Isiah Thomas facts for kids
Isiah Thomas coaching the New York Knicks
April 30, 1961 |
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|High school||St. Joseph (Westchester, Illinois)|
|NBA draft||1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall|
|Selected by the Detroit Pistons|
|2006–2008||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||18,822 (19.2 ppg)|
|Assists||9,061 (9.3 apg)|
|Steals||1,861 (1.9 spg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
Images for kids
A press conference for Isiah Thomas at the U.S. Century Bank Arena at Florida International University in Miami.
Isiah Thomas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.