With Isiah Thomas at the helm, Florida International University finished 11-19 this season, last in the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference. The upside is that Thomas has recruited five blue-chip prospects, but he will make no promises about taking the big step.
There has been speculation that his relationship with Knicks chairman James Dolan would lead to a return to New York after a brief stint as a Knicks consultant. Thomas quickly dropped that title, but many believe he was offering advice to Dolan during the Carmelo Anthony trade discussions.
The university appears committed to Thomas, and he remains based in South Florida until further notice. It would give the school peace of mind if Thomas pledged a long-term commitment, but he won’t.
“You’ve got to remember, I’ve been on the public stage since I was 17 years old,’’ he said. “And basketball has its own journey in terms of where it takes you. No one really knows where you’ll end up tomorrow.
“I believe the universe places you where you need to be at that time. And all I can do is be physically, mentally, and educationally prepared for wherever the universe takes me. I’m prepared for the challenge.
“You try to do the best where you’re at, and when basketball takes you someplace else, that’s where you go. My journey is no different from any other coach’s or player’s journey. My journey is just speculated on a little bit more.’’
Thomas served as the Knicks' president from December 2003 to April 2008, guiding the team to one playoff appearance over that span.