clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Isiah Thomas a Pistons coaching candidate? Depends who you ask

From Marc Berman of the New York Post late last night (hat-tip PP):

The Post also has learned Thomas is not expected to be a candidate for the Pistons' vacant head-coaching job, despite a report out of Detroit. Two sources told The Post Thomas would not be considered by Pistons president Joe Dumars because Dumars does not want to jeopardize their friendship.

From ESPN's Chris Broussard this evening:

While Knicks fans fret about the possibility of Isiah Thomas returning to New York, the Detroit Pistons are considering Thomas for their vacant head coaching position, according to league sources.

Thomas is not the leading candidate, sources say, but he is on Detroit's short list along with Mike Woodson, Kelvin Sampson and his former Pistons teammate Bill Laimbeer.

[...] Widely regarded as the greatest player in franchise history, the Hall of Famer could return to a club that has suffered through three straight losing seasons.

While Thomas' performance in the Knicks' front office left much to be desired, he has enjoyed success as a coach. He led the Indiana Pacers to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2000-2003 and helped develop Jermaine O'Neal, Jalen Rose and Ron Artest into stars.

The "report out of Detroit" that Berman mentions originated as a simple hypothetical put forth Monday by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News, which Terry Foster incorporated into a column last night.

Here's Goodwill's original suggestion:

Isiah Thomas also could have a formal chat with Dumars. The former backcourt mates speak regularly, and during Thomas' last visit to The Palace, during Dennis Rodman's jersey retirement, he was in Dumars' suite.

Thomas' issues have been well-documented during his time in New York, although it should be noted the Knicks were a mess well before he set foot in Madison Square Garden. Thomas does have experience in developing young players during his time as an executive in Toronto and as head coach in Indiana.

While Thomas' interest level isn't known, he still feels a strong emotional bond with the team and the city of Detroit.

Make of this what you will, but understand that the fact Broussard works for the Worldwide Leader doesn't make him any more or less plugged in than a newspaper beat guy. In fact, I wouldn't be too surprised if Berman's sources include Thomas himself. Stay tuned.

(Note: I completely re-worked this post after seeing Broussard's tweet -- trying to merely update the original text while keeping it somewhat coherent was too much work.)