Isiah Thomas

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Isiah Thomas in 2008

Isiah Lord Thomas III (born April 30, 1961) is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Thomas was just over 6 feet tall, making him a "small man" by basketball standards.[1] He was one of the greatest point guards in basketball history.[1] His only peer in the 1980s was Earvin "Magic" Johnson who played for the Los Angeles Lakers.[1]

Early life[change | change source]

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.[2] Thomas attended the Indiana University.[3] He was a member of the US men's basketball team at the 1980 Summer Olympics.[3] Because of the US boycott, the team did not go to Moscow.[3]

Professional career[change | change source]

Thomas was a first round draft choice by the Detroit Pistons.[4] He was signed to a 4-year contract. In 1984 Thomas was given an 11-year, $12 million contract.[5] This was both the longest and highest paying player contract in Detroit Pistons history.[5] A torn achilles tendon forced him to retire in 1994.[5]

Accomplishments and honors[change | change source]

Thomas was the 1982 NBA Rookie of the Year.[6] He was named the Most Valuable Player in the 1984, 1986 and 1990. He played in twelve All-star games.[6] In 1996 he was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.[6]

Thomas has one of the best records in NBA history. He scored a total of 18,822 points averaging 19.2 points per game.[5] He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.[5] In 2000 he was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[6]

Reference[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Isiah "Zeke" Thomas". NBA Encyclopedia. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  2. "Isiah Thomas." (2009). Notable Sports Figures. Detroit: Gale Publishing. p. 1598.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Isiah Thomas Biography". Bio/A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  4. "1981 NBA Draft History - Round 1". Medium Large, LLC. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Zlati Meyer (7 March 2015). "Isiah Thomas scored record Pistons contract". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Hall of Famers Isiah L. Thomas". Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 9 December 2015.