Even Wikipedia Hates Isiah

After the fold, I will quote the current Wikipedia entry for Isiah Thomas. It is a pretty amusing piece of work, as this is supposedly written with a “neutral viewpoint.” See for yourself if you think it reads as neutral or not.

On another point, tis’ the season for trade rumors, now that drafted players (like Wilson Chandler) can be traded. Check out this interesting Post article – it seems to me that David Lee is safe, as I think he’s one of the few Knicks that Thomas does not hate right now. Check out his comments about Robinson, Jeffries and Balkman (what the heck is up with Balkman? Gotta be injury, right?) – “Those guys, you got to have energy to be effective. Right now our so-called energy players, with the exception of David, they haven’t been that effective. It’s bad play.”

Okay, here is the Wikipedia piece. I’m copying because I want to show you what it looks like before any edits might be made to it:

/a??ze??/) (born April 30, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA, and is currently the head coach and president of basketball operations for the NBA’s New York Knicks. He was also referred to by the nicknames Zeke, Cuts (for the numerous cuts over his eyelids), The Baby-faced Assassin, Coach, The Smiling Assassin, and Tuss. During the NBA’s 50th anniversary, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.


* 1 NBA playing career
* 2 Controversy
* 3 Post-NBA career
o 3.1 Toronto Raptors
o 3.2 Broadcasting
o 3.3 CBA
o 3.4 Indiana Pacers
o 3.5 Hall of Fame
o 3.6 New York Knicks
o 3.7 Other
* 4 Sexual harassment lawsuit
* 5 Allegations of Racism
* 6 Career NBA statistics[10]
* 7 References
* 8 External links

NBA playing career

In the 1981 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons chose Thomas and signed him to a steep four-year $1.6 million contract. Thomas made the All-Rookie team after starting for the Eastern Conference in the 1982 All-Star Game.

In the opening round of the 1984 NBA Playoffs, Thomas and the Pistons faced off against Bernard King and the New York Knicks. In the pivotal fifth game, Thomas was having a subpar performance, while Bernard King was having an excellent game. However, in the 4th quarter, Thomas scored 16 points in one minute and 33 seconds to force the game into overtime. King and the Knicks, however, held on to win in overtime.

In the 1985 NBA Playoffs, Thomas and his team went to the conference semi-finals against the 15 time NBA champion Boston Celtics led by Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson. Detroit couldn’t shake the Celtics in their six game series, eventually losing.

In the 1987 NBA Playoffs, Thomas and the Pistons went to the Eastern Conference Finals and faced the now 16-time NBA Championship winning Boston Celtics. It was the farthest the team had advanced since moving from Fort Wayne when they were the Zollner-Pistons. The Pistons were able to tie the Celtics at two games a piece. Detroit’s hopes of winning Game 5 and the series were shattered at the Boston Garden with seconds remaining: Thomas attempted to quickly inbound the ball, Larry Bird stole the inbound pass and passed it to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup.

The Pistons first trip to the Finals saw them face the Los Angeles Lakers, who were led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. During one of the finals games Detroit was hosting, Thomas threw the basketball at Magic Johnson out of frustration. An altercation followed but was broken up and nothing more became of the incident and Detroit prevailed. After taking a 3-2 series lead back to Los Angeles, Detroit appeared poised to win their first NBA title in Game 6.

One of Thomas’ positive self-defining performances came in Game 6. Although he badly twisted his ankle in the game, Thomas continued to play. While hobbling and in obvious pain, Isiah was still able to score 25 points in a single quarter of the contest, an NBA finals record. However, the Lakers won the game 103-102 on a pair of last minute free throws by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar following a foul called on Bill Laimbeer. With Isiah Thomas unable to compete at full strength the Lakers were able to take advantage and narrowly clinched their second consecutive title in Game 7, 108-105.

In the 1988-89 season, Thomas, along with fellow teammates Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, Vinnie Johnson, Dennis Rodman, James Edwards, John Salley, Bill Laimbeer, and Mark Aguirre, guided his team to a then-franchise record 63-19 record. Detroit played well through the playoffs. With Boston’s injuries still persisting, the Pistons defeated Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the Conference Finals, to set up up an NBA Finals rematch with the Lakers. Thomas and the Pistons then won their first of back-to-back championships when they defeated the Lakers in a 4-game sweep. The following year, Thomas was voted NBA Finals Most Valuable Player of the 1990 after averaging 27.6 points per game, 7.0 assists per game, and 5.2 rebounds per game in the series. Thomas tore his Achilles’ tendon in April 1994 and decided to end his career as a player the following month in May.

