Former Florida International head coach Isiah Thomas wants to return to either college basketball or the NBA after being relieved of his duties at FIU in April. In a phone conversation with Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com, Thomas said that he isn't done with his post-playing career in basketball after finishing with a 26-65 record over three seasons with the Panthers.
"I definitely want to be in basketball again whether it be coaching or as a general manager," Thomas said. "My gift is basketball. I would love working with the kids. If it's the right college program, I would consider it. If it's the right GM job or coaching job in the NBA, I would consider it. I love the game. I just want to be in the game."
Thomas, 51, acknowledged that his name consistently comes up whenever an opening with the Knicks is mentioned in the media after forging a strong relationship with owner James Dolan during his tenure with the team. The former Pistons "Bad Boy" served as the president of basketball operations and head coach of the Knicks in which he struggled significantly both on and off the court. Even with the setbacks, Thomas still has a strong view of the Knicks given that many of his friends still work for the franchise.
"I have great friends in the organization," said Thomas. "A lot of them I gave them their first job opportunities in the NBA. The owner and I have a very good relationship. It's an organization I will always root for and will always want them to do well because they're all personal friends of mine."
While it's unlikely Thomas will find his phone ringing for the general manager opening in Orlando or the head coaching job in Charlotte, he should be able to find work as an assistant coach at a collegiate program on the rise or perhaps as a lower-level executive for a middling NBA franchise.