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Original Bad Boy Isiah Thomas chats with Detroit Bad Boys

Isiah talks with DBB about the mindset of a champion, Andre Drummond’s development, and iconic Bad Boys moments

Isiah Thomas

OK, Blake Griffin is out for the entire series. The Pistons just got blasted by the Bucks on national TV, and we might see even more Game of Thrones-like carnage before it’s over.

So let’s take a few moments to remember better days, aided by the Original Bad Boy himself Isiah Thomas.

If you’re a Pistons fan who grew up watching the Bad Boys in the 1980s, this interview is dedicated to you. I was 11-12 years old when I began watching the Pistons on a regular basis during the mid-80s, and as a smallish kid playing point guard for my school team, Isiah Thomas was my idol.

I emulated his style of play as best I could. And, of course, I watched in awe as he shot teardrop floaters over the outstretched arms of 7-foot defenders in the paint, made ridiculous no-look passes that caused heads to swivel and took over games during crunch time.

So it was a great honor to be given the chance to chat with Isiah over the weekend. Before the All-Star break, (my former employer from many years ago) Turner Sports reached out and offered an interview with one of their on-air talent. Naturally, I requested Zeke. But the timing didn’t pan out, so they kindly reached out again last week and this time, it worked out beautifully.

While I didn’t know Blake was going to miss the entire series with the Milwaukee Bucks at the time of the interview, I wasn’t about to ask Isiah for his prediction (don’t ask questions you don’t want to hear answered). Instead, I used the interview as an opportunity to ask him a few questions I’ve had for roughly 30 years, along with others about mindset and rivalries in today’s NBA.

A few things you’ll learn within:

  • What’s the truth behind his famous handshake with Kevin McHale at the end of the 1988 Eastern Conference Finals? (I had it completely wrong)
  • What went through Isiah’s mind when he injured his ankle during Game 6 of the 1988 NBA Finals against the Lakers, before turning in a 25-point third quarter on one leg?
  • What does he think of Andre Drummond’s development and growth this year?
  • What made the Bad Boys Pistons so consistently locked-in and focused during their run?
  • Does Isiah think there are any rivalries in the NBA today that compare to the Bad Boys’ rivalries with the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls?
  • Who would Isiah like to see at small forward for the Pistons? (I laughed out loud)
  • How big of a Pistons fan is Isiah today? And how many regular-season Pistons games does he watch? (you may be surprised)

Full disclosure: I’ve met many professional athletes throughout the years and don’t get starstruck anymore, but I had an absolute ball talking with Isiah and my heart was beating a bit faster than normal. Despite a decade in the journalism biz, I‘ve never done a one-on-one interview with a professional athlete (I was a producer, not a reporter), so this is more of an informal chat.

And after thanking Isiah for his time on Twitter, this made me smile even more:

Enjoy a little sunshine on this cloudy day.