Thomas, a 6-1, 185-pound point guard, ranks as one of the best players of all-time. He was named to the All-NBA First team three times and is the Pistons’ all-time leader in points, steals, games played and assists. Thomas ranks fourth in NBA history in assists (9,061, 9.3 apg) and ranks ninth in NBA history in steals (1,861). Thomas was known for his dribbling ability as well as his uncanny ability to drive to the basket and score. His number 11 was retired by the Detroit Pistons.

This section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please improve the article by adding references. See the talk page for details. (September 2007)

In the 1985 NBA All-Star Game, Thomas was joined on the Eastern Conference squad by star rookie Michael Jordan. Jordan wound up attempting nine shots, a relatively low number for a starting player. Afterward, Thomas and his fellow veteran East players were accused of having planned to “freeze out” Jordan from their offense by not passing him the ball, supposedly out of jealousy over the attention Jordan was receiving. No player involved has ever confirmed that the “freeze-out” occurred, but the story has been long reported, and neither Jordan nor Thomas has publicly refuted it.[1]

In the Eastern Conference Finals of the 1991 NBA Playoffs, the two-time defending champion Detroit Pistons faced the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls for the fourth consecutive season in the playoffs. The Pistons had defeated the Bulls in each of the first three meetings, but this time they suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. The series was marked by a number of verbal, physical, and match-up problems. With 7.9 seconds remaining in the fourth game, Thomas and eight of his teammates walked off of the court, refusing to shake hands with the members of the Bulls.

In 1992 Thomas was passed over by the United States men’s national basketball team (popularly known as the Dream Team). Rumors have swirled that Thomas was left off the team because Jordan did not want him as a teammate on account of their bitter rivalry, which had begun with the alleged “freeze-out” and had continued through their playoff battles. Thomas also believed that his place on the Olympic team had been stolen by Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton. An angered Thomas complained publicly, and later vented his frustration by having a high-scoring game against Stockton. The next game they played, on December 14, 1991, Karl Malone elbowed Thomas in the head as he drove to the basket. Thomas needed 40 stitches above his eye to close the wound. Malone was fined and suspended for the incident.

Post-NBA career

Toronto Raptors

After retiring Thomas became part owner and Executive Vice President for the expansion Toronto Raptors in 1994. In 1998, he left the organization after a dispute with new management which resulted from accusations that he gave NCAA basketball players tickets and other merchandise and inappropriate conduct with team staff. Even though the latter allegation was not thoroughly investigated, it seemed suspicious because of prior instances when Thomas played for the Detroit Pistons. To his credit, over his 4-year tenure with the team, Thomas drafted Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby and high-schooler Tracy McGrady.


After leaving the Raptors, Thomas became a television commentator (first as the lead game analyst with play-by-play man Bob Costas and then as part of the studio team) for NBA on NBC. Thomas’ sometimes clumsy, monotone vocal delivery eventually led NBC to add Bill Walton as a secondary analyst to help compensate for Isiah’s deficiencies as a commentator during game broadcasts. Thomas also worked a three man booth with Costas and Doug Collins.


Thomas became the owner of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) from 1998 to 2000. After his purchase of the CBA, the league was forced into bankruptcy and folded. Many CBA managers blamed Thomas for the league’s failure, citing mismanagement and out-of-control spending on his part. Many such managers publicly declared that Thomas ran the league into the ground, possibly on purpose to eliminate the non-NBA-owned minor league in order to make room for the NBA-owned NBDL. The last paycheck was never paid to many of the teams, such as the Quad City Thunder.

Indiana Pacers

From 2000 to 2003, Thomas coached the Indiana Pacers, succeeding Larry Bird, who previously coached the Pacers to the NBA Eastern Conference title. Thomas attempted to bring up young talents such as Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Al Harrington, and Jeff Foster. Unfortunately Thomas was unable to continue to build on the accomplishments of his predecessor. In his first two seasons with the Pacers, the team was eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets who did happen to go to the NBA Finals in those years.

