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Thread: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

  1. #1

    Default Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    simple enough question...

    Please give an honest, serious answer.

    Feel free to add your own descriptor: great, good, fair, poor, or awful, if a simple yes or no seems too confining.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  2. #2
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Average at best.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I think he should have been an assistant for at least 3 years. As a head coach, he was --as Hicks said-- average.

    Last year I don't know how many times I screamed at the TV....mostly yelling, "Isiah, WTF are you doing???" If we fell behind early, I never thought we had a chance to catch up. If we built a lead, I was always weary that we were gonna blow it. Do I have to mention his substitution patterns (or lack there of)?

    This year, I have confidence in Carlisle. I'm always confident that adjustments will be made and very rarely are the Pacers blown out (only @LAL and @Minnesota come to mind.) If the Pacers are down by 6 pts in the 4th, I'm confident they can come back and win. I very rarely am nervous in games, unless they are down with under a minute to play.

    The reason for the comparison was that I always thought Isiah was an okay coach. This season made me realize just how average he was. Or maybe just how damn good Carlisle is, I'm not sure.

    One thing Isiah does have though is an eye for talent. Good talent evaluator, average coach. Being an assistant coach really would have helped him IMO.
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  4. #4
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Wacky is the word for his coaching.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    This is why I ran the "which topic bores you most" poll last week. I actually like all the other topics on that list except for this one.

    He's in a neck-and-neck battle with Dick Versace for all-time worst Pacers' coach.

    But in spite of his complete inability to coach, I think he has a good "basketball mind" and a sharp eye for basketball talent. Strategy and player development were not his strengths. Clearly no one is going to give him credit for strategy as that's obvious. I think he gets some credit for player development that he didn't deserve. I think Tree Rollins and Mark Aguirre, and to a lesser extent Vern Fleming and George Glymph deserve that credit. And it doesn't hurt any that many of his players were still at the development stage. Some of these players would have made some strides in development if I were thier coach just because of playing time, so that's not really saying much.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    The answer is obvious. I think you should have re-phrased the question to look like this: "How bad of a coach was IsiahThomas?"

    A) Not too good.

    B) Pretty Bad.

    C) Terrible.

    D) Fans-should-be-given-Vomit-Bags-when-entering-the-arena.

  7. #7
    NewYawk
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    What is the point of this poll? It is beyond obvious that most here feel he was a "bad" coach.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    What is the point of this poll? It is beyond obvious that most here feel he was a "bad" coach.
    I was simply wondering if it is truly "most" or "everyone but you" that feels that he was not a good coach. You have made you opinion known, and also made it clear that you believe that are not alone in your opinion.

    Fell free to have your "friends and family" vote. We will let the results speak for themselves.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  9. #9
    NewYawk
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    What is the point of this poll? It is beyond obvious that most here feel he was a "bad" coach.
    I was simply wondering if it is truly "most" or "everyone but you" that feels that he was not a good coach. You have made you opinion known, and also made it clear that you believe that are not alone in your opinion.

    Fell free to have your "friends and family" vote. We will let the results speak for themselves.
    I believe I've given you names of specific people who agree with me on this, namely VerbalSlap4U and Chcbearsfan. They are not in this forum. They post mostly at the Star. Now, what more do you need?

    If you created this poll just to spite me, that is pathetic. I'm beginning to think that is EXACTLY why it is here.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I am simply testing your assertion:

    "Don't go thinking that I and I alone have this opinion about Isiah. Many feel this way. You just choose to pretend they don't exist."

    Polling the people here is not a scientific way to attempt to validate your assertion, but it is the best I can do.

    The vote so far is stunning to me, in that you are apparently not alone.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I voted no but I don't think he was a bad coach - pretty much mediocre. His biggest problem was that he'd go out and design a plan A but when teams adjusted it never seemed like there was an effective plan B. That and never taking responsibility for anything, seeming to think it was more important to be a friend to players than a coach, etc., etc.

    Pretty much fits what he's done since he quit playing. He was a mediocre GM in Toronto, a mediocre NBC analyst, a mediocre coach in Indy, and I fully expect that when all-s said and done he'll be a mediocre GM in NY. Almost had me fooled too with the Marbury deal but then he turned around and made the KVH-for-TT deal and order was restored.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  12. #12
    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    He was okay, certainly not the worst in the league, about middle of the pack. Not as good as Carlisle, though.

