â†µâ‡¥O'Neal had just turned 22 before his first season under Thomas, who also guided Al Harrington and Jonathan Bender from high school projects to NBA rotation players. O'Neal said Thomas' ability to find and groom talented young players makes Thomas a good fit for college. â†µâ‡¥â†µThis kind of reminds me of the enduring meme of "Isiah, great draft scout." No one really says that anymore because, to invoke the forest and ignore the trees, everything else about the guy has been revealed to be such a trainwreck. Same thing goes for his ability to coach a team of young players and bring them up to a certain point. Sure, we'll grant him that skill, but do you really want all the baggage and distraction that (potentially) comes with it?â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"He's one of the best motivators and teachers I've seen," O'Neal said. "I can't think of any better level for him than college. Those sit-down talks and dinners at his house we had meant a lot and go a long way in helping guys develop as men, too." â†µ
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