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Isiah Thomas is one of the most famous, and infamous, players of the 1980s and 1990s. The all-time great point guard helped the Detroit Pistons win Back-to-Back titles. Thomas would wear Converse and Puma in his career, but near the end of his NBA run, he signed with ASICS.

Shoe For The Court

ASICS has always been best known for its running shoes. That is how it has made its mark on the shoe industry. But basketball is a part of the brand’s DNA. ASICS founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, was manufacturing basketball sneakers out of his living room in 1949. In 1992, when ASICS released its collaboration with Thomas, basketball sneakers were running the industry.

A Shoe For Isiah

Thomas was almost always the smallest player on the court during his NBA career. He was a point guard that used his quickness and agility to get where he needed to go. One of the reasons Isiah went with ASICS is they were interested in making a shoe specifically for a player of his size and skill. Thomas collaborated closely with them to craft his perfect sneakers. Thomas had input for the technical and the design. His signature shoe, the Gel-Spotlyte, really reflected the game of Isiah Thomas.


Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons would change their franchise forever when they drafted point guard Isiah Thomas in 1981. Thomas would go down in history as one of the best players to ever play the game. He played with a fire and intensity that could be combustible. His aggressiveness and determination would help to shape the Pistons franchise. Thomas would be joined by Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, and Vinnie Johnson to form teams that made three consecutive appearances in the Finals. Detroit is a blue-collar city, and this Detroit Pistons team fitted in perfectly with its culture. The Isiah Thomas led Pistons teams were filled with players who loved dirty work. That is how they earned the name, the “Bad Boys.” The Bad Boys were coached by Chuck Daly. The Pistons would win back-to-back Championships in 1989 and 1990. The Bad Boys were the villains of the NBA. They had a lot of enemies in the league, including Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The Bad Boys era would end rather quickly with its stars retiring and being traded.



Isiah’s career ended relatively early due to his battles with injuries. His final season in the NBA was 1993-1994. So, his ASICS partnership did not have much time to grow. Like Isiah Thomas, the shoe could be easily looked at as underrated.


- Adam C. Better