Isiah Thomas

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Basketball player
Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas
Player information
Full name Isiah Lord Thomas III.
Nickname Zeke
birthday 30th April 1961 (age 59)
place of birth Chicago , Illinois , United States
size 185 cm
position Point guard
college Indiana University
NBA draft 1981 , 2nd pick , Detroit Pistons
Jersey number 11
Clubs as active
1981-1994 Detroit Pistons United StatesUnited States
National team
000001979 United StatesUnited States United States
Clubs as coaches
2000-2003 Indiana Pacers 2006-2008 New York Knicks 2009-2012 Florida International UniversityUnited StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States

Isiah Lord Thomas III. (Born April 30, 1961 in Chicago , Illinois ) is an American basketball coach and former basketball player. Between 1981 and 1994, the 1.85 meter tall point guard played in the North American professional league NBA with the Detroit Pistons . He led the team called "Bad Boys" in 1989 and 1990 to their first two NBA titles.

The end of his active career as a player in the NBA was followed by that of the manager in various NBA teams. During the NBA 50th Anniversary Celebration, he was named one of the top 50 players in league history .

Youth and college

Thomas was born in Chicago , Illinois and was the youngest of nine brothers and sisters. He played basketball for St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois for coach Gene Pingatore. Thomas had to drive 90 minutes a day to get from home to the private school. In the first year he led St. Joseph to the state finals. From 1979 to 1981 Thomas played at Indiana University under coach Bobby Knight . In the last of his two years, his team won the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship and Thomas was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player .


Detroit Pistons (1981-1994)

In the 1981 NBA Draft , Thomas was selected second by the Detroit Pistons and signed a four-year contract for $ 1.6 million. At the end of his debut season he was elected to the NBA All-Rookie Team and in 1982 he was allowed to play on the grid for the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star Game . In the first round of the 1984 NBA playoffs , the Pistons faced the New York Knicks to Bernard King . In the fifth game in the series, Thomas had one of his most memorable moments as a player in the NBA; he scored 16 points in the last 94 seconds of regular time and thus forced extra time, but the Knicks were able to prevail despite this impressive performance in the end.

Thomas playing the Pistons in Madison Square Garden (1985)

In the 1988 NBA Playoffs , the Pistons made it to the NBA Finals for the first time, where they met the Los Angeles Lakers , who had superstars like Magic Johnson , James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in their ranks. The Pistons led 3-2 after five games and in the sixth game Thomas had another of his most memorable moments on the NBA field. Although he sprained his ankle in the game, he continued to play with severe pain and scored 25 points in the third quarter alone - a still valid NBA finals record. However, the Lakers were able to book the victory 103: 102 for themselves and ultimately also won the seventh game.

In the 1988-89 NBA season, Thomas and his teammates Joe Dumars , Adrian Dantley, Rick Mahorn, Vinnie Johnson, Dennis Rodman , James Edwards, John Salley, Bill Laimbeer and Mark Aguirre led the Pistons to 63 wins in 82 games. Because of their tough and rough playing style, the Pistons were nicknamed "Bad Boys". They reached the NBA Finals again and faced the Lakers again, but this time the Los Angeles team had nothing to oppose the Pistons and Detroit was able to prevail in four games. It was the first of two straight NBA championships for the Detroit Pistons.

The following year they won the championship again and Thomas was named Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals . The Pistons continued to play at the top of the NBA in the years that followed, but they failed year after year because of the growing Chicago Bulls with their superstar Michael Jordan . Thomas ended his career in 1994 due to an injury.

From 1987 to 1994 Thomas was president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). During his career, Thomas was elected to the All-NBA First Team three times and the NBA All-Star Team 12 times . He was also voted MVP of the NBA All-Star Games twice (1984, 1986) . He is the player with the most points (18,822), assists (9,061) and steals (1,861) in the history of the Detroit Pistons. His jersey number 11 is no longer awarded by the Pistons. In 1987 Thomas received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for social commitment.

Manager and coach career

After retiring as an active player, Thomas became general manager of the Toronto Raptors . In 1998 he had to leave the Raptors after some disagreement with the new management regarding the future of the team. While on the team, Damon Stoudamire , Marcus Camby and Tracy McGrady were drafted by the Raptors.

In 1999, he and a group of investors bought the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), which only went bankrupt two years later. In 2000 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and took over the coaching position with the Indiana Pacers until he was fired in 2003 by new manager Larry Bird .

On December 22, 2003, Thomas became General Manager of the New York Knicks , where he was heavily criticized for persistent unsuccessfulness and a wrong purchasing policy accused by numerous fans, especially since he was also head coach of the Knicks. He was removed from office on April 18, 2008.

From 2009 to 2012, Thomas led the Florida International University team .


In late 1993, Thomas made a cameo on season 3, episode 2 of the Home Improvement series .

Web links

Commons : Isiah Thomas  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Leader of the Bad Boys
  2. 25 points in a quarter
  3. NBA Finals Records
  4. Player biography
  5. Synopsis of episode 51.Reined (Crazy For You) on (accessed March 6, 2020)