February 7, (Before the Game 1 tipoff, Thomas and close friend Magic Johnson exchanged what may have been the first on-court kiss in league history.). The overpowering Pistons swept the Lakers for their first-ever NBA title. In those games, Thomas recorded 15 and 10 assists, respectively. All logos are the trademark & property of their owners and not Sports Reference LLC. Potential 2020 NBA top draft pick LaMelo Ball signs with Puma. Holding a 3-2 series lead, the Pistons lost Game 6, 103-102, despite 43 points from Thomas (25 points in one quarter, setting an NBA Finals record), who played on a badly sprained ankle. ejected 2 minutes in for contact with official, Fan clash gets Isaiah Thomas 2-game suspension, Wiz's Thomas confronts fan in Philly, gets ejected, Wizards' Thomas has surgery, out 6-8 weeks. ▪ He was a dangerous shooter from any spot on the floor, a smart passer and a smooth, clever playmaker. Los Angeles, behind James Worthy's 36 points and 16 rebounds, sweated out Game 7 in a 108-105 win. They were quiet in the first three years of Daly's reign, getting no further than the East semis. Isaiah Jamar Thomas Twitter: isaiahthomas (King in the Fourth, Pizza Guy) Position: Point Guard and Shooting Guard Shoots: Left 5-9, 185lb (175cm, 83kg) Born: February 7, 1989 in Tacoma, Washington us. All rights reserved. "I call him the baby-faced assassin," an opposing coach once told the Charlotte Observer, "because he smiles at you, then cuts you down.". Kendrick Perkins and Jackie MacMullan aren't confident the Rockets have the flexibility to pick up key players next season. Basketball isn't everything to me.". It's all a battle of will. The 1980-81 Pistons, who finished 21-61, were the second-worst team in the league. The Nets have new jerseys that honor the franchise's roots in New Jersey. Even Thomas admits he’s not the best defender. Thomas Bryant played poorly on defense in the 2019-20 NBA season. home/away, monthly, etc... More Isaiah Thomas Basketball Reference pages, Every Sports Reference Social Media Account, Site Last Updated: Wednesday, October 14, 4:30AM. He also continued his charity work with educational, anti-crime and anti-poverty programs; during his playing career, Thomas had paid college tuition for more than 75 young people. As a team, however, the Pistons posted no improvement in the standings, finishing at 37-45. Recriminations flew off the court, while elbows and expletives were traded on it. High School: South Kent School in South Kent, Connecticut Our reasoning for presenting offensive logos. In 1987-88, the Pistons reached the NBA Finals for the first time since moving to Detroit from Fort Wayne in 1958. Player stats broken down into various categories; i.e. The 20-year-old rookie started, scored 12 points and dished out four assists in the East's 120-118 win at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. ▪ Click Season link for player's season game log, College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com, Scores from any date in BAA/NBA or ABA history. Thomas' statistics dipped a bit (19.5 ppg, 8.4 apg), but only because he was part of a complete team with few, if any, weaknesses. Question, Comment, Feedback, or Correction? With Thomas in top form, Detroit finished 1987-88 at 54-28 and won the Central Division title. As the team's executive vice president, Thomas was charged with molding the character of the expansion club, and one of his first moves was to draft a talented, under-sized point guard -- Damon Stoudamire, who became Rookie of the Year in 1995-96. The consummate point guard, Isiah Thomas led the Pistons to consecutive championships in 1989 and 1990. What are the Wizards getting with Thomas. In advance of the 2020 NBA draft, top prospect LaMelo Ball has signed a multiyear shoe deal with Puma, immediately becoming a key face of the brand at just 19 years old. Pronunciation: \eye-ZAY-uh\. Then, in his last home game against Orlando, he tore an Achilles tendon, effectively ending his career. Shot location data available for the 1996-97 through 2019-20 seasons. The answer comes in the form of one simple statistic: per Synergy, Isaiah Thomas gives up 1.52 points per possession when guarding drives to the basket, the NBA’s worst number since 2010. The Bad Boys pulled out all the stops in the playoffs, sweeping Boston in three games and Milwaukee in four to reach the Conference Finals against rival Chicago. We always feel we are going to win, no matter what the score is. By the 1993-94 season it was clear that Thomas, at 32, was nearing the end of his playing days. In a painful repeat of the previous season's loss to Boston, Detroit lost a seven-game heartbreaker to the defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers. Isiah Thomas. Isiah Lord Thomas III came into the world in 1961 under the harshest of circumstances. Rick Majerus, then a Marquette assistant coach who tried to recruit Thomas, remembered, "You talk about abject poverty, human failing, suffering -- they had all that in Isiah's neighborhood. But the league started to take notice of the little man with the big smile who seemed to be able to do with the basketball whatever his heart desired. Thomas refused to let his height limit what he could do on the court. Like Johnson, Thomas possessed the skill and determination to take over a game at will. Furthermore, through the first two playoff series, Isaiah Thomas’s defense has not been a problem. But then, in 1987, Detroit came within one game of reaching the NBA Finals. Copyright © 2000-2020 Sports Reference LLC. Isiah's father left the family when he was 3 years old, leaving Isiah's mother to raise the children. The competitive spirit fostered by Thomas's childhood manifested itself in his on-court performance. The NBA was able to restart its season and crown a champion; check out the best moments from a historic time in NBA history. Thomas, who stood barely over 6-feet, was in his day the grittiest performer to play the position, a feisty competitor who offered no quarter and expected none in return. The quick-handed guard was among the NBA's most prolific ball thieves. Get the latest news, stats, videos, highlights and more about point guard That fall Thomas enrolled at Indiana University. As a 19-year-old sophomore, Thomas (16.0 ppg, 5.8 apg) steered the Hoosiers to the 1981 NCAA Championship. He was unbelievably optimistic for someone who had gone through all the misfortune that has occurred in his family. He shot .452 from the field and .759 from the free-throw line. Isiah Lord Thomas III Twitter: IsiahThomas (Zeke, The Baby-Faced Assassin, Tuss, Pocket Magic) Position: Point Guard Shoots: Right 6-1, 180lb (185cm, 81kg) . During the season they used a 25-1 midseason tear to finish with a 59-23 record. Thomas had a solid first year (17.0 ppg, 7.8 apg, 150 steals), stepping into the point guard position and leading the team in assists and steals. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team and made the first of his12 straight trips to the NBA All-Star Game. Meet the man who motivates the NBA's stars, Clippers officially waive IT to free up roster spot, Clippers land Marcus Morris in three-team deal, Wizards' Thomas fined $25K for contact with ref, I.T. Thomas played high school ball at St. Joseph's in Westchester, where he led the team to the state-title game as a junior in 1978. The experience was a painful one for Thomas. Watch our How-To Videos to Become a Stathead, Subscribe to Stathead and get access to more data than you can imagine. With five seconds left in Game 5 and Detroit leading 107-106, Larry Bird stole a Thomas inbounds pass and fed Dennis Johnson for a layup, giving Boston a 108-107 win. Join our linker program. Which team is the biggest obstacle to a Lakers repeat? Lingering physical problems slowed Thomas in the twilight of his career, and the aging Pistons faded further into the shadow of Jordan and the Bulls. Seven Pistons averaged more than 13.5 points, a tribute to Thomas' unselfishness and slick playmaking. Are you a Stathead, too? The Chicago Bulls, with scoring champion in Jordan, took the division title away from the Pistons in 1990-91. In his last season, 42-year-old center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was ineffective and guards Magic Johnson and Byron Scott were slowed by hamstring injuries. Do you have a sports website? After the series, Thomas told HOOP Magazine: "We never quit. us, High School: Find out more. No. The hapless club made Thomas the second overall pick in the 1981 draft behind DePaul's Mark Aguirre, a childhood friend of Thomas' who later became his teammate. Copyright: © 2020 ESPN Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Left, Born: In 13 years with Detroit, he became the franchise's all-time leader in points, assists, steals and games played. Sacramento Kings, 2nd round (30th pick, 60th overall), 2011 NBA Draft, More Isaiah Thomas pages at Sports Reference. Do you have a blog? All rights reserved. Off the court, Thomas was a tireless charity worker known for his sincerity and compassion. Steven Senne/Associated Press. And he knew how to handle pain; he often played with injuries resulting from his rough-and-tumble style. He spoke of this work to the Los Angeles Times with typical Thomas bluntness: "As a person and as a human being, if the only thing I'm remembered for is playing a stupid game of basketball, then I haven't done a very good job in my life. Isaiah Thomas’ defense is a problem the Celtics must keep hiding. Shoots: That season he suffered a hyperextended knee, a broken rib, a strained arch, a calf injury and a cut left hand. Detroit was one of the few franchises that didn't have a player capable of scoring 20 points per game. He combined intelligence, court savvy and physical gifts to attain true NBA superstardom. Or write about sports? He made the All-Star Team in all but his final year and was named NBA Finals MVP in 1990. The Pistons played and intimidated their way to a second consecutive NBA Championship in 1989-90, becoming the second team since the 1968-69 Boston Celtics to win back-to-back crowns, and the sixth team ever to do so. The Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics was one of the roughest of the era. Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was slowed by a sprained foot, a pulled leg muscle, and an injured wrist in that playoff run and Detroit's dynasty came to an end when the Bulls swept the Pistons in the Eastern Conference ffinals. Still needing to carry much of the Pistons' offensive load, Thomas scored more than 20 points per game in each season from 1982-83 to 1986-87. Get off my porch or I'll blow you off it!" Thomas helped build a last-place Detroit Pistons team into back-to-back NBA champions in the late 1980s. You'd go in there and here was this young guy who's got this big smile. Mary Thomas, whose courage inspired a 1990 television movie, did her best to shield her children from the drugs, violence and crime that plagued the area. Doc Rivers defends Isiah Thomas amid Michael Jordan documentary: ... With Thomas taking a bit of a beating in the court of public opinion, fellow Chicagoan Doc Rivers has come to his defense. Isiah "Zeke" Thomas was one of the greatest "small men" ever to play professional basketball. the official stats partner of the NBA. Isiah "Zeke" Thomas was one of the greatest "small men" ever to play professional basketball. In defense of Isiah Thomas. If you are having difficulty accessing any content on this website, please visit our Accessibility page. Although just a second-year pro, Thomas assumed the role of floor general, leading the team in assists, steals and minutes played. Logos were compiled by the amazing SportsLogos.net. That fighting spirit, coupled with a shrewd business sense, served Thomas well as president of the NBA Players Association in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and continues to serve him well in his post-playing days, whether as a coach or executive, roles he filled with the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and as the former coach at Florida International University. Max Kellerman and Domonique Foxworth pick the teams that represent the biggest threat to the Lakers' chances of repeating. Though Thomas was an unselfish player, his personal achievements were impressive. Copyright © 2020 NBA Media Ventures, LLC. LeBron James shows off his daughter Zhuri's playhouse, which she turned into a haunted house. Despite a great effort from the Bulls' Michael Jordan, Detroit won in six games and advanced to meet the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
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