In his last year with the Pacers, Thomas guided the Pacers to a 48-34 record in the regular season and coached the East squad at the 2003 NBA All-Star Game. The game was also Michael Jordan’s final All-Star game. Thomas was criticized for overplaying Jordan during the game as an attempt to make up for their past feud. As the third seed, the Pacers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the sixth-seed Boston Celtics. With blossoming talents such as Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Al Harrington and Jamaal Tinsley, along with the veteran leadership of Reggie Miller, the perception existed that the Pacers’ unfulfilled potential stemmed from Isiah Thomas’ inexperience as a coach. In the off-season, Larry Bird returned to the Pacers as President of Basketball Operations, and his first act was to replace Thomas with Rick Carlisle. Indiana went to the NBA Finals in 2000 when Bird was coaching. His decision may have been influenced by Thomas not being able to sustain the team as a title contender after his departure.

Hall of Fame

In 2000, Thomas was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, in his initial year of eligibility.

New York Knicks

On December 22, 2003, the New York Knicks hired Thomas to be president of basketball operations. He immediately changed the face of the franchise by trading for a number of high-priced stars. However, despite a very high payroll, the team performed poorly, finishing last in the Atlantic Division in 2005. To address this, Thomas has made even more trades, sometimes cutting or trading away players he had paid a high price for in trades.

Thomas has been largely unsuccessful with the Knicks roster and fanbase so far. At the end of the 2005-06 season, the Knicks had the highest payroll in the NBA, yet earned the second-worst record in the NBA, and traded away several future draft picks, including the number 2 overall pick in 2006. To make matters worse, the 2005 signing of career backup Jerome James to a 5-year $30 million free-agent contract was seen as a questionable move, even more so as he averaged only 2.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 22 games.

On June 22, 2006, the New York Knicks fired coach Larry Brown, and Thomas replaced him. Team owner James Dolan said that he would give Thomas one year to turn around the Knicks and make them a better franchise or he would be fired.

On December 16, 2006, his team became embroiled in a vicious brawl with the Denver Nuggets, which Thomas was alleged to instigate by ordering his players to commit a hard foul in the paint.[2] He received no fine nor suspension; NBA Commissioner David Stern was quoted as relying only on “definitive information” when handing out punishments.[3]

On March 12, 2007, the New York Knicks re-signed Thomas to an undisclosed “multi year” contract 9 months after Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan forewarned Thomas that the Knicks needed to show “evident progress” or he’d be out of a job.[4] After Thomas was granted the extension, the Knicks abruptly fell from playoff contention with a dismal finish to the season.

On April 3, 2007 Thomas was fined for insulting the officials and saying that Stephon Marbury doesn’t get the same respect as any other player in the NBA.

Thomas traded away multiple lottery first round picks, including a first rounder in the 2007 NBA Draft to Chicago in a deal for Eddy Curry. The result of the draft lottery was that the traded pick ended up being the ninth overall pick in a widely regarded talent-rich draft.[5] As part of the trade, the Knicks got the Bulls’ 2007 first-round pick, which ended up being #23 overall.

On Draft Day 2007, Thomas made another trade by acquiring Zach Randolph, Fred Jones, and Dan Dickau from the Portland Trail Blazers for Steve Francis and Channing Frye.


Thomas, a self-proclaimed fan of popcorn who has served as the official spokesperson for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, is a partner in the New York-based gourmet-popcorn chain Dale and Thomas Popcorn.[6] It was known as “Popcorn, Indiana”, prior to his investment. The company currently has seven stores, plus online and mail-order operations.

Thomas also appeared in the noted basketball documentary Hoop Dreams, and in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air[7].

Thomas had donated money to 2000 presidential election campaigns of Democratic Party candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley.[citation needed]

Sexual harassment lawsuit

On January 24, 2006, Thomas and Madison Square Garden were sued for sexual harassment and retaliation by Anucha Browne Sanders.[8] The matter came to trial in September of 2007 and Thomas was determined to have made demeaning statements to Sanders, as well as making sexual advances and repeatedly telling her that he was in love with her. Madison Square Garden was ordered to pay Browne Sanders $11.6 million, one of the largest sexual harassment judgments in history.

“I’m innocent, I’m very innocent, and I did not do the things she has accused me in this courtroom of doing.” Thomas said after the decision, “I’m extremely disappointed that the jury did not see the facts in this case.” In all fairness, Thomas admitted under oath that he did in fact call Sanders a “bitch”. Thomas also deemed it appropriate to exchange hugs and kisses with co-workers in his testimony.

