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Isiah Thomas close to deal with Florida International


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From the New York Knicks to Florida International University?

That could be the curious career path for former NBA star and coach Isiah Thomas, who is the frontrunner to replace Sergio Rouco at the Sun Belt Conference school.

Sources indicate that FIU is close to striking a deal with Thomas, 47, a Hall of Famer who spent 13 seasons with the Detroit Pistons. According to one source close to the negotiation, an announcement could be coming as soon as Wednesday — just two days after the school fired Rouco after five years and a 55-94 record.

Thomas led Indiana Pacers to the playoffs in each of his three seasons at the helm (2000-2003) before being fired.

Thomas was then hired as president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks and ultimately replaced Larry Brown as head coach in 2006.

He was 56-108 in two seasons in New York before being fired shortly after Donnie Walsh joined the franchise in April 2008.

Florida International was 13-20 this past season — its fifth consecutive losing season.

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