  13. #13
    joro
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    If you created this poll just to spite me, that is pathetic. I'm beginning to think that is EXACTLY why it is here.
    Yeah, exactly. ed:

    As we all know, everybody on this forum is always thinking about New Yawk when we put up posts. :P :P

    [size=24:42a9e72e75][color=RED:42a9e72e75]OR NOT!!![/color][/size]

    LOL! ROFL!!!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    For all his shortcomings and failures, he did manage to get a rebuilt team to the playoffs three times. Several teams that have drastically changed their roster are still waiting for their first . :
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Can I get a "hell no!"?

    Was Isiah even a coach? I thought he just sat there on the sideline watching the Pacers go out and run the same plays over and over.

  16. #16
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I voted "no," but it doesn't fully state my position.

    1. I believe Thomas could have become a good coach. He was obviously learning, and would have been a much better coach if he had spent any time as an assistant.
    2. In many ways, Thomas was doomed to fail, because he had a ridiculously redundant roster. He tried (and I believe this was his direction from Donnie) to get everyone playing time, but when your 13th man is as deserving of PT as your 7th man, establishing a consistent rotation just ain't going to happen.
    3. Thomas faced unrealistic expectations. Jalen, Austin, and Travis weren't as good as we wanted to believe they were. Thomas gets accused of doing less with more, but how much more did he really have? All of those players have done worse with their more recent coaches than they did with him.

    No, Zeke wasn't a good coach. But he wasn't an absolutely terrible one, either.
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  17. #17
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    The record Isiah was able to amass in three years was pretty good.

    Pacers played well in the playoffs in 2002.

    Pacers did play hard all three years, Isiah was able to get the team to play hard and that cannot be underestimated.

    I don't think expectations have anything to do with my thoughts on Isiah not being a good coach.

    I go back to the word wacky.

    He experimented for three straight years, new offensive system, new defensive system every year, no make that every month.

    Remember in his first year when he decided February was a good time of the year for a training camp like two a days.

    Remember in his second year he decided to start working on defense December 14th. I'll never forget that and if I were DW I would have fired him right then right there.

    Remember in his third year, he in mad scientist fashion came up with the "Quick".

    What about Bender playing point guard in training camp

    What about Mercer playing point guard.

    I could go on and on, but I won't.

  18. #18
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    What about Bender playing point guard in training camp

    What about Mercer playing point guard.
    Sorry UB, had to respond.

    Bender started at PG when Jalen and Travis were both out. I don't remember who our third-string pg was at that point. Anyway, he tried Bender at the point and it worked out ok, as I recall.

    Mercer played point guard because he couldn't play shooting guard, because he was a better point guard than strickland, and because Thomas was trying to find him some time on the court.
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  19. #19
    NewYawk
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I am simply testing your assertion:

    "Don't go thinking that I and I alone have this opinion about Isiah. Many feel this way. You just choose to pretend they don't exist."

    Polling the people here is not a scientific way to attempt to validate your assertion, but it is the best I can do.

    The vote so far is stunning to me, in that you are apparently not alone.
    Of course I'm not alone, and some that voted "no" further explained their vote by saying they didn't think he was bad, just not good.

    More than anyone else on either forum, you have a tendancy to be a little thick headed. Many people feel that Thomas was good, or a least better than most NBA coaches. I have no idea why anyone would just assume that one guy (ie, me) would think he was good.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I have no idea why anyone would just assume that one guy (ie, me) would think he was good.
    It seemed obvious to me that he was not a good coach. Was he average, or OK? Maybe. But that's not "good".

    I thought even among Pacer fans, who are probably more likely to believe the best of anyone associated with the organization, few (way less than 5%) would agree with you. I was wrong- it seems more like 15 or even 20%. Is that "many"? It's stunning to me.

    I thought that few questions I could ask would gether more no votes-- maybe right up there with "Do you believe UFOs are alien invaders?" and "Do you support for Dennis Kucinich for president?"

