Isiah Thomas is a former professional basketball player and coach in the National Basketball Association. He played for the Detroit Pistons from 1981 to 1994. He is a two-time NBA Champion and in 1990, he was named the NBA Finals MVP. He is a 12-time NBA All-Star and in 1984 and 1986, he was named the NBA Finals MVP.

After he retired, the Pistons retired his Jersey No.11 in his honor. He was also named to the 50th and 75th NBA Anniversary Teams. After he retired as a player, he served as a coach at the NBA and Florida International University.

Player Profile and Personal Life

Isiah Lord Thomas III was born on April 30, 1961, in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. He stands 185 cm tall and his weight was last listed at 82 kg. He played point guard. Thomas is the youngest of nine kids and he grew up in Chicago’s West Side. His parents were Isiah II and Mary.

Position Point Guard
Height / weight 1.85 m / 82 kg
Born 30 Apr 1961
Nationality United States United States
Playing Style Right Handed
Nickname Smiling Assassin
Team History
209 detroit pistons Detroit 1981 - 1994

He started playing basketball at a young age and started playing with his older brothers. He is married to Lynn Kendall, whom he met when he was attending University.

High School and College Career

He attended the Our Lady of Sorrows and St. Joseph High School. He played under Coach Gene Pingatore.

He helped lead the St. Joseph team into the state finals when he was a junior. He was also considered a top recruit by the time he was a senior and he committed to play for Indiana University Bloomington.

While he was with Indiana, he helped the team win the 1981 NCAA Championship. He was also named the 1981 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player.

Professional Career

He joined the NBA during the 1981 NBA Draft and was chosen in the first round as the second overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. He made the 1982 All-Rookie First Team. In the same year, he was made an NBA All-Star for the first time. Throughout his career, he would be named an All-Star again 11 more times until the year before he retired.

He was named the All-Star Game MVP in 1984 and 1986. In 1989, he won his first NBA Championship while with Detroit. They would win the Championship again in 1990. In that year, Thomas was named the NBA Finals MVP.

He tore his Achilles tendon in 1994, which led to him ultimately retiring from playing professionally. After he retired, the Pistons announced that they were retiring his jersey number.

After retiring, tried his hand at broadcasting and coaching. In 2003, he was named the NBA All-Star Game Head Coach. He coached for the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. He also coached for the team at the Florida International University.

Career Highlights

As a Player:

  • 1989, 1990 - NBA champion
  • 1990 - NBA Finals MVP
  • 1982–1993 - NBA All-Star
  • 1984, 1986 - NBA All-Star Game MVP
  • 1984–1986 - All-NBA First Team
  • 1983, 1987 - All-NBA Second Team
  • 1982 - NBA All-Rookie First Team
  • 1985 - NBA assists leader
  • 1987 - J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

  • NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)
  • No. 11 retired by Detroit Pistons

  • 1981 - NCAA champion
  • 1981 - NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player
  • 1981 - Consensus first-team All-American
  • 1980 - USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year
  • 1979 - McDonald’s All-American

As Coach:

  • 2003 - NBA All-Star Game head coach

Career NBA Playing Statistics

  • Points - 18,822 (19.2 ppg)
  • Assists - 9,061 (9.3 apg)
  • Steals - 1,861 (1.9 spg)

Career Coaching Record

  • NBA - 187–223 (.456)
  • College - 26–65 (.286)

  • Basketball Hall of Fame as player, 2000
  • College Basketball Hall of Fame, 2006

Medal Record, Men’s basketball, representing the United States

  • Gold - 1979 Pan American Games San Juan

Team History:

As a Coach:

  • 2000–2003 - Indiana Pacers
  • 2006–2008 - New York Knicks
  • 2009–2012 - FIU

People Ask

Where is Isiah Thomas from?

He was born in Chicago, Illinois in the United States on April 30, 1961.

What are Isiah Thomas’s nicknames?

Some of his nicknames include Smiling Assassin, Zeke, The Baby-Faced Assassin, Tuss, and Pocket Magic.

How many times was Isiah Thomas an NBA Champion?

Twice. He helped the Detroit Pistons win in 1989 and again in 1990.

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