Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 10:40 am  |  44 responses

For Old Time’s Sake: Isiah Thomas

One of the greatest point guards of all time, Isiah Thomas was a fantastic scorer and as good as anybody in the clutch. He put the Pistons on his shoulders in some of the greatest playoff battles of the late 80s and early 90s. The leader of the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons, Thomas won back-to-back NBA titles in the ’89 and ’90 seasons as well as Finals MVP in 1990. Some dude named Mike led a Bulls team that knocked the Thomas-less (wrist surgery) Pistons out of the playoffs in 1991, ending the dominant Bad Boy era…. He went on to coach the New York Knicks and lead the storied franchise to multiple NBA Cham… oh wait….


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  • SpaceJam

    One of the most amazing point guards ever. Think Chris Paul in short shorts. He could take over games for long periods of time like only “His Airness” could. Very clutch and a wizard with the basketball. He was actually a very good coach in Indiana, New York screwed him over (he screwed himself over too).

  • geof

    the best small guard ever. period.

  • coconut

    that bounce pass alley oop was sick!

  • http://www.phonetobuy.com LeoneL


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  • Darius (Eastern Michigan’s Future)

    Allen Iverson is the best small guard ever

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Two things:
    Isiah needed some better shoes since he kept slipping.
    Danny Ainge got the business on that move at the free line, talk about skates.

  • damien

    unbelievable competitor and had a will to win as strong as anyone thats played the game Chris Paul is my boy but Isiah was so clutch in big moments. It was’nt about regular season numbers it was about the postseason. If Isiah played in todays game with the no handcheck rule? It would get ugly……

  • newzealanderinlondon


  • Papa Smurf

    These new cats just don’t know . . . Chris Paul and Allen Iverson are NOT in Zeke’s league. He would have destroyed either of them.

  • Sparker

    i liked him best in college and in his early years. so smooth, so seemingly relaxed in transition. he actually reminded me more of stockton in the open court, playing angles and keeping people guessing by altering his speed… though definitely not looking to pass first. and man he kept that ball on a string. but he often tried to do too much at the end of games later in his career, forcing up shots and generally not using the ample weapons that were around him. they couldn’t get over the top until dumars showed up. isiah was good for some steals, but that dude could guard anyone and make em pay at the other end. detroit was a true team, with no one able to compete with the sum of their parts. until mj just got too damn good and got some horses who could run with him.

  • Overtime

    That shot against Atlanta…just incredible

  • The Philosopher

    The greatest little point guard in NBA History.
    Agree with geof @10:53 a.m.

  • http://aol.com Run’N'Gun219

    Zeke had game out of this world. Remember as a kid hating him cuz he would always kill my bulls.(and he froze out jordan at the all star game. lol) and he would talk so much shit and wasnt afraid of anybody on the court. he was mos def a handful. and chris paul is good but he aint no zeke

  • hammer

    I remember watching thomas and the pistons getting eliminated n a humiliating sweep by my up and coming bulls n 91. And walking off the court, past the bulls bench and refusing 2 play the last 11 seconds n that final game. No congrats 2 the bulls or handshakes. Classic moment 4 all bulls fans cuz that was the moment where bulls broke thru,marked the end of an era 4 the pistons and the dawn of a dynasty in chicago. That’s my personal favorite isiah moment

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    best little man ever…EVER. Pound for pound the toughest too, he took a heck of a beating.

  • rob stewart

    Isiah had way more to work with than Iverson as far as teammates. AI is best lil man ever

  • geof

    how many rings does Iverson have? You can’t be considered the best, if you got no rings.

  • Brian

    Zeke could play with or without the ball and AI could not.

  • Robb

    Zeke is the best little man ever no question. As far as teammates are concerned, the problem with AI is he didn’t think he needed them.

  • unrel

    zeke had skills, no doubt.. but was never a fan of his.. probably due to the whole freeze out debacle.. but can’t deny his skill-set.. best little man ever?.. i don’t think so.. that’s almost a silly debate.. it’s like asking who was the best overweight player..

