why is isiah thomas called zeke

There was Jerry Stackhouse and Dennis Rodman, and Rick Mahorn, John Salley and James Edwards. If you had a reputation as the MJ stopper, you'd be happy too.

From the Pistons' inaugural season in 1957 through the 1980-81 campaign — and despite having stars George Yardley, Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, and Bob Lanier — the Pistons had only three winning seasons.

Off the court, Thomas was a tireless charity worker known for his sincerity and compassion.

Thomas’ statistics dipped a bit (19.5 ppg, 8.4 apg), but only because he was part of a complete team with few, if any, weaknesses. After Michael Jordan and the Bulls knocked off Detroit in 1991, the team regressed until 2004, when the Pistons won a championship with Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace. Press J to jump to the feed. Thomas helped build a last-place Detroit Pistons team into back-to-back NBA champions in the late 1980s.

“What Isiah did in a blink of an eye at the Joe was simply unbelievable,” Blaha said. The Pistons led the Celtics, 107-106, with 5 seconds left and the ball, Thomas had difficulty finding a man open and desperately threw a careless pass toward Celtics basket that Larry Bird snared. But Thomas took over in the final 94 seconds of regulation, scoring 16 consecutive points to force overtime. Isiah Lord Thomas III came into the world in 1961 under the harshest of circumstances.

Thomas blossomed into the Pistons' fearless leader during his career, cementing a legacy befitting of his middle name. The fans who attended the Detroit Pistons' final game at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Monday were thrilled to see some of the franchise's heroes gather at center court.

With five seconds left in Game 5 and Detroit leading 107-106, Larry Bird stole a Thomas inbounds pass and fed Dennis Johnson for a layup, giving Boston a 108-107 win.

“I remember going to the bench and into the huddle just before overtime and crying uncontrollably. “I was like in this spiritual zone,” Thomas said.

The overpowering Pistons swept the Lakers for their first-ever NBA title.

In 1987-88, the Pistons reached the NBA Finals for the first time since moving to Detroit from Fort Wayne in 1958.

The future Hall of Famer sank two free throws with 14 seconds left, proving to be the difference after Joe Dumars missed a game winning shot, nearly tapped in by Rodman, with 7 seconds remaining. Isaiah Jamar Thomas (born February 7, 1989) is an American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent.

But in the 13 seasons that followed, the Thomas-led Pistons only had four sub-.500 seasons, competed in three NBA finals, won two championships and sold out every game (21,454 fans) for four consecutive seasons (1989-90 through 1992-93). ESPN 857,661 views.

Detroit Pistons greats happy to see team taking history south to city. You can bet that Thomas, whom Blaha says “is the person most responsible for pushing the Pistons to the forefront of the NBA,” will be at center court when the franchise starts a new chapter at Little Caesars Arena. 2x all-star mvp, 2x champ, 12 all star, 1x FMVP, top 2-3 PG of all time, made alot of money in his career and even more post career... What's not to smile about, everything else is gravy. “In those moments you’re touched by something else," Thomas said at the Palace on Monday.

Whenever I see this guy, whether in interviews, in the studio doing analysis, whatever, why is he always smiling??? Isiah “Zeke” Thomas was one of the greatest “small men” ever to play professional basketball.

"They were not a 6th man to us, they were one with us.

You have to keep asking yourself, ‘How bad do you really want it?'”. Pistons basketball history should be marked as "Before Isiah" and "After Isiah.". A subreddit dedicated for NBA news and discussion.

He led all scorers with 28 points as the Pistons upset the Bulls, 119-106.

During the season they used a 25-1 midseason tear to finish with a 59-23 record. The competitive spirit fostered by Thomas’s childhood manifested itself in his on-court performance. Hall of Fame player Isiah Thomas is 56 years old (birthdate: April 30, 1961).His namesake (not related) is Isaiah Thomas (born February 7, 1989).

He also continued his charity work with educational, anti-crime and anti-poverty programs; during his playing career, Thomas had paid college tuition for more than 75 young people. It was the first of 12 consecutive All-Star Game appearances.

In his last season, 42-year-old center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was ineffective and guards Magic Johnson and Byron Scott were slowed by hamstring injuries. They shared Olympia Stadium with the Red Wings until moving into the newly built Cobo Arena in 1961. Thomas single-handedly gave the Pistons a 81-79 lead. Sometimes when I’m walking down the halls of my home and I see a door ledge, like a kid, I pretend I’m shooting a lay-up, or I make an imaginary jump shot, or dribble move.". As a team, however, the Pistons posted no improvement in the standings, finishing at 37-45.

Thomas was slowed by a sprained foot, a pulled leg muscle, and an injured wrist in that playoff run and Detroit’s dynasty came to an end when the Bulls swept the Pistons in the Eastern Conference ffinals. And he knew how to handle pain; he often played with injuries resulting from his rough-and-tumble style.

You misunderstand, his face is in a permanent smile, he has no other expression, only smile. The 12-time All-Star was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 and was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team. Thomas’ sunny smile belied an inner toughness that made him a key member of a scrappy, physical group of players dubbed the “Bad Boys” of Detroit. Los Angeles, though dominant throughout the decade, was ill-prepared for the series. During his 13-year career, he established himself as one of the greatest “small men” in NBA history.

He combined intelligence, court savvy and physical gifts to attain true NBA superstardom. His family sometimes went without food or heat, and the lack of bed space forced some of the kids to sleep on the floor. Thomas built a reputation as a fierce competitor, a natural leader who played through injuries.

The Pistons would lose in the first round the next two seasons before  coming within one game of reaching the NBA Finals in 1987.

I never would have become the player I became without them encouraging me.”. Philanthropy has been a part of Thomas’ mission since leaving Chicago. In 1981-82, with center Bill Laimbeer and rookie forward Kelly Tripucka also aboard, the Pistons posted an 18-game turnaround and climbed to third in the Central Division. 6:48. Detroit was the doormat of the NBA prior to the 1981 draft.

Thomas was tough from start to finish, and he was particularly focused in a game’s final minutes.

The Pistons played and intimidated their way to a second consecutive NBA Championship in 1989-90, becoming the second team since the 1968-69 Boston Celtics to win back-to-back crowns, and the sixth team ever to do so. Before a record NBA finals crowd of 41,732 who saw the team's last game at the Silverdome, the Pistons took a 3-2 series lead over the Lakers before heading back to L.A. Thomas, whose nickname became “Zeke” and who later would be called “The Smiling Assassin,” delivered another treat. He also helped start the “Peace Tournament” in Chicago by getting rival gang members to play on the basketball court.

Also it's weird because his face has a smile etched permanently on it, like it's the only expression he has. © 2020 www.freep.com. “That was a huge undertaking, and I’m very proud of the foundation that we built in Toronto,” said Thomas, who later served serve as Indiana Pacers coach, became president, general manager, and coach of the Knicks and briefly owned the Continental Basketball Association. Thomas had a solid first year (17.0 ppg, 7.8 apg, 150 steals), stepping into the point guard position and leading the team in assists and steals.

It's in their nature. (Before the Game 1 tipoff, Thomas and close friend Magic Johnson exchanged what may have been the first on-court kiss in league history.). Thomas retired with 18,822 points (19.2 ppg), 9,061 assists (9.3 apg), and 1,861 steals over 979 games — all Pistons records. “I’ve been to the place where he grew up, and for him to come out of that tougher-than-tough neighborhood you had to be something special,” Blaha said. The Pistons now had one of the league’s most talented and bruising lineups, with Thomas, Laimbeer, Johnson, Adrian Dantley, Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman and Joe Dumars.

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