Posted by: Jeremy | April 15, 2009

Thomas, seeing what lies ahead, already offers to give money back

Isiah Thomas, ready for his next task

Isiah Thomas, ready for his next task

A new development in the hiring of Isiah Thomas as Florida International University’s head basketball coach — In this morning’s introduction, Thomas announced he’ll donate his first year’s salary to the program. Not a bad gesture, though I realized it was less significant after finding out his five-year contract is only worth $1.1 million total, which makes sense considering where he’s coaching. Not to criticize Thomas — he’s by no means obligated to donate any of his salary — but if he really wanted to make a contribution, why not donate the $12 million the Knicks are paying him over the next two years to stay home.

Anyway, this reminds me of a similar situation from a few years back. Back in 2004, the Raptors picked up Alonzo Mourning and the remaining three years on his contract in the Vince Carter deal with the Nets. Mourning, of course, never played a game with Toronto, choosing not to report before reaching a buyout on his contract. So in the end, the Raptors paid him $9 million to do nothing. Next, the charitable Mourning signs a deal for the rest of the season with Miami for the prorated minimum of something like $100,000, which he generously donates to kidney disease research. Quite a generous sum for a guy that just got paid $9 million for doing nothing…


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