  • Str8in It Out

    AI was on a really good team with Denver and couldn’t make it work cuz he wasn’t a PG…just a scoring guard. Stop making excuses for him, AI didn’t get the job done. Can’t be considered the best without the hardware to back up your statement. In the same way, you can’t dominate the ball and then get mad when your teammates look to you to bail them out. Either take the pressure and the responsibility for the results that comes with ball-hogging (like MJ) or play team ball and share in all the duties. You can’t have it both ways young’ns.

  • Str8in It Out

    btw, Zeke is the man. Some of ya’ll too much into the politics and reporting aspect of the player and not paying enough attention to the man’s game. Like a bunch of sissy ninnies watching soap operas and shyte.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com CHI-TOWN SAID IT JOE

    chi town stand up

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Zeke was the man in his playing days, screw the dramatic BS.
    However: If Zeke could carry his team and still lose to Bernard King and the Knicks, this makes me wonder–HOW FREAKING GOOD would Bernard King be if he remained healthy his entire career, and HOW FREAKING GOOD would the Knicks have been if had the talent Zeke had around him? It sucks that Bernard never had a chance to form a duo with Patrick Ewing… Just imagine that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I swear some of y’all must have either not been alive, or actual infants when Michael Jordan was playing. Really.

  • JTaylor21

    I got unlimited love for Magic but I will take Isiah any day. Dude was a straight beast on court and he beat Bird/Magic/MJ in their prime, how many players can say that. Also his team was a Game 7 win away from winning 3 chips in a row. Simply amazing and one of the most underrated player in league history.

  • Str8in It Out

    cosign Teddy, good point. @allenP: true, true. If you were a Chi fan in those days you were spoiled rotten tho. Lot of dudes lost their NBA love after MJ left. And if you were a fan of any other team you got your heart ripped out of your chest every playoffs. The good ol’ days.

  • hammer

    Isiah thomas has 2 b the best lil man ever. He’s got the hardware and finals mvp 2 prove it. The area where A.I.is superior 2 thomas is quickness and athleticism,not 2 mention iverson has a lil more than 7,000 more career points than thomas. Thomas clearly made his teammates better while iverson has failed 2 do that. Got luv for A.I. When I was 16 was when he was drafted so I have seen him his entire career including his hoya says. I only saw thomas play while he was past his prime and battling injuries. But I have seen past games of his b4 and he was something 2 watch. Wouldn’t b right 2 not 2 mention nate ‘tiny’ archibald n this discussion as well. I’m not saying he’s the best lil man of all time but certainly 1 of the gr8′s

  • rob stewart

    I’m not saying AI is a better pg than Zeke. But he would smash Zeke one on one. I understand Zeke has more rings than AI but that doesn’t mean everything. In that case Derek Fisher, John Paxson, and Tony Parker are all better than ZEKE

  • nastierthanu4

    the funny part about this series of for old time sake is after every video people are throwing around “the best in the game” It’s like some of us here forgot until they viewed these clips. Chris Paul in short shorts. Please don’t disrespect Zeke. Here’s a cat that played on the undefeated Indiana squad in college. Chris Paul has won nothing. Iverson was a monster in college and had a very solid squad around him his sophomore year. Victor Page was nice. jahidi White, Jerome Williams, and Othella harrington. He had a great opportunity to win it all but failed to do so. Give Zeke his respect and stop comparing him to the “hot right now!! ballers.”

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Zeke was a great player and won back to back titles during the Boston/Larry Bird, Lakers/Magic and Bulls/Jordan days. That speaks for itself. People comparing Chris Paul to Zeke is just plain STUPID. Chris had one really great year, he challenged Kobe for MVP. Chris has not proved himself consistently. Plus Deron Williams is a better point guard than Chris Paul. He is bigger, stronger, can driibble, dunk on you, get to the rim with ease and to me is used to running an offense better. Chris Paul can pass better and is quicker, but Deron is better in everything else. ZEKE is the TRUTH and don’t let the media mess yall folks up and don’t confuse ZEKE with him being the GM for the Knicks.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I didnt read all the comments in here, but it seems that the theme is AI, Isiah compairason.. Isiah was a better all-around player, usually filled the stat sheet with a little of everything, and didnt need to take 40 shots to get his points..

