Isiah Thomas is a beloved player in NBA lore, as he should be. The leader of the Bad Boy Pistons and the closest thing Michael Jordan ever had to a nemesis, won two Championships over his NBA tenure. Keep in mind that Zeke and the Pistons are the only team to send Jordan and the Bulls home on three separate occasions.
While the the Championship total sits at two, let’s not forget that an unfortunate injury is the only reason the Pistons didn’t own the Championship in 1988 completing the 3-peat.
Thomas sacrificed personal numbers by being a pass first player on a talented team. His lone season leading the league in assists per game (13.6 in 84-85), is the best non John Stockton mark in NBA history. Thomas also finished top nine in MVP voting through the 84-87 seasons. Thomas ended his career 7th all time in assists, 16th all time in steals, and 57th all time in points.
Second Overall Pick 1981 – Detroit Pistons
2x All-Star MVP
Hall of Fame
How did the guys rank him?
The Flag Bearer: Jacob Noble (16).
The Barn Burner: Matt Drappel (34).
How did the other guys rank Thomas: Brian Geltzeiler (17), Shane Young (18), Justin Termine (19), James Holas (20), Justin Salkin (20), Marc Griffin (21), Lang Greene (22), Josh Eberley (24), Justin Rowan (24), Robert Littal (24), Adi Joseph (29), and Will Reeve (31).
#20 Friday, September 18th.
Don’t like it? Think we got it wrong? Maybe, just maybe we got it right? Let us know using the #HCHot50 hash-tag. Or give the contributors hell, contact info below. Any tweets with #HCHot50 may be featured on the site going forward, tweet us your feedback!
Josh Eberley – hoopscritic.com / Host of the @PullUpPodcastHC, @JoshEberley
Jacob Noble – hoopscritic.com / Host of the @PullUpPodcastHC, @JacobNoble_HC
James Holas – hoopscritic.com / BballBreakdown, @SnottieDrippen
Adi Joseph – sportingnews.com, @AdiJoseph
Matt Drappel – sportsnet.ca, @MattyD416
Justin Rowan – fearthesword.com / hoopslounge.com, @Cavsanada
Robert Littal – blacksportsonline.com, @BSO
Shane Young – hoopshabit.com, @YoungNBA
Justin Termine – Sirius XM NBA / cinesport.com host, @TermineRadio
Marc Griffin – hoopslounge.com / sportsnet.ca, @montrealmarc
Lang Greene – basketballinsiders.com, @LangGreene
Justin Salkin – hoopscritic.com / brooklynsbeat.com, @brooklynsbeat
Will Reeve – awfsports.com / Host of the All Weather Fan Podcast, contributor for hoopscritic.com @WillReeveJr
and of course,
Brian Geltzeiler – hoopscritic.com / Sirius XM NBA / the-cauldron.com / 120sports.com, @hoopscritic
Links to previous #HCHot50 pages:
#50 Pete Maravich
#49 Dave Cowens
#48 Wes Unseld
#47 Dolph Schayes
#46 Paul Pierce
#45 Kevin Durant
#44 Dominique Wilkins
#43 Chris Paul
#42 Bill Walton
#41 Gary Payton
#40 Elvin Hayes
#39 Clyde Drexler
#38 Allen Iverson
#37 Steve Nash
#36 Willis Reed
#35 George Mikan
#34 Patrick Ewing
#33 Kevin McHale
#32 Jason Kidd
#31 George Gervin
#30 Walt Frazier
#29 Dwyane Wade
#28 Rick Barry
#27 Bob Cousy
#26 Scottie Pippen
#25 John Stockton
#24 David Robinson
#23 Dirk Nowtizki
#22 John Havlicek