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View Full Version : Isiah on his time w/ Pacers....



Smoothdave1
11-05-2010, 11:52 AM
Pretty good read on ESPN about Thomas wanting to return to the Knicks and he mentions a few interesting pieces about his time in Indy and working with Bird: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/columns/story?columnist=oconnor_ian&id=5766026

Thomas has never lacked for confidence. The day Larry Bird fired him in Indiana, Thomas told his former on-court adversary that he was making a terrible decision, that he was running off the very coach who would lead the Pacers to a title.

Thomas tried selling Bird on the free-agent dream team they would form as summertime recruiters. "If you and I stay together," Thomas told him, "we'll get all the players."

Bird fired his mother's favorite Indiana player, anyway, because he said he was more comfortable with Rick Carlisle.

"In Toronto, Indiana and New York," Thomas said, "I've never actually gotten fired for a basketball reason."

31andonly
11-05-2010, 11:55 AM
"In Toronto, Indiana and New York," Thomas said, "I've never actually gotten fired for a basketball reason."

What's wrong with this guy? :hmm:

grace
11-05-2010, 12:14 PM
I don't know about Toronto, but he's kind of got a point. He got fired from Indiana because Larry likes Rick better. He got fired from NY because of the behind the scenes stuff.

He's also got a point about what could have happened if he and Larry had worked together. I would assume if a player didn't want to play for one of them he'd want to play for the other.

Say what you will about Isiah...at least the Pacers went to the playoffs every year he was the coach. That's more than you can say about Rick and JOB.

ballism
11-05-2010, 12:17 PM
Just wow. So, according to him, he signed Eddy Curry to attract LeBron. He was chasing LeBron since 2004. And he might have done a better job at it than Walsh. And he dreams to run the Kncks again once Walsh retires.
Nice one...

BillS
11-05-2010, 12:20 PM
Say what you will about Isiah...at least the Pacers went to the playoffs every year he was the coach. That's more than you can say about Rick.

:-o

You can't possibly be comparing 3 first-round-and-out to an ECF, a second round, and a first round playoff appearance because a 4th year went for crap.

grace
11-05-2010, 12:23 PM
:-o

You can't possibly be comparing 3 first-round-and-out to an ECF, a second round, and a first round playoff appearance because a 4th year went for crap.

Sure I can. Just another example of manipulating the data to say whatever you want. :D

gummy
11-05-2010, 12:31 PM
I never liked Isiah as a coach. The idea that he and Bird could have been a recruiting dream team though...that's interesting. I wonder if he's right.

MTM
11-05-2010, 12:32 PM
I think we Pacers fans should now take the opportunity to respond to Isiah on his time with the Pacers from our perspective. Here's mine.

Dear Isiah,

When I heard you had been hired, I must admit I was a bit excited to land a "name" and someone with Hoosier ties. I saw the determination you showed as a player, and hoped it would translate into head coaching. Upon first impression, your smile and personality was endearing. It seems wonderful to have you as the first African-American head coach in Indiana pro sports. We had experienced almost a decade of progressive growth as a franchise with good players who were model citizens, led by very good coaching.

Then you arrived.

You said all the right things to the media. For example: “The two things that we need to reestablish are discipline and trust.” Also, “when your unit or your team becomes undisciplined, there’s been a breakdown in trust.” http://www.nba.com/coachfile/isiah_thomas/index.html

You also talked a lot about accountability. Yet after losses, you talked out of both sides of your mouth, and you rarely took the blame. You claimed to have invented a completely new offense. But the offense usually looked lost. You talked a lot about defense, but your team's defense was not stellar.

You took a team that had been winning at a high level for a long time and turned them into a 3-year .500 team. When rumors circulated that you single-handedly ruined the CBA, we began to worry. You continued to view yourself as always right, always on top, and believed yourself to be one of the best coaches. You were lucky that you had a mature, veteran future hall of famer playing on your team to cover a lot of your mistakes.

When you were fired, we were all happy. And when stories hit the press in New York and other places talking about how you behave in private and in public, none of us are surprised. We are just glad you are not ours anymore.

The fact that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson - your peers - later wrote in a book describing how arrogant and misguided you are and were about a lot of things, doesn't this speak volumes about you? http://bleacherreport.com/articles/285701-a-feud-reveals-given-thomas-history-believing-magic-is-sensible

So long, Isiah. We didn't like you all that much, and it was for mostly basketball reasons.

