Trouble and Thomas have gone hand in hand ... Mighty Mouse eyes coaching role ... Bobcats must regret drafting May

FRANK ZICARELLI

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

The truth often gets blurred and at times stretched whenever Isiah Thomas finds himself the centre of attention.

There are front-office employees, including those in Toronto, who have been touched by Thomas' heart.

He genuinely cares for people, but there always has been this shadow of suspicion, no matter where Thomas has ended up and no matter what he does.

As much as people want to believe him, this cloud of doubt always seems to hover over Thomas.

Known as the "Smiling Assassin" during a Hall of Fame playing career, Thomas made news on Friday when authorities were called to his Westchester County home in suburban New York City amid conflicting reports that a 47-year-old man was taken to hospital and treated for an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.

Those who know Thomas best, people such as Glen Grunwald and Brendan Suhr, each with ties to the Raptors, insist he has been feeling well, dismissing any notion that Thomas was in the throes of being depressed.

Let's hope they're right.

But history has shown that trouble and Thomas, inconsistencies and untruths, have gone hand in hand.

Thomas has fought for everything in life after surviving the ghetto life that was his childhood in Chicago.

Even when he appeared in front of cameras as a club executive, the ghetto instincts never left Thomas.

He is the ultimate survivor, but one who appears tormented by his past.

THE WILDCATS' MEOW

The Raptors' original franchise player, Damon Stoudamire, has expressed an interest in serving as an assistant coach at the University of Arizona, his alma mater.

When Thomas ran the expansion Raptors, Mighty Mouse became his first draft choice.

Stoudamire bolted town the moment Thomas lost his ownership tug of war midway through the Raptors' third season.

The Arizona Wildcats have produced countless NBA players.

"They know I'd work hard because that's who I am," Stoudamire said in an interview with the Tucson Citizen.

"I know the game. I think it would be a dream situation to go back to my alma mater and help out. I think it would be a great opportunity. I know Tucson. I know Arizona.''

Stoudamire isn't on a current NBA roster, but says he's in shape just in case he receives a call.

Of all the players who have come through Toronto, perhaps none has matured as much as Stoudamire.

The fact he is even contemplating a career in coaching says as much.

Given his ability to see the floor, he would make a good coach.

MAY-BE, MAY-BE NOT

Sean May never should have been drafted in the first round, but given his North Carolina roots and family pedigree he was. Now the Charlotte Bobcats probably are regretting their choice.

Because he always is out of shape, May's recovery from microfracture surgery has been slow.

New Bobcats head coach Larry Brown isn't sure how many minutes May will get or what kind of impact his power forward will have this season.

"We've got to get Sean in better shape," Brown said. "That's really critical."

May has played a total of 58 games during his three-year pro career.

After helping to lead the Tar Heels to an NCAA title, May, whose father Scott May played in the NBA, was taken 13th overall.

BUZZER-BEATERS

Canadian Joel Anthony is a lock to make the Miami Heat, at least it would appear. Anthony has emerged as the first big man off of the Heat's depleted bench. Toronto native Jamaal Magloire remains sidelined because of a broken hand ... First overall pick Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls suffered a hip flexor injury on Friday, but says he is fully prepared to play on opening night ... Under the department of arcane is the NBA's salary cap, Darius Miles was trying to make a comeback from a debilitating knee surgery that required microfracture surgery. The Boston Celtics took a chance, but recently cut Miles, who came to the pros straight out of high school. Had Miles played 10 games this season or next, the remaining $18 million US on the contract he signed with Portland would go back on the Blazers' books.


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