Just a couple of weeks into his new gig as Florida International University basketball coach, Isiah Thomas is already beginning to exhibit his world-famous people-person charm.
High school forward and Jacksonville native Chris Rozier had been offered a b-ball scholarship to FIU before Thomas got there. But apparently the new coach didn't like the cut of the kid's jib. As reported by the Jacksonville Times-Union this weekend, Thomas withdrew the offer just a few months before Rozier would've reported to the school. The young athlete found a safety net, his hometown Jacksonville University, but we're taking Thomas's harsh move as an indication that (1) he's going to be running FIU's formerly low-key basketball program with the business-never-personal attitude of an pro coach, and (2) that might not bode well for the Golden Panthers' morale or winning percentage, given, you know, his recent history in the NBA.
"I think it could have been handled more professional, especially when
you consider the people involved are supposed to be professionals," [Rozier's high school coach Bruce] Rosebrock said. "I've gotten calls from several college coaches
apologizing for the way that Chris was treated by FIU. They were
apologizing for their profession."
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Riptide has a feeling Thomas is just getting started on leaving a wake of resentment throughout Miami. If there's a beloved 101-year-old popcorn vendor at U.S. Century Bank Arena, he should probably spruce up his resumé. Ditto for any mentally challenged mop boy.