Speed
11-05-2010, 01:04 PM
His ego is limitless.

Hicks
11-05-2010, 01:08 PM
I don't know about Toronto, but he's kind of got a point. He got fired from Indiana because Larry likes Rick better.

better... as a basketball coach. Because he is.


He got fired from NY because of the behind the scenes stuff.

Because the Knicks are ran (run?) by a dumbass. At least he finally got Donnie Walsh in there. If you can't be smart, hire someone who is.



Say what you will about Isiah...at least the Pacers went to the playoffs every year he was the coach. That's more than you can say about Rick and JOB.

Put either Rick or O'Brien in there as coach from 2000-01 to 2002-03 and they all make the playoffs, too.

Okay, maybe not Jim prior to the Bulls trade. :-p

The recruiting angle is interesting, though.

Tom White
11-05-2010, 01:11 PM
You also talked a lot about accountability. Yet after losses, you talked out of both sides of your mouth, and you rarely took the blame.

OK, so how many times did you hear Bird, Carlisle or JOB take the blame for a loss. The only one I remember taking blame (as a Pacers coach) was Larry Brown.


You took a team that had been winning at a high level for a long time and turned them into a 3-year .500 team.

No, he didn't. The team he got was not the same as the late 90's through 2000 teams. Smits retired. Dale, Antonio and Jackson were gone. He took a team that had been torn apart and did get them to the playoffs each year. One of those teams was playing well enough to have the best record in the East at the all-star break, earning him the right to coach the East All-Star team.

When he was fired, Bird cited communications as one reason. Well, he had been traveling with Brown's USA team, trying to learn from one of the best. Not a bad reason to be out of town.

Look, I'm not trying to say that Isiah was a great, great coach. But he gets a lot of crap for things he should not.

pacers74
11-05-2010, 01:21 PM
I just remember he had a ton of different lineups and the guys had trouble getting comfartable playing together. He did have good players, but he just couldn't stick with a lineup. He also fought with Jalen about being PG.

I never really liked him as a coach, but then I thought Rick was going to be our savior, and I didn't like his style of play.

It is hard to talk about a coach once they are gone. We seem to have a selective memory on these kind of things.

Larry Staverman
11-05-2010, 01:25 PM
Isiah failed in Toronto, he failed in Indiana, he failed with the Knicks and he failed with the CBA that is why he was fired from those positions. His rantings at this point are delusional at best.

Since I hate the Knicks I pray that Dolan rehires him so the progress Walsh has made can be undone as Isiah runs them back in the ground.

Any move that Bird has ever made that anyone has questioned should be outweighed by him firing Thomas as his first order of business.

Unclebuck
11-05-2010, 01:28 PM
No, he didn't. The team he got was not the same as the late 90's through 2000 teams. Smits retired. Dale, Antonio and Jackson were gone. He took a team that had been torn apart and did get them to the playoffs each year. One of those teams was playing well enough to have the best record in the East at the all-star break, earning him the right to coach the East All-Star team.




Yes he was the coach of the eastern conference allstar team in 2003, but the team finished very poorly that year and lost badly in the first round to the Celtics. Isiah lost the team that year, the players had enough of him. Remember Rick took over lost Brad Miller and got the less talented 2004 Pacers to win 61 games.

Speed
11-05-2010, 01:29 PM
The worst part of Isiah being in control of the Knicks was he wasn't going to do a deal with Larry and the Pacers. I wanted in on that free for all. 1st rounders were flying.

Unclebuck
11-05-2010, 01:31 PM
what sealed it for me is what Mark and Slick said about isiah after he was fired. They are around the team, on the bus, on the plane, they know what is going on and they were ruthless in analyzing Isiah as coach. Mark said Isiah would never coach again in the NBA, Slick didn't disagree, and I forget some of the other comments they made, but it was shocking to hear them be so critical.

MLB007
11-05-2010, 01:38 PM
Isiah got all the CBA owners to sell their teams to the league (ie: HIM) BECAUSE of his big talk about "His Connections" to the NBA that would make the CBA the "official" NBA minor league with team contracts and MOST importantly, a piece of the NBA's money for league development.
It was a nice plan, and made a lot of sense.
He just never did anything to follow up the sales talk.
No action.
About anything.
Whatsoever.
The teams waited for news, for guidance, for anything.
Nothing.
Finally they started calling HIM, "What's going on, etc etc.
BS back for awhile and then he STOPPED TAKING THEIR CALLS.

