Reports have come out of Los Angeles that the Clippers have contacted Isiah Thomas to be their coach, general manager, and president. Thomas is currently the head coach at the prestigious Florida International University, who have all of zero NCAA Tournament wins in school history.
My first reaction to this was that the Clippers must have been playing some sort of cruel joke on Thomas, but with a newly opened vacancy, the Clippers are in need of a head coach. Mike Dunleavy, who has not fared much better in Los Angeles than Thomas did in New York, was relieved of his head coaching duties earlier in the week.
While Clippers executives have called these reports "ridiculous" and "irresponsible," even the thought of Isiah Thomas calling the shots should make Clippers fans quiver with fear.
Let's all take a minute to refresh our memories and think back to the Isiah Thomas days. No, not his Hall of Fame playing days, but his executive days.
First, Thomas decided to buy the Continental Basketball Association in 1998 for $10 million. Thomas quickly ran that league into the ground, as they went bankrupt in 2001. Numerous CBA managers put the blame on Thomas and and his knack for wasteful spending as the reason for the quick demise of the league.
Thomas came to the New York Knicks in late 2003 with high expectations, but his tenure was rocked by scandal and a plethora of horrible player personnel decisions.
Thomas turned a once-proud franchise with the highest payroll in the National Basketball Association to the laughingstock of the league. He not only tarnished the franchise's reputation, but damaged his own, to the point where the only place he was wanted was with the Golden Panthers from Florida International.
During his tenure in New York, Thomas embarrassed the franchise with an ugly sexual harassment trial in which the Knicks ultimately had to pay Anucha Brown Sanders $11.5 million.
While he was known to have a keen eye for talent in the draft, he more often traded away draft picks for mediocre players with expensive contracts. Although he did bring in David Lee and Wilson Chandler, two key players for today's Knicks, he also traded away Trevor Ariza and passed up on Rajon Rondo for Renaldo Balkman.
The same Isiah Thomas who once gave Jerome James a $20 million contract for playing well in one postseason, traded for players with big contracts like Steve Francis, Jalen Rose, Jamal Crawford, and Eddy Curry and acquired Stephon Marbury, one of the biggest disasters in New York sports history, is now being asked to turn around the Los Angeles Clippers' franchise.
While the Clippers are notoriously one of the worst franchises in the NBA, they are poised for future success. With last year's No. 1 draft pick, Blake Griffin, future All-Star Chris Kaman, two-time All-Star Baron Davis, and good young players like Eric Gordon and Al Thorton, the Clippers look to be a force in years to come.
Adding Isiah Thomas, a man who has proven his inability to run an NBA franchise, would quickly negate the positive steps that the Clippers have recently taken and turn them once again into the NBA's worst.