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News » Isiah's biggest mistake was losing his wingman

Isiah's biggest mistake was losing his wingman

Isiah's biggest mistake was losing his wingman
Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson need to kiss and make up.

The end of their bromance is the primary reason Thomas' post-playing-career reputation is a cut above O.J. Simpson's and a slice below Tonya Harding's.

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South Florida is the strip club capital of the free world. In this day and age, in the era of blogs, cell-phone cameras, Facebook and starving journalists, you don't build high-profile basketball programs in major cities from scratch, especially with a coach who has a giant bull's eye splattered on his back.

Isiah Thomas isn't John Calipari, and FIU isn't Memphis, a school that had a basketball tradition playing in a conference that once had some traction and a city that desperately wanted the Tigers to succeed.

Miami doesn't need Isiah Thomas or FIU hoops. It has South Beach, Dwyane Wade, the Dolphins, the Heat, the Marlins, lots of sun, and did I mention a dime-piece-loaded strip club off every interstate exit?

Isiah will be nothing more than a sexy, ratings-grabbing target in Miami, a disrespected carpetbagger, a potential threat to the University of Miami's struggling ACC basketball program.

Wednesday afternoon ESPN's Chris McKendry gave Thomas a taste of what awaits him during a fabulously tough and professional live interview on the Worldwide Leader. She grilled Thomas about his sexual-harassment lawsuit and hospital visit after taking sleeping pills. Thomas looked stunned when McKendry asked follow-up questions and he eventually turned to someone off camera and gave a "can-you-believe-this-(spit)" roll of the eyes and laugh.

Believe it, Isiah. There's more to come.

Magic would've explained all of this to Isiah. Magic would've warned Isiah that this FIU experiment is likely to end in NCAA probation and with an entertainer named Destiny giving courtroom testimony that would make Anucha Browne Sanders blush.

Magic would've talked Isiah into standing down and trying something a little more low risk for another year or two. He could coach an elite level AAU team in Chicago. That would've been a great story, Isiah returning to the Windy City to help the next generation of Isiah Thomases.

Instead, he'll head to Miami and drown in the NCAA rulebook and arrogance.

The lesson in all of this is to never leave your wingman. Had Johnson and Thomas never split, Magic would've never tried to be a television talk-show host and Isiah would likely be a successful NBA broadcaster.

You can e-mail Jason Whitlock at

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 16, 2009


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