To the best of my knowledge and the exerpts published in the Fort Wayne newspaper investigation, he never followed through on ANY thing he said he would do. Nor did many see evidence of him even trying to follow through, to say nothing of being accountable.
He took a very successful (30ish years) league and destroyed it. GONE in 1 year.
To this day the owners of the Fort Wayne CBA team will not talk about Isiah, when asked why, they remarked, "you couldn't publish what we think of Isiah Thomas".

Nuff said.

Eleazar
11-05-2010, 02:30 PM
Although I do believe it was time for Isiah to go when he did, I also think that he gets a lot more flak by Pacer fans than he deserves. He came in just after the team was dismantled and he was able to get them to the playoffs with a team that probably wasn't any more or less talented than the teams we have had recently.

His biggest flaw though was not keeping Artest under control. There was an obvious correlation between how much Artest played and how good the Pacers were between 2003 and 2005. I have very little doubt that if Artest wasn't suspended for a total of 11 games Isiah's last season they would have performed much better the second half of the season and in the playoffs.

Unclebuck
11-05-2010, 02:37 PM
Although I do believe it was time for Isiah to go when he did, I also think that he gets a lot more flak by Pacer fans than he deserves. He came in just after the team was dismantled and he was able to get them to the playoffs with a team that probably wasn't any more or less talented than the teams we have had recently.




I'm not going to make a big deal of it, but I disagree with you. That team was more talented than the pacers of the past two seasons, plus they had several very experienced players. Jalen, Reggie, a healthy JO - that right there is more talent the the Pacers the past two seasons. Although if you go back and look at it closely until the Chicago trade the Pacers were headed down. Of all the coaches we've had since 1991 starting with Bob Hill, Isiah was the worst. I would put Isiah in the same class as Versace and George Irvine

croz24
11-05-2010, 03:03 PM
I'm not going to make a big deal of it, but I disagree with you. That team was more talented than the pacers of the past two seasons, plus they had several very experienced players. Jalen, Reggie, a healthy JO - that right there is more talent the the Pacers the past two seasons. Although if you go back and look at it closely until the Chicago trade the Pacers were headed down. Of all the coaches we've had since 1991 starting with Bob Hill, Isiah was the worst. I would put Isiah in the same class as Versace and George Irvine

jalen, reggie, best, perkins, and mckey were the only players with any sort of experience when thomas took over. and perkins and mckey were over the hill. jo had just come over from portland having averaged 3.9ppg. otherwise croshere was in year 3, bender year 1, foster year 1, harrington year 2, and then a bunch of scrubs like tabak, sundov, edney, and mills. sure, thomas had issues with his lineups, but he still coached us to the playoffs while we were rebuilding. and in his final year, nobody should disregard the personal issues our players were dealing with and how that could have affected our late season collapse.

also, let's just take a look at the age of our team in 2002-03...
jo - 24
artest -23
b miller - 26
harrington - 22
tinsley - 24
bender - 22
mercer - 26
croshere - 27
foster - 26
r miller - 37

and for 3/4s of that season, we were one of the top teams in the league before personal issues destroyed us. i'd say coaching a team that young to the levels thomas did before seemingly half of our team suffered family deaths is pretty impressive.

Tom White
11-05-2010, 03:24 PM
Although I do believe it was time for Isiah to go when he did, I also think that he gets a lot more flak by Pacer fans than he deserves. He came in just after the team was dismantled and he was able to get them to the playoffs with a team that probably wasn't any more or less talented than the teams we have had recently.

His biggest flaw though was not keeping Artest under control. There was an obvious correlation between how much Artest played and how good the Pacers were between 2003 and 2005. I have very little doubt that if Artest wasn't suspended for a total of 11 games Isiah's last season they would have performed much better the second half of the season and in the playoffs.

Yeah, it was really refreshing to see how under control Ron was after Isiah was gone. Especially the way Carlisle helped him maintain his composure that night in Detroit.

