If he wanted to shoot the ball, he was gonna shoot the ball no matter what. Isiah Thomas was one of the greatest small guards to play the game of basketball.
In college, he was playing for Hoosiers. But even more importantly, he was playing for Bob Knight. One of the most vocal coaches who wanted discipline, on and off the court. That discipline inside him, never left him during his 13 year career.
He turned the Detroit Pistons from inside out to upside down. From being one of the worst teams to back to back champions in 1989 and in 1990. In 1990 he was named NBA finals MVP. Thomas demonstrated such a determination to score in the key moments and will to out-wit the opponent.
Even though on the outside he looked really warm and he was smiling all the time, opponents knew the beast within him when he wanted to win. The “Bad Boys” from Detroit were known for their physical play which he led.
Alongside Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman, they representing a tough, formidable force that were just too much for the opponents.
Isiah or “Zeke” (his nickname), is also very famous for his assists and steals. He ranks number 4th in all time assists (9061) and 9th in steals (1861). He ended his career in 1994 and since then he remains very active in the world of basketball. Right after he retired he became a member of the Toronto Raptors organization.
And not jut any member he became a part owner and executive. From 2000 to 2003 he started coaching the Indiana Pacers but didn’t achieve any particular success. From 2002 to 2008 he was also part of the New York Knicks organization and many would say that he did more bad than good. There’ve been other controversies with him such as racism and sexual harassment and more.
That doesn’t matter. I think no matter what he does right now, people will remember him as the little guy who had such an impact on Detroit, who became part of the “Bad Boys” squad and who will always remain one of the strongest, worthy opponents the world of basketball will ever know.