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Report: Pistons considering hiring Isiah Thomas as general manager

Mar 2, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Isiah Thomas Getty Images

Isiah Thomas, as general manager of the New York Knicks, built loser after loser, pulverized the team’s cap structure and exposed Madison Square Garden to an eight-digit sexual-harassment lawsuit.

Just the man who deserves another chance to run a team.

That’s reportedly the logic of Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, who could be weeks from relieving Joe Dumars as general manager. Dumars’ contract expires after the season, and it’s difficult to see him returning in that capacity after the Pistons’ miserable season.

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News:

“Gores is definitely looking at Isiah to replace Joe,” one league source said.

What [Gores] knows about pro basketball you can probably fit in a thimble, and he loves his stars. That goes for current ones (Josh Smith, who is said to have a direct pipeline to Gores) and former ones (there’s none bigger in the Motor City than Thomas, who led the Pistons to back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990).

Gores, 49, grew up in Michigan. I can see why he’d idolize Thomas, the top player on the Bad Boys.

Bill Simmons has written extensively on this, but sports-team owners sometimes use their wealth to live their fantasies of befriending famous athletes. No better way to make someone your friend than offering him a job in your company, right?

If Gores wants to do that, I suppose it’s his prerogative. He owns the team, after all.

It would just likely cost him a lot of money.

Pistons fans won’t buy tickets to watch a terrible team, which Thomas would be far too likely to create. And if Dumars handed out too many big and bad contracts, wait until Thomas gets a hold of the checkbook.

I actually believe Thomas gets overly criticized by Knicks fans. Don’t get me wrong, Thomas did an awful job as New York’s general manager. But the Knicks were in bad shape, on the floor and in the cap structure, when he arrived. He worsened the issues and created new problems – and he deserves blame for that – but he didn’t break a model franchise.

However, that’s just arguing the degree of Thomas’ failures. He failed and failed big, and that should preclude him from getting the Pistons’, or any other NBA, general-managing job.

Thomas wouldn’t necessarily be doomed to repeat his terrible tenure, but the odds are far too high to justify hiring him. There are front-office members all over the league who are far more deserving of a first chance to run a team than Thomas is of a second chance.

If Gores wants to befriend Thomas, take him out to dinner or something.

  1. JMClarkent - Mar 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    “On second thought, let’s give Joe a few more years to get this thing back on track.”

    – Pistons Fanbase

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      wonderful… thanks for making me laugh. very good commet.

    • itsallgood8989 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      I heard that we will hire Zeke to be the GM and Allan Iverson to be the coach! (practice! practice? We are talking about practice!)

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        And since the Knicks are trying to move Amare, you just know Isiah will say we GOTTA have him man!

        And Gores will be like, “you’re amazing to watch while you’re working Zeke”

        What’s happened to Detroit? First, the city just imploded… The Lions, well let’s not even go there…

        The Pistons too…

        If not for the Tigers…

        I feel for the fans in Detroit… (and Cleveland too).

      • stayhigh_247 - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        im not sure which front office is the worst Detroit or Cleveland? Talk about going backwards, hey, have fun just keep him away from my team.

    • spthegr8 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      Just when the Pistons thought it Couldn’t get any worse. The clouds open up and god says I HATE you Detroit!! Better off hiring Ellen Degeneres!

  2. mortalkondek - Mar 2, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Please, no.

  3. ryanaammess - Mar 2, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Why not Rodman? Or Chuck Dalys corpse. Both are better options than Zeke.

    • miamatt - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      I’d love to see Daly get the “Re-Animator” treatment. He’d have to be better than Thomas.

      • ryanaammess - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Id just prop him up in a chair and get some Weekend at Bernies action going.

  4. Gordon - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    As a Bulls fan, I approve of this choice.

  5. garryfish - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    As a Knicks fan, Please take him so he does not come back

  6. timb12 - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I hear Ben Wallace is looking for work. He played for them for a while, so if anything he’s overly qualified.

  7. bellerophon30 - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Interesting that Dan brings up Simmons in this piece, his drool must be flooding his floor at the thought of Zeke back in the NBA, and as a decision maker no less.

