Detroit Pistons Hall-of-Famer Isiah Thomas has been dismissed as head coach of Florida International University's men's basketball coach. Thomas was hired by FIU in 2009 after a famously disastrous turn as GM of the New York Knicks, which the team is still struggling to emerge from.
Thomas led the Golden Panthers to 26-65 in three seasons as head coach.
Now I might be crazy but ... would the Detroit Pistons have space to give Thomas another attempt to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation?
And I'm only half kidding.
I know, I know, even the most avid Joe Dumars haters would never envision replacing one former great with another, especially one that seems to be even more incompetent if put in charge of a professional sports franchise.
But bear with me. I'm not crazy. Or at least, I don't think I am crazy.
If the Pistons have shown one thing its that they are prepared for the slow rebuild using the draft. They didn't try and unload Ben Gordon or Charlie Villanueva using a high first-round pick as the necessary sweetner. No, it seems that they are ready for the long slog of a couple more years of frustration while bringing along some young talent.
And if Thomas has proved that he has ONE redeeming quality as an executive it is that he is adept at finding NBA talent in the draft. He's not a genius, his record isn't perfect. But in the crap shoot called the NBA Draft, Thomas has a track record of success.
Now, I personally think that Dumars doesn't get enough kudos for his success in the NBA draft but that is an argument for another day. Today, let's examine Thomas' draft record:
1995 Damon Stoudamire (7), Jimmy King (35)
1996 Marcus Camby (2)
1997 Tracy McGrady (9)
1998 Vince Carter (5), Tyson Wheeler (47)
New York Knicks
2004 Trevor Ariza (44)
2005 Channing Frye (8), David Lee (31), Dijon Thompson (54)
2006 Renaldo Balkman (20), Mardy Collins (29)
2007 Wilson Chandler (23)
He had particular success early in the draft with the Raptors and late in the draft with the Knicks. And I would have no problem with Thomas lending his take on some of the players coming out of college this year. A lot of players with high-risk, high-reward all over them. And the Pistons also have a couple second-round picks that if they hit on them could accelerate the rebuilding process.
I'm not saying Thomas should replace Dumars. I'm not even saying that Thomas should even have an official position with the team. But just as I am excited that Dumars has a few statistically minded men in his draft war room, I think it'd be great to get Isiah's take as well.