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The former Pistons guard and Pacers coach was let go as Knicks coach and president in 2008. He is the new coach at Florida International.
Dan Patrick: What made Chuck Daly a good coach?
Isiah Thomas: He had great patience. When he came to [the Pistons] we were young, and a lot of the personalities hadn't developed yet. Rodman wasn't Rodman, Laimbeer wasn't Laimbeer. He let us grow. He let us make mistakes.
DP: He looked like a businessman, but you guys had a rough style. That's some contrast.
IT: He's very fiery inside. And there wasn't any other way we could have won. He wanted us to be a tough defensive team. If you remember, we led the league in scoring at one point. We scored the most points in history [for one game], against Denver. And he brought us from a great offensive team to a great defensive team, a total transformation. That speaks volumes for his patience.
DP: Why did you take the job at Florida International?
IT: I love basketball. It really is that simple. I love being around the game, I love teaching the game.
DP: How surprised were you when they called you?