Sports Speaker Isiah Thomas was a professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons. He led the team to the NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990 and after his career was an executive for the Toronto Raptors, a TV commentator, head coach of the Indiana Pacers and an executive and head coach of the New York Knicks. He has been named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.
The Detroit Pistons selected Isiah as the No. 2 pick and signed him to a four year deal for $1.6 million. He made the All-Rookie team and started for the Eastern Conference in the 1982 All-Star Game. He was named to the All-NBA First team three times and is the Piston’s all-time leader in points, steals, games played and assists. In NBA history, Isiah is ranked fifth for assists and ninth in steals.
He was selected to the 1980 Olympic team, but unfortunately did not play due to the Olympics boycott. After leaving the Toronto Raptors as part owner and Executive Vice President, he became a TV commentator for the NBA on NBC. In 1999 he became the owner of the Continental Basketball Association but in 2001 the league was forced into bankruptcy and folded. From 2000-2003 he was the coach of the Indiana Pacers then went to the New York Knicks as President of Basketball Operations.
In 2009, Isiah accepted an offer to become the head basketball coach of FIU and said that he would donate his first year’s salary back to the school. He served as head coach for three seasons, 2009 to 2012. After coaching FIU, NBA TV announced that Isiah would begin working with them as a member of the studio analyst panel and become a regular contributor of NBA.com. In May 2015, he was name President and part owner of the Knick’s WNBA sister team, the New York Liberty
In his first year of eligibility, Sports Speaker Isiah was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. In March 2013, Children Uniting Nations presented Isiah with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his passion and commitment to improving the lives of children. Isiah Thomas is available for speaking engagements, sporting events, and personal appearances.