Allegations of Racism

Isiah Thomas has been accused of making racist or racial remarks. In his sexual harassment trial Anucha Browne-Sanders testified that Thomas had told her, he did not care about these “[expletive] white people” or these “[expletive] season ticket holders.” Thomas did deny these allegations. Also after a heated 1987 playoff game against the Boston Celtics Thomas said “if Larry Bird was a black guy, he would just be another good guy.” [9]

Career NBA statistics

* Games played: 979
* Games started: 971
* Minutes per game: 36.3
* Points scored: 18,822
* Assists: 9,061
* Rebounds: 3,478
* Steals: 1,861
* Points per game: 19.2
* Assists per game: 9.3
* Rebounds per game: 3.6
* Steals per game: 1.9
* Field goal percentage: .452
* Free throw percentage: .759
* Three-point percentage: .290

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29 thoughts to “Even Wikipedia Hates Isiah”

  1. Did anyone else catch the “Fire Isiah” chants with the Knicks LEADING by almost double digits in the 4th last night? The announcers sounded stunned.

  2. Hello All Disgusted, Miserable, Die-Hard Knick Fans,

    Sunday December 30th 2007
    11:00 AM (Noon Game)

    Protest in front of MSG to OUST ISIAH.
    The time has come to raise our voices.

    Knicks vs. Bulls (Sure to be another pitiful loss!)

    email: joeyvworks@yahoo.com

    Step up and push to get Isiah removed!

  3. I am glad to hear that the Fire Isiah chants were heard even in a win. (I watched the game at bar with no sound).

    Thomas has been saying over and over that the NY fans are so fickle. They love you after you win and hate you after you lose. Like we dont understand the idea of a season and that 1 win does not a season make.

    We are not going to go winless the rest of the year, its good to see that NY fans know what is up.

  4. Ode to the Knicks
    By an angry New Yorker

    Although unaware
    They have been blessed with mobility
    They stand tall like street signs protruding from the ground
    The ball moves from one spot to another
    Like a game of connect-the-dots
    But this is no game
    It?s a job
    An obligation
    And apparently a joke

    The once cutthroat knickerbockers
    Now stand as a paradox
    Their coach sits on the sideline licking his lips
    Not in satisfaction
    But in compulsion
    This franchise stands for compulsive contradiction
    A talented team without wins
    A decimated franchise
    Proclaimed leaders of the association (in monetary value)
    And a team without heart

    At least Icarus had the motivation to rise to greatness
    Yet these players are bound to the ground with weighted pockets
    Its time somebody stands up
    And stops supporting a franchise that refuses to provide
    Like that of a tired corroded support beam
    I am tired and I just can?t handle the wait

  5. Peter Vecsey has a good point in today’s paper, that since the Dolans are in an ongoing quest to purchase all of Cablevision and take it private, in a way it’s in their interest to destroy the franchise and drive the stock price down somewhat. go New York! :(

  6. Jon – Vecsey! Stealing my stuff, I wrote that a couple of months age. The Dolans have definitely been “goldplating” Cablevision, putting in a lot of infrastructure they don’t need, building out capacity that isn’t necessary, in order to hide how much money they are making, so that they can take it private and make a killing…

    And definitely what is happening with the Knicks makes more sense in that context…

  7. Dolans also own the rangers which are doing well.Not sure if I’m buying Vecsey’s theory.
    Although I thought Zeke was an improvement over Layden he was not what the Knicks needed at the time. His inability to control spending is big part of it but not holding on to draft pics (ie curry deal where no one else in the league was giving the Bulls nothing because of the heart condition let alone uprotected lottery picks)had a deeper effect. At that time and now too what we need is to not to take on added contracts get somewhere near the cap (09/10) and hold onto draft pics.

  8. Joe Said:
    December 16th, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Hello All Disgusted, Miserable, Die-Hard Knick Fans,

    Sunday December 30th 2007
    11:00 AM (Noon Game)

    Protest in front of MSG to OUST ISIAH.
    The time has come to raise our voices.

    Knicks vs. Bulls (Sure to be another pitiful loss!)

    email: joeyvworks@yahoo.com

    Step up and push to get Isiah removed!

    Joe, I’ll be there. Spread the word.

  9. Knicks are 6-7 with a crowd of Knick fans screaming ‘fire isiah’ or whatever they want, and 1-9 away from those fans. So we fans, if anything, are helping the team by yelling at isiah.

    It is reported that Marbury returned to Knicks practice today. I am shocked! The Knicks practice?

