The 50th Pistons celebration a few night’s ago was very stirring. Bill Davidson, the ailing man who ushered in an era of success unlike any era before in Detroit basketball, sat on the floor as players before and during his ownership entered one-by-one. Legends like Bob Lanier and Dave Bing were greeted to hearty applause by most fans who aren’t old enough to know what they looked like in a Pistons uniform. One of the biggest roars that night happened to come for the opposing coach, who has received more jeers than cheers from his own fans in New York. For Isiah Thomas, that night was a rare occasion to receive applause to the only fans that will forgive him for what he has become.
In a span of nearly 15 years since he left the court for the last time at the Palace as a player, Thomas has nearly destroyed three franchises and put a league into bankruptcy. For Matt Millen haters out there, I can assure you that Millen only pales in comparison to the havoc that Thomas has caused the fans in Toronto, Indianapolis and New York City. In fact, Knicks fans are wondering what it will take to finally get rid of this guy.
One might say that the reason Thomas still draws applause in Detroit could be that he rid the town of Larry Brown and his ego. There is no doubt that Brown would still be panhandling his rights from one team to another while still under contract. Well old no. 11 took the bait three years ago and is still paying dearly since. Presidential candidates should be telling voters about what they would do about dealing with Thomas in this economy. What is the root of the nation’s credit crunch? Most likely an individual who has carelessly spent nearly $60 million of New York Knicks money on one year of Brown’s lackluster coaching and a total slew of lewd and completely disrespectful comments. Dean Smith, Hank Iba and Red Auerbach are all revered for what they brought to their teams in the form of championships, respect and glory. In the case of the former Hoosier, maybe he needs to head back to Bloomington for some Coaching 101.
I found it funny that in the middle of the Pistons anniversary celebration, Thomas took the time to call out another sad former Bad Boy Dennis Rodman. Rodman’s career which bordered somewhere between twisted and psychotic, has had fractured ties to a city which once saw “The Worm” as an essential part to the Pistons core. The excessive tattoos and crazy hairstyles and antics were not that long ago, and Pistons fans would have also created an ovation unlike any other one before. In this blue collar town where hard work on the floor creates legends, Rodman’s appearance would have been another stitch on the tapestry which has been Pistons basketball. Thomas used his high pulpit at that moment to call out the missing Rodman, a mere stain on what had become a tremendous evening. For somebody like Isiah, he might want to consider his own checkered history first before marring another franchise.