Isiah Thomas To Join NBA TV As An Analyst

Isiah Thomas’ efforts as an NBA head coach and general manager were nowhere near as outstanding as his Hall of Fame career as a point guard for the Detroit Lions. He was not that good as a college basketball coach, either — or owner of the CBA.Maybe Thomas’ ideal role is in as an analyst. He will join NBA TV in the studio starting Friday  during the network’s AutoTrader.com Pre-Game Show at 7 p.m.Thomas, who served years ago as an in-game analyst for NBC, will make several appearances each month on the network and will also be a regular contributor to NBA.com.It will be interesting to see if he is on set with Magic Johnson, who works for TNT but on occasion will be an NBA TV guest. Johnson and Thomas were best friends, so much so that they actually kissed before NBA Finals games in the late 1980s when the Pistons faced Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers.However, the thick-as-thieves-relationship fell off in subsequent years for many rumored but unconfirmed reasons.Thomas is a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.He became the target of much fury in 1987 when he repeated teammate Dennis Rodman’s comment that Larry Bird, the NBA’s MVP at the time, ”would be just another good guy” if he were not white. The backlash was so sever that Thomas flew to Los Angeles and appeared alongside Bird during a press conference.He explained then: ‘My mistake was in joking in a manner and with someone who did not fully understand that I was joking,” Thomas said. ”I’m really hurting about this.”At the same time, Thomas can be thoughtful, insightful and pensive. If he unleashes all his knowledge, he can become a strong addition to the network.He had a decent run as coach of the Indiana Pacers and a rally bad stint as coach and general manager of the New York Knicks. His latest basketball job was at tiny Florida International, where he did not make a significant mark.Recently, Thomas, who won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in ’87, spoke out at a rally in his hometown of Chicago to end the extreme violence that has marred the city.Thomas played 13 seasons in the NBA, all as a member of the  Pistons. He led the franchise to back-to-back world championships in 1989-90 and earned NBA Finals MVP in 1990.Thomas is chairman and CEO of Isiah International, a holding company with interests in a diversified portfolio of companies with strong market positions and growth potential.

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