I really think if Isiah had been the coach that night, he would have gotten Ron off the scorer's table and over to the bench. The result would have been Ron not making a literal target of himself. I could always be wrong, but when he was allowed to remain on that table, making himself a target for the fans, I knew someone was going to do something.

Slick Pinkham
11-05-2010, 03:49 PM
I actually believe that Artest is more lucid-thinking than Isiah at this point

cdash
11-05-2010, 03:52 PM
I actually believe that Artest is more lucid-thinking than Isiah at this point

:laugh:

This made me laugh, because it might actually be true. Isiah is out there. Never got fired for basketball reasons? The Knicks are still hurting from all those horrible contracts Isiah gave out to Eddy Curry, Jerome James, Jared Jeffries, etc.

Sparhawk
11-05-2010, 04:25 PM
Every time Isiah opens his mouth to talk, somewhere a kitten dies.

But seriously, the guy is delusional.

Eleazar
11-05-2010, 04:26 PM
Yeah, it was really refreshing to see how under control Ron was after Isiah was gone. Especially the way Carlisle helped him maintain his composure that night in Detroit.

I really think if Isiah had been the coach that night, he would have gotten Ron off the scorer's table and over to the bench. The result would have been Ron not making a literal target of himself. I could always be wrong, but when he was allowed to remain on that table, making himself a target for the fans, I knew someone was going to do something.

Yeah since I didn't mention anything about Carlisle or his ability to keep Artest in line, it is the logical conclusion to believe that I thought Carlisle kept Artest in line even after the Brawl. Seriously what did I say to make you think I thought Carlisle did any better?

xBulletproof
11-05-2010, 04:27 PM
You have to be delusional to keep a positive self image when you're so proficient at messing things up, that you could screw up a wet dream.

cordobes
11-05-2010, 04:56 PM
He got fired from NY because of the behind the scenes stuff.

I think he'd still have his job there if it wasn't for fielding a 20 wins team at the cost of +$100 million paid to players with negative trade value, while dealing away the team's future assets.

Not a good coach (too creative for his own good) but as personnel manager he was beyond awful .

Bball
11-05-2010, 05:21 PM
I've been trying to forget just how bad of a coach Isiah was, and Jim O'Brien has really helped with that these past couple of years... and now I make the mistake of reading this thread. :sad:

Tom White
11-05-2010, 08:38 PM
Yeah since I didn't mention anything about Carlisle or his ability to keep Artest in line, it is the logical conclusion to believe that I thought Carlisle kept Artest in line even after the Brawl. Seriously what did I say to make you think I thought Carlisle did any better?

Nothing at all. I was only pointing out that Isiah was not the only one to have problems with Ron's behavior, and that Ron has had episodes of worse behavior than he did when Isiah was the coach.

PacersPride
11-05-2010, 11:06 PM
Pretty good read on ESPN about Thomas wanting to return to the Knicks and he mentions a few interesting pieces about his time in Indy and working with Bird: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/columns/story?columnist=oconnor_ian&id=5766026

Thomas has never lacked for confidence. The day Larry Bird fired him in Indiana, Thomas told his former on-court adversary that he was making a terrible decision, that he was running off the very coach who would lead the Pacers to a title.

Thomas tried selling Bird on the free-agent dream team they would form as summertime recruiters. "If you and I stay together," Thomas told him, "we'll get all the players."

Bird fired his mother's favorite Indiana player, anyway, because he said he was more comfortable with Rick Carlisle.

"In Toronto, Indiana and New York," Thomas said, "I've never actually gotten fired for a basketball reason."

i didnt like the thomas hire the moment we lost to the lakers in the finals. bird was right and it should have been carlise who was his successor. im not a thomas fan and he is worse as a gm than a coach. the only good thing thomas has going for him is he played at IU.

cdash
11-05-2010, 11:09 PM
I think he'd still have his job there if it wasn't for fielding a 20 wins team at the cost of +$100 million paid to players with negative trade value, while dealing away the team's future assets.

Not a good coach (too creative for his own good) but as personnel manager he was beyond awful .

Exactly. He always tries to point out his draft record (which is actually really good) in his defense. If you have him in there advising you on the draft and college scouting, you're golden. The second you give him the control to sign players to contracts and make trades, it goes to hell. His massive ego gets in his way, which I suspect is fairly common with ex-players turned GMs.