  10. One can make a good arguement that the chant has prolongued Isiah’s coaching this team and not only that what decent coach or gm for that matter would want to come here knowing they have the job of remaking this roster and have the prospects of listening to that bs.
    Booing is one thing, they have that right, but asking for someone to be fired is idiotic, John Wooden couldn’t make Marbury a true point guard or Curry rebound or Zack play defense and on and on.
    The longer Isiah hangs around the better chance there is of losing Lee or Balkman for some stupid band aid fix/problem decent player.

  11. Let me add Chandler Wilson to that list and I don’t need any statistical figures or special inside knowledge to know this kid is going to be good and that other teams already have there eyes on him.

  12. Read the wikipedia description of Thomas. I’m from Indiana. Article conveniently doesn’t mention that Ind. Pacers went into rebuild mode when Thomas came. Center Rik Smits retired etc. He coached allstars then Artest started knocking over cameras etc. Rodman made comment about Bird, Thomas agreed so he is credited with comment. If your Knicks win 40+ games,Thomas deserves consideration for coach of the year for perservering despite unrelenting, unpresedented chants of fire the coach

  13. Read the wikipedia description of Thomas. I?m from Indiana. Article conveniently doesn?t mention that Ind. Pacers went into rebuild mode when Thomas came. Center Rik Smits retired etc. He coached allstars then Artest started knocking over cameras etc.

    Yep, that was probably the most glaring part of the entry to me, too.

    TOTALLY glossed over the context of the situation in Indiana to just rip on Isiah. Like I said, the piece is hilarious if viewed under the auspices of it attempting to be a neutral viewpoint.

  14. If he won over 40 games and was awarded coach of the year because of that, he would also have to win worst GM of the year, what a bizarro paradox. If that were to happen, his coach of the year award should be revoked, kind of like when tripple-doubles are nullified when a guy misses a shot on purpose just to get a rebound.

  15. “unpresedented chants of fire the coach”


    “Fire Layden!”

    “Fire Chaney!”

    “Fire MacLeod!”

    “Fire Hubie!”

    “Fire Dick Helm!”

  16. “TOTALLY glossed over the context of the situation in Indiana to just rip on Isiah”

    Pacers won 61 games the season after Isiah left, and made the conference finals. The season prior to Isiah they won 56, and went to NBA finals. With Isiah they won 41,42, & 48 games, and no playoff series won.
    It is difficult to see how this can be spun into a success for isiah. He just happened to coach them while they were at their worst? Not his fault, the players and fans?

    The wiki article is too kind to Isiah, skipping over many issues. Among them: fights with Knight that made him leave school early & his nonsupport of Brendan Malone at Toronto.

  17. Sly Williams – I hear you, but even Rick Carlyle thought enough to praise Isiah for molding the team when he took over. That ’99-00 team had Dale Davis, Rik Smits, Mark Jackson, Sam Perkins, and Chris Mullin (albeit) at the end of the line. With the exception of Perkins, the rest had been together as far back as the ’97-98 team that took Chicago to 7 games.

    That final year in Indiana, losing in the first round definitely doomed him, but that was the year Artest was truly developing an offensive game on the perimter that continued into Carlyle’s 1st season.

    The other controversial point in his timeline is the CBA. I’ve never been an Isiah fan, but I can’t understand why he’s always singled out for it’s demise. The league was already failing financially when he bought it and had the nail put in the coffin the day the D-League was first announced. I could understand if the argument was he should’ve, but failed to sign any deal to be absorbed by the NBA (he thought their offer was too low).

  18. Yeah, Sly, come on, context is key.

    The 2001 team just lost 3/5th of their starting rotation and replaced them with young players. Then, during his three-year run, the young players developed (especially O’Neal) and got better and better (how can you dismiss a coach’s record when the dude IMPROVES the wins each year) and when Carlisle got there, they were ready to make a run.

    Like PeteRoc mentioned, the key was that they got upset in the first round in Isiah’s last year. That was all Larry Bird needed to get rid of Isiah, who he clearly did not want to keep (and I’m not even blaming Bird for that – just noting that he was not firing Isiah because Isiah did a bad job in Indiana, he was firing him because he did not want Isiah as his coach period).

  19. Brian,
    Isiah’s 1st Pacer team was very talented, including the addition of 22 year old O’Neal. To me they look more talented than the previous year. Still, this team was outscored by their opponents. Now, in order for a claim of a great job by Isiah, they would have to be expected to be about 25 games or so worse than the previous season. I just don’t see that drop off in talent that you see.
    Can you spin this convincingly into a mediocre job? Maybe if you argue that Brown, Bird, and Carlisle are super coaches. But it is a big stretch to call this a good coaching job, IMHO.

