Here we were, glad to see Isiah Thomas handling everything perfectly so far in his tenure at Florida International — even going above and beyond in recruiting — and then the reminder comes along that scandal (even if it’s silly) just seems to follow Isiah around like that jheri curl aroma followed A.C. Green for so many years … Here’s the story: FIU was scheduled to play in the early-season Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, and initially believed their first opponent would be Ohio State. But then they found out the tourney schedule had been changed, and OSU was replaced with North Carolina. Now FIU is pissed, and threatening to pull out of the tourney. “We will not be bullied into a unilateral decision to play North Carolina after we already agreed to play Ohio State,” athletic director Pete Garcia said yesterday. The company that puts on Coaches vs. Cancer said the contract with FIU stated they could play Ohio State or Carolina, but FIU says they were told specifically they’d be playing Ohio State … “I had no idea,” Isiah said. “No one contacted me, our athletic director, no one. Maybe in 2010, 2011 we can play North Carolina, but not this year.” Look, it’s not like Evan Turner and the Buckeyes were gonna unleash any less of a beatdown than Ed Davis and the Tar Heels. Just take the L, enjoy the extra exposure, move on and use it for your own recruiting advantage. (“We play top-notch competition.”) You have to wonder if this has anything to do with Isiah not wanting to kick off the next chapter of his career by losing to Michael Jordan‘s alma mater in a game where Mike may very well be in the building to watch. And crazy how FIU goes from nonexistent on the college basketball map to a relevant player thanks to hiring Isiah, now they’re feeling all entitled … Regarding Isiah’s last job, we read where one Knicks beat writer said Danilo Gallinari has looked good (and healthy) training in Europe this summer, and may even be a “focal point” of New York’s offense. Yeah, good luck with that … With Michael Beasley‘s name still heavy in rotation among NBA circles, Dime’s Gerald Narciso spoke to Mario Chalmers about his teammate’s issues, the Allen Iverson situation, and whether he thinks D-Wade will stay in Miami beyond this season … And later this morning, be sure to come back to DimeMag.com for another exclusive Q&A with Dwight Howard … The FIBA Americas tournament tips off today, with a good matchup right off the bat: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic. Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao lead the Brazilians, while DR has Al Horford, Francisco Garcia and Charlie Villanueva. Two of the guys in this game — Varejao and Charlie V — just happen to have two of the most polarizing contracts in the NBA, but can get started this week proving they’re worth the money … Looking for Troy Bell? We found him … Following the Shaq vs. Pau Gasol debate we had last week, we should re-clarify that our “Who’s Better?” arguments are meant for who’s better right now, not over the course of the players’ careers or in their primes. Remember that when considering yesterday’s matchup: Baron Davis vs. Mike Bibby … Too bad this Dallas Cowboys gigantic scoreboard issue didn’t come along at a better time for the U.S. economy. If Jerry Jones‘ sixty-yards-wide, $40M big-screen debuted back when shows like “Cribs” were in their heyday, you know rappers and NBA dudes would be in an arms race to see who could get the most ridiculously huge TV in their home. We can just hear Zach Randolph now: “I call this the ‘Cowboys’ TV. Yeah, you know I got Scarface on right now. The only two movies I really watch are Scarface and Goodburger.” … We’re out like 1-0 Florida International …
Smack / Aug 26, 2009 / 5:58 am
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