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The Life Of Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas is one of the most famous, and infamous, players of the 1980s and 1990s. The all-star point guard helped the Detroit Pistons win Back-to-Back titles. Thomas is one of the all-time great players in the history of the game, but he is also one of its most hated.

From Chicago

Thomas was born April 30, 1961. He is from Chicago. Thomas was always one of the smaller guys on the court. He learned how to be aggressive and strong-willed dealing with the disadvantages he faced on the court. Thomas would be recruited by the Indiana Hoosiers to play college basketball. He would play for the legendary coach, Bob Knight. Knight was also an uncompromising personality like Thomas. Also, like Thomas, he also had an explosive temper. Together the duo would help Indiana win a National Championship in 1981. Thomas would then be selected in the NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons with the second pick. Before Thomas, the Pistons were a franchise in disarray.

isiah thomas Indiana

Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons would change their franchise forever when they drafted point guard Isiah Thomas in 1981. 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 thomas Pistons

Why The Villian?

The Bad Boys are why Isiah Thomas is thought of as a villain. The team was an enemy of not just Michael Jordan, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were beloved stars, and the Pistons competed against, and beat, both. Going against two NBA darlings is a major reason he was so disliked. His feud with Michael Jordan, which is still active today, was rooted in competition. But one thing that may have really made Thomas resent Jordan is the way his hometown, Chicago, embraced his foe. MJ is a god in Chicago, despite being from North Carolina. Thomas, who was born and raised in the Windy City, is considered a villain in the state of Illinois.

isiah thomas Bad Boys

Hall Of Famer

Isiah Thomas is a Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever do it. He is only considered a bad guy today because he was such a fierce competitor. Isiah Thomas is an underrated player in the history of the league.


- Adam C. Better