Isiah Lord Thomas III. ( Born April 30, 1961 in Chicago, Illinois), called Zeke, is an American professional basketball coach and former professional basketball player. Between 1981 and 1994, the 1.85 m tall point guard played in the U.S. professional league NBA with the Detroit Pistons. He led the " Bad Boys " named team 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 the person responsible at different NBA teams. During the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the NBA, he was named one of the 50 best players in the history of the league.
Youth and College
Thomas was born in Chicago, Illinois and was the youngest of nine brothers and sisters. He played basketball for the 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 in 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 college championship and Isiah Thomas was voted Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Detroit Pistons (1981-1994)
In NBA Draft 1981 Isiah Thomas was selected with the second overall pick by the Detroit Pistons, and he signed a four - year contract for $ 1.6 million. He was elected to the NBA All - Rookie Team and 1982 he was already playing for the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star Game in the grid. In the first round of the NBA Playoffs 1984, the Pistons the New York Knicks faced each other around Bernard King and in the fifth game of the series, Thomas had one of his most memorable moments as a player in the NBA. He scored 16 points in the final 94 seconds of regular time and thus forced an extension, but the Knicks were able to prevail in spite of this impressive performance at the end.
In the NBA Playoffs in 1988 made it the first time the Pistons in the NBA Finals and met while on the Los Angeles Lakers, the superstars like Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul- Jabbar had on the grid. After five games, the Pistons led 3-2 in the sixth game and Thomas had another of his erinnerungwürdigsten moments on an NBA court. Although he had sprained his ankle in the game, he continued to play with visible severe pain and scored 25 points in the third quarter alone - a still valid NBA Finals record. However, the Lakers were able to record the victory 103:102 for themselves and ultimately won the seventh game.
In the 1988-1989 NBA season, Thomas led with his teammates Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley, Rick Mahorn, Vinnie Johnson, Dennis Rodman, James Edwards, John Salley, Bill Laimbeer and Mark Aguirre the Pistons to 63 wins in 82 games. Because of her hard and rough style of play the Pistons got their nickname " Bad Boys ". They reached the NBA Finals once again and stood once more against the Lakers, but this time the team from Los Angeles had nothing to oppose to the Pistons and Detroit was able to win in four games. That should be in order for the Detroit Pistons, the first of two NBA championships. The following year she again brought up the championship and Thomas became the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals appointed. The Pistons played in the coming years continues to lead the NBA with, but they failed year after year to the ever-growing Chicago Bulls with their superstar Michael Jordan. Due to injury, Thomas finished his career in 1994.
From 1987 to 1994 Thomas was president of the players union National Basketball Players Association. During his career, Thomas was elected 3 times to the All NBA First Team and 12 times in the NBA All -Star team. In addition, he was twice (1984, 1986) was elected MVP of the NBA All- Star Games. 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 not longer available from the Pistons. 1987 Thomas was awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for community involvement.
Manager / Coach
After retiring as an active player was Isiah Thomas General Manager of the Toronto Raptors. In 1998 he had to leave on the future of the team the Raptors after some disagreements with the new management. During his time with the team Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby and Tracy McGrady were drafted by the Raptors.
In 1999, he bought up by a group of investors, the Continental Basketball Association, however, was only two years later insolvent. In 2000, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and took over the coaching job with the Indiana Pacers, until he was dismissed by the new manager Larry Bird 2003. On 22 December 2003, he was general manager of the New York Knicks and stood there because of persistent failure and he was accused by many fans the wrong purchasing policy under heavy criticism, especially since he also directed the athletic Knicks head coach. On 18 April 2008 he was dismissed from his offices. From 2009 to 2012, he led the team from Florida International University.