OT: Isiah fired by Florida International. Tom Gores should bring him back to Detroit

Submitted by NateVolk on April 6th, 2012 at 3:55 PM

For anybody who was a fan hoping for a contender during the Vitale debacle and the home grey uniforms at the Silverdome in the early 80s, Isiah Thomas is revered. He probably saved pro-basketball in Detroit.  In my mind the greatest pure point guard ever to lace them up.

Homer PSA:

His post-Piston's career has been a succession of "I can't look" events save some decent drafts with the Raptors and a good couple years coaching the Pacers.   I want him to come home now. Davidson is gone and this new owner became a fan during the 80s.  The Pistons are dull and irrelevant and the Captain seems pretty rudderless. The two parties need each other IMO. Find the man some job with the organization where he can help give some life to the Pistons.

Link on today's firing:



To focus on the positive, check out his dual with Bernard King in the 84 Playoffs.  No one his size before or since could take over a game like he could.




Lucky Socks

April 6th, 2012 at 3:58 PM ^

Thomas hasn't really achieved any success at any of his stop as a coach or executive.  In fact, most of his stints have achieved more bad press than good.  He's a legend as a player who isn't a good fit for the Pistons front office or coaching staff.


April 7th, 2012 at 8:48 AM ^

as um09 stated he did build a team that won an NBA championship.The past couple drafts, i.e. Knight and Monroe he has done well and Stuckey appears to be coming around. Now that ownership has been solidified I think he'll continue to do well.

Mr Miggle

April 6th, 2012 at 6:02 PM ^

"Joe D is the Matt Millen of NBA executives. "

Joe Dumars took over a team that hadn't gotten past the first round of the playoffs in ten years. He won a title and made the conference finals six straight seasons.

The Lions under Matt Millen had the worst record since WWII of any team for that length of time.

Yeah, I can't see the difference either.


April 6th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

Dumars has had one undeniable success -- his 2004 championship team.  I don't know if that justifies keeping him around indefinitely -- he's certainly made some questionable decisions since -- but his work leading up to 2004 was brilliant and he deserves credit for that at least.


April 6th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

Since you've arbitrarily decided one perfectly good argument is invalid, how bout I point out that there wasn't a scout anywhere that thought Darko was anything other than an elite talent?  I and everyone else would've loved for that to turn out differently, but 100% of executives in the league, if put in the Pistons' position, would've taken Darko.


April 6th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

Wade was on NO ONE's radar at #2 that year. #5 to Miami was the highest anyone saw him going.

As for Melo, you would probably be talking about no NBA championship in Detroit in 2004 or any season after. The guy is an alpha scorer who wouldn't know how to play an unselfish role. He has never won a damn thing.

There are a ton of things to criticize Dumars about (almost all of them since 2008) but the 2003 Draft is a really unfair one.

Mr Miggle

April 6th, 2012 at 6:00 PM ^

Chad Ford, writing for ESPN, graded each team's 2003 draft. Guess what grade he gave the Pistons. Believe it or not, they were the only team to get an "A+".

As soon as the Pistons got the #2 pick in the lottery drawing most "experts" expected them to pick Darko. That's not because they thought Dumars was some kind of moron, but because Darko was considered the best big prospect and matched well with the Pistons' needs.




April 6th, 2012 at 11:56 PM ^

Would have done in 2003. Hindsight is great, but not reality. If you want to debate Melo, you can. If you want to get on Joe for doing something that looked bad when he did it, you can. But to say anyone did or could foresee Wade bring that good (he wasn't the 3rd or 4th pick) is silly, and to predict he was going to buddy up with the best player in the League a n Olympics and recruit him a decade later is just stupid.


April 6th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

Cavs got Lebron. Zero titles. Nuggets got Melo (the only other logical pick at the #2 spot). Zero titles. The Raptors got Bosh. Zero titles.

The Heat got D-Wade. One title. Same as the Pistons. All those other players now play for a different team. 

Honestly, the draft is overblown. If the Pistons had Melo they probably don't get Sheed, and no Sheed=No Title.


April 6th, 2012 at 4:05 PM ^

Yes he was a great player, but that does not equate to a great coach/executive. He needs to retire and work on some pet projects that help kids or something nice.



April 6th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

He seems like one of those people whose ambition and charisma land them opportunities that their talent and abilities are not suited for. He owned the CBA at one point and ran it into the ground. He was mostly mediocre as coach of the Pacers (especially since Rick Carlisle took over the same team and led them to the conference finals). He was a train wreck as coach and GM of the Knicks. He never won more than 11 games as coach of FIU. I remember his first game as FIU coach (it was against UNC). In an interview before the game, he flippantly said something like "God help us!". Way to show confidence in your team. I think that pretty much sums up his approach to everything he's attempted in his post-playing career. 


April 7th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

but just a random, somewhat connected thought: it's interesting that both Jordan and Gretzky have both struggled since retiring from playing their sport. It's still somewhat odd to hear their names attached to anything other than big-time success.

Hopefully we aren't saying similar things about Woodson or Brady in the near future.


April 6th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

Isiah Thomas has been a disaster in SIX post-playing ventures now (Raptors GM, CBA commish, Pacers coach, Knicks GM, Knicks coach, FIU coach). If Gores wants Isiah to be in some kind of fluff PR role, fine. But there is no reason he should get another chance to do anything significant.

Space Monkey

April 6th, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

Why hire a guy who was fired from a mid-major college? Are you suggesting the Pistons hire him to sexually harrass the female employees? He was good as a player but has left a trail of train wrecks in his wake.


April 6th, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

He's a guy who has had many very close, public friendships with very famous people:  Davidson, Magic, Laimbeer, Aguirre, and Knight among them.  All ended in public falling outs (although when both needed a character witess Knight and I kissed and made up).  I. Thomas was the best point guard in my memory and courageous as hell on the court besides.  I would also guess he'd stab a buddy in the back for ....well....just about anything he felt desirable.


April 6th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

How much do you have to hate the Pistons to want them to hire Isiah Thomas??? Man was a great basketball player; no one will try to argue that, but he has been utterly incompetent in his off the court career.


April 6th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

The only thing I would take him as is a point guard coach that doesn't talk to anyone else within the organization.  I don't know why you would want him.


April 6th, 2012 at 8:25 PM ^

Oh, I get that someone didn't like my reply.  That's fine.  But I should "feel bad?"  C'mon...I have bigger things to worry about than how many points I have or what some people I don't even know think of my posts.

But people telling me how I should "feel" and what I "owe" to people pisses me off.  Just like Trey doesn't owe Michigan anything to come back for year two, I don't owe him anything for what he did either.  He got 1 year of college education, and I got 1 year of some fun hoops, and mild-heartbreak.  That's how college athletics works.  The who owes what argument ends there.

And yeah, maybe my "f him, and f you" post was a tl;dr version, of "Excuse me kind sir, I differ with your point.  You see, Mister Burke appears ready to head some poor advice.  But if young Trey yearns to sit on a bench in the NBA, then good luck to him.  I will be cheering for Michigan regardless of who is the court next season."  But its the internet, and its more like a bar here than tea time in merry Ol' England.