    So I really hope that this happens. I’m a Michigan resident, but not a Pistons fan, so I get the satisfaction of seeing this up close, but not the horror of watching Zeke ruin my team… least any more than it’s already been ruined by Joe D. So please Tom Gores, DO THIS!!!!!

    Sorry Pistons fans, but you have to take entertainment bargains where you can find them.

  8. katra2logic - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Isiah also did in the Toronto Raptors before he went and worked his charms on the Knicks :-)

    • katra2logic - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Although Zeke should not be allowed run a team, he does have a good eye for talent. Scouting would be his niche but he may feel he is a above that sort of thing (having been a GM, coach, etc in the past).

    • goirishgo - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      And between those disastrous gigs he bankrupted the old CBA.

  9. 2liveted - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    everything he touches turns to garbage. he also ran the cba and ran that league into the ground. how does he keep finding work?

  10. thomaskouns - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Isiah must have compromising photos on a whole lotta folks to keep getting these gigs.

  11. 00maltliquor - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Out of the frying pan, into the fire!

  12. ovaw8lova - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    I will not argue that Joe Dumars has to go but why Isiah? Everything he has touched relating to basketball has failed (except for him being a player).

  13. sportsfan18 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Isiah was a wonderful basketball player. I’m an IU grad and he lead IU to the 1981 college national championship as well as winning it all with the Pistons.

    But, Isiah has no business running or coaching a team. He’s had chances (he coached a small time Florida college basketball team and they did NOT do well folks, that came AFTER his Knicks fiasco).

    It amazes me how some folks who are so successful can be so dump… Jerry Jones, Dolan, Gores and others…

    Thomas has crashed and burned as G.M of the Knicks, as coach of them and as coach of that college basketball team in Florida (they were 26 & 65 in three seasons under him for a winning percentage of only .286%).

    He has 3 separate strikes already… and that means he’s out!

    • Wammy Giveaway - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Not necessarily. I consider one entity of a team as one full strike. In the case of Thomas coaching and managing the team in two separate stints with the Knicks, he basically tried to save himself from the proverbial banhammer by splitting his first strike in half.

      Technically speaking, this is Thomas’s last and only chance to set things right. He did so well with the Pistons when he was a player, might as well give it a shot in managing them. If the Pistons have another bad season similar to Thomas’s stints, then it will officially be his third strike and Thomas will never be involved with basketball decisions ever again.

      Now I shudder to think about Chris Paul and his future here with the NBA. Hope he doesn’t end up like Michael Jordan or Isiah Thomas.

  14. roseann894 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Don’t forget he tried to commit suicide then told authorities it was actually his daughter. Easily the most shameful thing he’s done, even if not the most financially imprudent.

  15. dinofrank60 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    I was interested in the article until Bill Simmons was mentioned…

  16. luz56 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    REALLY???? What the hell is in the water in Michigan? If he goes back …..well we know how that’s going to work out in the end

  17. cantonbound13 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Please sign him so he stays away from the Knicks already! Maybe we can trade him our bad contracts.

    • leahcima1 - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM


  18. psubeerman21 - Mar 2, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Please do this. Please bring him back. We need another tire fire.

  19. beach305 - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Isiah and MJ; great players horrible leaders

  20. smarshall3789 - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Exactly why this team has no fans in the stands! Stupid moves if he hires this guy I won’t even want this team in my town it’s a clown show! It’s like a race to see who can run it into the ground first! Idk who’s worse Joey d or the owner and with Thomas in the mix they might be out of the league in 3 seasons

  21. rajbais - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    And the players sacrificed their pay in the CBA for people like you???

    The new age owner was key for the CBA mess of 2011, but we need someone to make an even bigger one for Detroit?

  22. ocgunslinger - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    EVERY team in the NBA will endorse his hire. It means that the Pistons will have the honor of the worse won-loss record every year and then the ability to screw up the draft as well.

  23. DonKellyBaby - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Gores sucks it hard

  24. xjokerz - Mar 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM


    i live 5 minutes from the Palace…no wonder i havent been to a Pistons game in about 6 years.

    what a horrible Franchise

  25. timmons94 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Ever since bill passed this franchise has gone south. Josh smith and Jennings are not guys u will ever win with. That being said u have Drummond… He could be a beast for years to come. Wish Jonas would get more minutes… Love singler

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