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Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas.jpg
Isiah Thomas coaching the New York Knicks
Personal information
Born (1961-04-30) April 30, 1961 (age 60)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school St. Joseph (Westchester, Illinois)
College Indiana (1979–1981)
NBA draft 1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Playing career 1981–1994
Position Point guard
Number 11
Coaching career 2000–2012
Career history
As player:
1981–1994 Detroit Pistons
As coach:
2000–2003 Indiana Pacers
2006–2008 New York Knicks
2009–2012 FIU
Career highlights and awards
As player:
  • NBA champion (1989, 1990)
  • NBA Finals MVP (1990)
  • 12× NBA All-Star (1982–1993)
  • 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1984, 1986)
  • 3× All-NBA First Team (1984–1986)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (1983, 1987)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1982)
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1987)
  • NBA assists leader (1985)
  • No. 11 retired by Detroit Pistons
  • NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • NCAA champion (1981)
  • NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1981)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (1981)
  • USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1980)

As coach:

  • NBA All-Star Game head coach (2003)
Career NBA statistics
Points 18,822 (19.2 ppg)
Assists 9,061 (9.3 apg)
Steals 1,861 (1.9 spg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Isiah Lord Thomas III (born April 30, 1961) is an American retired basketball player who played professionally for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A point guard, the 12-time NBA All-Star was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Thomas has also been a professional and collegiate head coach, a basketball executive, and a broadcaster.

Thomas played collegiately for the Indiana Hoosiers, leading them to the 1981 NCAA championship as a sophomore and declaring for the NBA draft. He was taken as the second overall pick by the Pistons in the 1981 NBA draft, and played for them his entire career, while leading the "Bad Boys" to the 1988–89 and 1989–90 NBA championships.

After his playing career, he was an executive with the Toronto Raptors, a television commentator, an executive with the Continental Basketball Association, head coach of the Indiana Pacers, and an executive and head coach for the New York Knicks. He was later the men's basketball coach for the Florida International University (FIU) Golden Panthers for three seasons from 2009 to 2012. In early May 2015, amidst controversy, Thomas was named president and part owner of the Knicks' WNBA sister team, the New York Liberty, subsequent to the re-hiring of Thomas's former Pistons teammate, Bill Laimbeer, as the team's coach.

Early life

Thomas was born on April 30, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of nine children. Each morning in high school he rose at 5:00am for the 90 minute commute from Chicago's West Side North Lawndale neighborhood to play high school basketball at the private St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois for coach Gene Pingatore. During his junior year, he led St. Joseph to the State Finals and was considered one of the top college prospects in the country.

Early life

He grew up poor on Chicago's South Side. As a boy he showed a talent for basketball. At this time Thomas realized his basketball skills might help his family get out of poverty and the unsafe neighborhood. Thomas attended the Indiana University. He was a member of the US men's basketball team at the 1980 Summer Olympics. Because of the US boycott, the team did not go to Moscow.

Professional career

Thomas was a first round draft choice by the Detroit Pistons. He was signed to a 4-year contract. In 1984 Thomas was given an 11-year, $12 million contract. This was both the longest and highest paying player contract in Detroit Pistons history. A torn achilles tendon forced him to retire in 1994.

Accomplishments and honors

Thomas was the 1982 NBA Rookie of the Year. He was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1984, 1986 and 1990. He played in twelve All-star games. In 1996 he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

Thomas has one of the best records in NBA history. He scored a total of 18,822 points averaging 19.2 points per game. He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 2000 he was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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