    Again, I was wrong.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  21. #21
    NewYawk
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    I have no idea why anyone would just assume that one guy (ie, me) would think he was good.
    It seemed obvious to me that he was not a good coach. Was he average, or OK? Maybe. But that's not "good".

    I thought even among Pacer fans, who are probably more likely to believe the best of anyone associated with the organization, few (way less than 5%) would agree with you. I was wrong- it seems more like 15 or even 20%. Is that "many"? It's stunning to me.

    I thought that few questions I could ask would gether more no votes-- maybe right up there with "Do you believe UFOs are alien invaders?" and "Do you support for Dennis Kucinich for president?"

    Again, I was wrong.
    Yes, and when issues or questions are polled, most of the time the majority is right. I mean, look at the Iraq War. ed:

    I won't bring politics into this any further. I'll merely stait the obvious: equating my opinions on Isiah Thomas's coaching ability to belief in aliens is both misinformed and petty.

    Grow up. At least 8 people disagree with you on this forum alone. I gave you two more in the other forum. Thatm akes 10.

    Get over yourself.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Can you read, NewYawk?

    TWICE I said I was wrong in thinking you were alone in your opinion. What more do you want?



    Geesh. We badly need an "ignore" feature on this forum.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  23. #23
    NewYawk
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Can you read, NewYawk?

    TWICE I said I was wrong in thinking you were alone in your opinion. What more do you want?



    Geesh. We badly need an "ignore" feature on this forum.
    I can read, Tom. The lines equating my opinions to UFO conspiracies was immature. And the fact that you thought I was alone in that opinion is a bit disturbing.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Can you read, NewYawk?

    TWICE I said I was wrong in thinking you were alone in your opinion. What more do you want?



    Geesh. We badly need an "ignore" feature on this forum.
    I can read, Tom. The lines equating my opinions to UFO conspiracies was immature. And the fact that you thought I was alone in that opinion is a bit disturbing.
    Ever hear the saying, "If 10 people tell you you have a tail, sooner or later you have to turn around and take a look." Do you understand what it means?

    In other words, if you have 32 people here saying Isiah wasn't a good coach and only 8 who say he was, maybe it's time to reevaluate your opinion.

    Wait. Someone PM'd me last night and said you were incapable of that. In fact, I think they called you "The Wall."

  25. #25
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was Isiah Thomas a good coach?

    Well, the word "good" is pretty subjective. I think if the question was if he was an "okay" coach, it'd probably be closer to 40%.

    That said, I'm surprised it is 20%. Isiah is the whipping boy on this forum. He's been gone for 7 months and people still can't go a day without talking about how much they hate him.

    As for my answer, I was on the fence but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. My reasoning:

    -Yes, he gets slammed for his rotations, but, as has been mentioned, that was a product of his mismatched roster. It's much easier for Carlisle to stick to a rotation when the roster is more balanced and the team is winning. For example, was Isiah really supposed to sit Tinsley when all he had was Erick Strickland to replace him?

    -Those players he did bench, like Austin and Mercer, are the ones he got the most flack about. However, this year has proven he was absolutely right in both cases.

    -As much as the Quick is lampooned, it was a hell of a system when run properly. Don't ask me, ask Paul Silas (he's running the exact same thing up in Cleveland.)

    -Lastly, I think he does deserve credit for player development. He knew how important it was, he stressed it every day, he brought in people to help with it (not only his assistants, but guys like Kareem and Walton as well.) Yeah, JO surprised us when he first came here, but did anyone really think he'd be All-NBA in two years? Jermaine credits Zeke for that, so I'll take his word for it.

    Now, was he as good as Carlisle? Of course not. Now, that said, I completely believe if we'd hired Rick instead of Isiah, Rick wouldn't still be the coach either. Donnie was completely right. Rick didn't have the people skills to succeed in such a massive rebuilding effort coming off the Finals. He didn't have expectations to live up to in Detroit, and he still got canned. Because of that he's learned to be more mellow and more flexible, and it's made him a better coach.

    As for Zeke, unlike NewYawk, I think he's got his perfect job now. Yeah, trading KVH for Tim was probably one move to many, but the way he's completely rebuilt that mess of a team in such a short amount of time is unbelievable. Plus, he's somewhere he's appreciated, which has got to be nice.
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