We're a couple of days late on this one, but it's definitely noteworthy: Joe Dumars has chosen Isiah Thomas to introduce him at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. From the Free Press:
It's an obvious choice, sure, but who else could Dumars pick besides Isiah Thomas, his old Pistons backcourt running mate? The two combined to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history.
Only those previously enshrined can introduce new members. Thomas, now the coach and president of the New York Knicks, went into the Hall in 2000. The two won two titles together as members of the Bad Boys teams in 1989 and 1990.
Thomas wasn't necessarily the only choice -- Chuck Daly, anyone? Or maybe Dave Bing? -- but he's certainly the most obvious one. Zeke hasn't done much to enhance his image since retiring as a player, but his speech should result in some good P.R., as Mike Kahn from FOX Sports notes:
Once again, Dumars is proving to be one of the brightest and classiest guys in sport. There never really was much grumbling when the two were backcourt mates in the 1980's and '90's with the World Champion Pistons. But people were constantly looking for it. Although Thomas was also more outgoing and tended to be politically incorrect at inopportune times, Dumars was always right on the path — cleaning up whatever mess was made.
Incredibly enough, nearly 20 years later, here he is again for his buddy. Thomas, mired in a harassment suit with a former Knicks employee, along with the mess that was the hiring and firing of coach Larry Brown after the Knicks' abysmal 23-59 record last season, he needed support from somebody among the NBA elite. And he got it from Dumars — who continues to grow toward one day being worthy of any job he would like in the NBA, perhaps even commissioner. Some people have to be taught the difference between right and wrong. Dumars instinctively knows the right thing to do every circumstance.
The Hall of Fame ceremonies take place in Springfield, Massachusets on September 8-9. I'm not entirely sure how easy it will be to watch the speeches on television, but I have to imagine between ESPN, NBA TV and NBA.com, it won't be too hard to check them out.