Fresh off a dismal stint as a college coach, basketball vagabond Isiah Thomas is making his return to television. The former NBA on NBC analyst is joining NBA TV as a studio analyst and will make his debut this Friday. Here's the news from NBA TV…
"Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas will join NBA TV as a studio analyst, making his debut Friday, Dec. 21, during the network’s AutoTrader.com Pre-Game Show at 7 p.m. ET. He will make several appearances each month on the network and will also be a regular contributor to NBA.com. Thomas is a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Thomas played 13 seasons in the NBA, all as a member of the Detroit Pistons. He led the franchise to back-to-back world championships in 1989-90 and earned NBA Finals MVP in 1990. During his career, he was named All-NBA First Team three times (1984-86) and All-NBA Second Team twice (1983 and 1987). He was also a two-time MVP of the NBA All-Star Game (1984 and 1986). Thomas averaged 19.2 points per game during his professional career and 9.3 assists per game. In his 13 seasons with the Pistons, he became the franchise’s all-time leader in points, assists, steals and games played. His No. 11 was retired by the team in 1996. Off the court, Thomas received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 1987."
As awful as Thomas' stints were with the CBA, with the Knicks, with Florida International, and so on and so forth… he wasn't much better on television. The soft spoken Pistons great never had a real presence on TV and was out of the broadcast booth quickly.
Much like Matt Millen, it's tough to see Thomas have any great credibility with viewers thanks to his many jobs and high-profile failures in recent years. Yes, he's a Hall of Fame player, but can he get anyone watching to actually remember those days in analyzing the league and convince people he really does know something about basketball? Has he improved his television presence since his NBC days? It's going to be a challenge. But in good news, at least he's safely away from the Knicks front office.