  20. Hopefully the real Zach Randolph has finally arrived in New York, and will continue to play like he did in the first quarter for the rest of his career here…

  21. When was the last time Crawford actually got to the line when he wasn’t being intentionally fouled at the end of a game?

  22. Brian,
    Isiah?s 1st Pacer team was very talented, including the addition of 22 year old O?Neal. To me they look more talented than the previous year. Still, this team was outscored by their opponents. Now, in order for a claim of a great job by Isiah, they would have to be expected to be about 25 games or so worse than the previous season. I just don?t see that drop off in talent that you see.
    Can you spin this convincingly into a mediocre job? Maybe if you argue that Brown, Bird, and Carlisle are super coaches. But it is a big stretch to call this a good coaching job, IMHO.

    The team had some good, young talent, no doubt.

    And said young talent did what most young, talented teams do – struggle at first then get better as time goes on.

    Which is what they did.

    If the team got WORSE during Isiah’s run, then fine, rip the guy – but they didn’t. They improved each season and then Bird was put in charge, and he sure was not going to keep Isiah, especially as Bird specifically asked for Carlisle to replace him as coach.

  23. “TOTALLY glossed over the context of the situation in Indiana to just rip on Isiah.”

    There are three positives in the career of Isiah Thomas:

    1) didn’t do a bad job coaching Indiana.

    2) made some nice draft choices.

    3) was an all time great point guard with two championships.

    The only one of these that ultimately matters at all is #3. He could do whatever he wanted with the Raptors, the Pacers, the Patroons, Thrillers, and Fury– he’d always have #3.

    But, unfortunately for him, the New York Knicks is a franchise that isn’t going to roll over and die lightly. His legacy is clouded by the job he’s done in NY, and will continue to be until he is gone, and it all blows over.

    Then, and only then, will his Wikipedia entry accurately reflect his successes in the game of basketball.

    Until then he’ll be the guy who “has been largely unsuccessful with the Knicks roster and fanbase so far”.

    And that is truly glossing it over.

  24. I do not think that young teams always lose most of their games. Counter examples are all over the place: Bird and Alcindor as rookies are a couple.
    The only newcomer to the 1st IT Pacer team, playing more than Tyus Edney’s 263 min, was O’neal. Exactly how many games worse do you think adding a player of that caliber should make the team? Then they added Tinsley, Brad Miller, and Artest. I think that improves the team.
    The rest of the team was not that young. Other than Harrington, an NBA experienced 20 year old, they were all 24 to 39 years old, most at their peak. And they were all on the team the prior season, not incoming rookies.

    So the team drops like a rock (15 games) then makes small incremental advances from the newly lowered level over 3 seasons, and we are supposed to be impressed? I think Walsh fired Isiah because he wasn’t performing to expectations, and he had someone who could do better (and he was right). Besides they crashed at the end of his last season (started 23-8).
    Isiah also had his normal personality clashes while in Indiana, and was not widely considered a good coach entering his final season.
    Quote from ESPN at that time (Frank Hughes):
    “Even ranked 23rd, Thomas might be given too much respect. Word out of Indy is he does not work hard, he does not communicate with his players and he does not seem to care a great deal about much other than the substantial paycheck he is cashing. He better take this group of young talent somewhere this season or he is gonzo.”

    Isiah was a great player, although he was somewhat overrated during the championship years, being that he was the worst defender and rebounder on a team that won by defense and rebounding.
    His post-playing career has been unsuccessful, even with all the ‘buts’ used like band-aids:
    but the CBA was failing before he invested
    but the team was young
    but Larry Brown forced him to make that bad trade
    but Lenny Wilkins was old and about to retire anyway
    but they really are all out to get him
    but the fans yelled at him, just when his team was about to play defense
    but he can’t be sexist because of his race
    but 33 wins is really an improvement
    but it’s the team’s fault
    but it’s the fans fault
    but he made good draft picks that led to the bad record
    but Darrell Walker will coach for below minimum wage
    but he only has had 4 years to improve the team, and he just decided this morning that they need to rebuild
    but he told them to play defense. once, in pre-season.
    etc etc etc

    Isiah loses and treats people very poorly. I would settle for someone who only improves one of those, at this point.

  25. zeke is the perfect coach for a rebuilding team: his ineptitude ensures a high draft pick. i hope we hold onto him, and i hope he doesn’t deal away any of our draft picks.

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