why Isiah’s case is different.

Isiah Introduced as ‘Isiah Thompson’ for Florida International Press Conference

I already talked about Florida International’s interesting choice of hiring Isiah Thomas as their new basketball coach. I guess when you’re FIU and your only claim to fame is Carlos Arroyo, you might be inclined to bring in a big name to help put you on the map. Problem is, as you’ll see in this video of Jim Rome giving his hilarious take on the matter, Zeke was introduced as “Isiah Thompson” for his introductory press conference Wednesday. Skip ahead to around the 2:10 mark if you want to laugh your ass off.

Think that’s a bad omen? I’d say so. Isiah also got grilled by Chris McKendry in an interview on ESPN. She played hard ball asking him what he’ll say to recruit’s families when they ask about the sexual harassment case, and what really happened with the suicide attempt. Zeke’s classic response was that many of these parents name their children after him and then he passed the suicide thing on to his daughter again, of course. At least some smart person gave him the great idea to donate his first year’s salary back to the school. That’s some genius P.R.

Florida International Committing Basketball Suicide, Hiring Isiah Thomas

After reading that the Clippers were discussing the possibility of hiring Isiah Thomas, there was no doubt Zeke was close to finding a new job. It’s been just over a year since Isiah was canned by the Knicks after costing them years of potential success and over $10 million in a lawsuit. I never thought Isiah would actually get a head coaching job in his first gig back but it appears as if that’s the case. Florida International would rather see their program commit suicide by hiring Thomas than continue to post a sub-.500 record under Sergio Rouco. The hiring is expected to be announced on Wednesday:

”Isiah really wanted to get back into coaching, and wanted to do it at the college level,” said the source. “He was offered some jobs within the NBA, but he feels FIU suits him better right now. He wants to make a clean start, loves Miami, and thinks FIU has a lot of potential because of where it is and because it’s a big school with 38,000 students and a strong alumni base.”

The source said Thomas has always enjoyed eyeing and developing young talent, and the Golden Panthers job is perfect.

Pardon me if I can’t help but laugh after reading the “Enjoyed eyeing and developing young talent” part. In the case of A-mooch-a Brown Sanders, middle-aged talent might be more appropriate. Though the hiring of Isiah could bring the program a ton of publicity and make it easier to recruit, I’m pretty shocked they would turn the reigns over to him. Thomas was a complete screw-up with the Knicks and has proven he can’t run a team or organization. And clearly he’s pretty unstable mentally. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t go with a safer pick — there’s no way this ends well for them.

Knicks Had Spies on Larry Brown

At least that’s what Larry Brown is saying, and who wouldn’t believe him? Well after leaving the Knicks following a situation that developed into a hideous mess, Brown gave an interview to Philadelphia magazine. In the magazine, Brown says that the Knicks spied on him:

Brown, now a Sixers executive, said, “Imagine when you get to work, they don’t talk to you. They had security people standing close to me in press conferences, and spies throughout the arena.”

Brown got in trouble with owner James Dolan not just for the horrendous record but for violating media policies that forbid talking to reporters without a public-relations official present.

Without hearing another side of the story, I’m automatically inclined to believe Brown here. If Dolan wasn’t getting along with Brown and wanted to get rid of him, wouldn’t he have spies on Brown to dig up dirt to find excuses to get rid of the guy? Isn’t that how they reclaimed much of the money owed to Brown? And come on, these are the same Knicks that let Isiah continue employment after he cost them $10 million in a sexual harassment case. Do you really think spies are out of their realm of creepiness? I sure don’t.

Isiah Thomas to Finally Be Fired?

Just as soon as he got crowned Deadspin’s Sportshuman of the Year, this story has to come out. Man, they just don’t let you enjoy your moment in the sun these days, do they? Apparently not, because Frank Isola of the New York Daily News writes that James Dolan is finally leaning towards canning Isiah at the end of the season:

Garden chairman James Dolan recently told confidants that he knows a coaching change must be made and that he is preparing to do just that, according to a source close to Dolan. No timetable was given, but the source indicated that Dolan is leaning toward making a change before the end of the season.

It is not clear whether Dolan would allow Thomas to continue in his role as the team’s highest-ranking decision-maker once he is removed from the bench. Such a scenario would seem unlikely, but Thomas’ survival skills should never be underestimated.

I guess all those rumors about Isiah having naked pictures of Dolan running a salad-tossing train with some trannies might not be true. Though the source of the report is anonymous and somewhat vague, I have to think Isola knows what he’s writing. Sure we all could have guessed Isiah would finally be out after the year, but now it finally seems as if his run could be over. Crazy that it might finally over after all the Isiah garbage and embarrassment Dolan put up with.

Linkage: Isiah Gets Recognized

Isiah Thomas gets his due as the Sportshuman of the Year [Deadspin]

Yankee fan wants refund for steroid tainted games [SPORTSbyBROOKS]

Comparing presidential candidates to their athlete equivalent [Sedano Show]

Jason Kidd‘s having a kid, and the mom’s a hottie! [You Been Blinded]

Baseball Hall of Fame voter left his ballot blank [Foul Balls]

Conflicted fan has a cheesehead with a Seahawks logo [We Are the Postmen]

Dallas Mavs fans are young rappers [Detroit Bad Boys]

Will Clark best first baseman not in the Hall of Fame [Mr. Irrelevant]

ESPN has motivation to overlook Reggie Bush story? [Obscure Sports Quarterly]