Some players will stop at nothing to win, including getting their hands dirty in the middle of a game. This was particularly the case of a Hall of Famer hated by everyone during his career! Years ago, the legendary Pat Riley had also had very strong words for him.
Hard to find a more controversial team than the Bad Boys of Detroit, which raged between the 80s and 90s. On the one hand, we are talking about one of the greatest defenses in history, and a double squad champion in 1989 and 1990. On the other hand, it is also one of the dirtiest formations ever seen, not hesitating to hurt opposing players and using all the low blows imaginable. We can notably mention Bill Laimbeer, public enemy of the league for years!
Nevertheless, if the interior was the chief corporal of the Pistons of that time, the general in chief was none other than Isiah Thomas. The Hall of Famer point guard was simply a moth with a warrior mentality. Growing up in a very complicated environment in Chicago, he had grown up with the following approach: stop at nothing to beat your opponent. Including hitting where it hurts, both literally and figuratively. It’s not for nothing that Michael Jordan still openly hates him, decades later!
Pat Riley cash on the mentality of Isiah Thomas
However, His Airness was not the only one not to appreciate the guy when he was playing on the floors. On the side of the coaches too, it cringed when Zeke played against their team… Pat Riley, Lakers coach Showtime version and who faced Detroit twice in the Finals, is one of them. During this period, he notably released the following statement:
He would rip out your heart to win and he would lay it right there on the ground in front of you and stomp on it.
That is said. At the same time, it summed up the character of the man, who never hesitated to provoke or even insult anyone. This got him in quite a bit of trouble, for example when he was snubbed from the 1992 Dream Team… Yet he was one of, if not the best in the league at his position at that time. . His often detestable attitude, however, played tricks on him, the other members of the selection absolutely not wanting him, especially Jordan!
On the Michigan side, however, we continue to celebrate the No. 11 who is clearly the best player in his history. Beyond the back-to-back, Thomas is also a Finals MVP title, another of the best NBA passers in 1984-85 with 14 offerings per game as well as 12 All-Star Game selections. For better and for worse (behaviours), the Pistons have greatly benefited from his presence to become a legendary franchise:
Pat Riley didn’t mince words about Isiah Thomas, but he perfectly summed up the divisive character that was the ringleader. A rather fascinating player, both for his outbursts on the floor and for his freaking out against his opponents.