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    @ Rob, 6:35.. Dont 4get Steve Kerr..

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Also AI can’t touch Zeke, he is Isaish’s understudy. Isiah did it all. AI just tried to score and play passing lanes for steals and that is it. Who cares if AI scored more, he ran off Larry Hughes, Jerry Stackhouse and many other sidekicks. AI best year he was great, but think if he had the all around game of Thomas. Thats why AI career is over, all he showed us was his scoring points on bad percentages and his carry the ball street ball mentality. Who cares, ZEKE cannot be compared to any of these cats. BOOK IT!!!

  • JTaylor21

    @the seed, nobody comparing CP to Zeke is stupid, your the MORONIC one. CP is the closet comparison to zeke in the league and also the BEST point in the league. DWill may be bigger and stronger than CP but he’s not the better player. Paul is a better passer, shooter, ball-handler, theif, leader, and rebounder (his 6-1 while DWill 6-4 so go figure). Paul has had 3 straight great season and was shooting 65% from the FIELD before he got hurt. He’s also third all-time in APG and has the record for consecutive games with a steal. He also was the MVP in 08 not kobe, CP lead a less talented squad to almost an identical record as LAL. CP has never had the kind of teammates that DWill has, let alone the great teammates that Zeke had. Just wait until he goes to NY with Amare and maybe Melo then the playoff wins and chips will start coming.

  • JTaylor21

    It’s funny how people claim that AI’s a ball hog but don’t know that he’s averaged 6.2apg to KB’s 4.7. Tell me whose the TRUE ball-hog. I’m not gonna act like AI’s not a high-volume shooter but he’s also been a willing passer. Kobe’s seed don’t dare to call someone else a ball-hog when your favorite player does the same thing while passing the ball less. Do you ever state facts when talking about anything?

  • KB

    i think iverson and isiah are pretty close but i”ll give the edge to zeke cause if rings. as for cp3 and d-will the number one stat for a pg is efficiency and chris paul before injury was not just the most efficient point guard in the NBA, he was the most efficient player. averaged more points per game than williams and shot a higher percentage. averaged more assist with less turnovers. that should give you youre answer

  • dNYCe

    Sorry to b off topic but newzealander has a point, both Rodman books r great reads

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LOL AI ran off Larry Hughes? Right.. So did LeBron James run him off too? Wth does that even mean.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign Allenp about the shoes. Converse must have sabotaged his Weapons for Magic and Bird… Zeke’s second best dribble drive move was the slip-and-fall recovery.

  • Sean B

    To the idiot that wrote this… the Pistons were not Isiah-less when they ran up against the Bulls in 91. Don’t diminish the Bulls sweep by stating inaccurate facts.

  • Javvy

    AI is hands down the greatest little man ever, I look at it like this in his prime if AI wanted to he could do what Zeke did but Zeke could not do what AI could, Average 30 every season untill his body didnt let him. Zeke would never be able to take that 2001 Philly team to the Finals. Zeke was insane but AI=Best little man ever.

  • http://sfjdkldsfl.com Jukai

    JTaylor battling out The Seed for wit is like watching the criple fight on South Park. Good grief.
    Isiah Thomas is a top-5 all time talent. Anyone who says Isiah was a ‘shoot first’ point guard simply didn’t watch him. Yeah, he sometimes was too flashy and turned the ball over… and yeah, later in his career he chucked a few too many threes for my liking… but lord, was he good. His dribble was just ludicrous, and some of the shots he got off are just beyond belief.
    Iverson may be on the same skill level as Thomas, but he doesn’t touch Thomas in terms of value for a TEAM.