HoopsHype Isiah Thomas rumors

March 17, 2014 Updates

In 1998, you applied to be the general manager of the Denver Nuggets—while working for the Post. This has always struck me as a conflict of interest. Tell me why I’m wrong. And do you think you would have/could have had a fruitful career as a GM. Peter Vecsey.: I was always told, you’ve got to have at least two conflicts of interest to be successful. Pro sports has plenty of former sportswriters-turned executives. The Knicks were started by Ned Irish. The latest example was John Hollinger leaving ESPN to become VP of basketball operations of Memphis. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to pursue front office or coaching, as long as it’s during the off-season? I tried to put together group to buy the Nuggets in the early ’80s … tried to get Rick Pitino to hire me as GM when he was running the Celtics … approached Larry Brown about helping him in Washington when he was close to coaching the Wizards … had an interview on tap as Hawks’ GM just before Stan Kasten left … and had a very brief interview with James Dolan to be Isiah Thomas’ GM. I am positive I would’ve been an asset to one and all. Jeff Pearlman

March 10, 2014 Updates

"There weren't a lot of 'us' in the locker room," Johnson said. "Whether it was Earvin or Bob Lanier or Julius [Erving], we tended to get the opportunity to get more time with these emerging stars, and also get better quotes. We had an opportunity, once the conversation went past the game, we'd talk about life. Again, we were all the same age. A lot of these conversations happened over a meal. I remember Buck Williams calling me in the hotel -- what are you doing tonight? It wasn't just Earvin. It was a lot of emerging black stars, like Isiah [Thomas], who just gravitated toward us. These were smart guys who went to college, maybe just one or two years, but they were smart." NBA.com

One of ESPN Films' most-anticipated 30 for 30 projects has an official airdate: The Bad Boys, which chronicles the dynastic Pistons teams of the late 1980s and early '90s, will debut Thursday, April 17, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film is a collaboration between ESPN Films and NBA Entertainment -- they partnered on the brilliant "Once Brothers" and the terrific "The Announcement" -- and Boys has the potential to be one of the better 30 for 30 efforts. (NBA Entertainment also produced the last year's sensational "Dream Team" documentary for NBA TV.) More than 40 people were interviewed for the film, including the Pistons' main principals (Isiah Thomas, Bill Lambier, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley. Vinnie Johnson, John Salley, Mark Aguirre etc. ...) and rival Michael Jordan. Following the film, ESPN will air a one-hour discussion from 10-11 p.m. ET on the Bad Boys Pistons era. That show will be hosted by Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, and ESPN NBA analyst Doug Collins will also appear along with several Pistons players from that era. I'll have more on the "The Bad Boys" in a standalone piece on SI.com on Monday. SI.com

March 4, 2014 Updates

While reports dismiss the possibility of the Detroit Pistons supplanting their current GM, Joe Dumars, with his former championship backcourt mate, Isiah Thomas, sources do not expect Dumars to stay in the position much longer—either he'll step down or owner Tom Gores will go in a new direction. Dumars, one source said, is weary of the criticism he has received in trying to rebuild the Pistons after constructing a franchise that went to the Eastern Conference Finals six years in a row (2003-2008). Bleacher Report

March 3, 2014 Updates

A spokesman for Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores called a report that the team is wooing Isiah Thomas as its next general manager "absolutely false." "He is not a candidate for any job with the Pistons," Mark Barnhill wrote about Thomas in an email to MLive. Booth Newspapers

Barnhill, a partner in Gores' Platinum Equity, wrote that he and Gores had dinner with Thomas a couple weeks ago in Los Angeles but the upcoming Bad Boys reunion "was the sole topic. Period." Booth Newspapers

March 2, 2014 Updates

Sources told The Detroit News the only conversations Gores and Thomas have had revolved around the Bad Boys reunion, when Gores stepped in financially, listing himself and the Detroit Pistons organization as presenting sponsors for the events. Detroit News

March 1, 2014 Updates

Rajon Rondo skipped the Celtics’ game in Sacramento to stay back in Los Angeles and celebrate his 28th birthday with family and friends. He wasn’t supposed to play against the Kings, the second game in two nights, but that still tells you how Rondo is viewing this whole rebuilding phase in Boston. If Isiah Thomas gets the Pistons’ GM job, he’ll try like anything to get Rondo, a former high school teammate of Josh Smith who would be a vast improvement over Brandon Jennings. New York Daily News

Isiah Thomas will be back in Auburn Hills at the end of the month to help the Pistons commemorate the 25th anniversary of their first championship team. And we’re hearing that he could be in line to return to the team, a few months after the weekend festivities, for a permanent gig. League sources say that Pistons owner Tom Gores is seriously thinking of making what has been a long-overdue, front-office shakeup after the season, with Thomas recently emerging as a top candidate to take over the role of the team’s top basketball executive from his former backcourt mate, Joe Dumars. New York Daily News

Dumars has been on borrowed time for a long time, partly because of his penchant for firing coaches — eight since 2000 — and partly because of his drafting of Darko Milicic in 2003. He could have selected any one of Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh with the No. 2 overall pick, after Cleveland drafted LeBron James. The Milicic pick is on his permanent record, as are the four straight lottery seasons in which his team never won as many as 30 games. His tenure is expected to end when his contract runs out this spring. “Gores is definitely looking at Isiah to replace Joe,” one league source said. New York Daily News

February 18, 2014 Updates

Members of the 1989 NBA champion “Bad Boys” Pistons are reuniting next month to celebrate the 25th anniversary year of the first title in franchise history. Team members will first gather at “Bad Boys Unite,” a charity event, at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in Detroit on March 27. The team will also be honored at halftime of the Pistons-Heat game the following night. Attendees have not been confirmed, but players on the 1989 team include Isiah Thomas, current Pistons president Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Mark Aguirre, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, Rick Mahorn, John Long, Fennis Dembo and Micheal Williams. Detroit News

February 11, 2014 Updates
January 29, 2014 Updates
January 5, 2014 Updates

You think there’s no gay visibility in sports? Well, the out, proud Zeke Thomas—son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas—happens to be the official DJ for the annual NBA All-Star game, which will be held in New Orleans in February. That’s music to a lot of sports fans’ ears—and it’s hardly Zeke’s only high profile credit either. He also DJs club bashes in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and his hometown of Detroit, plus he’s a recording artist/producer who’s coming out with a song called “Regret,” about the horror of waking up after a not really necessary night of too much partying. Our recent chat was intoxicating—a real slam dunk, if you will (with no dribbling). Out Magazine

December 27, 2013 Updates

“When you evaluate the job he’s doing, I look at the total body of work,’’ Thomas said on WFAN radio Friday morning with Sid Rosenberg and Kim Jones. “Since he’s been here his record is [81-53]. When you look at the season he’s having, fortunately they’re in the Atlantic and nobody is running away with the division. I know Mike personally. I know what kind of competitor he is and what kind of coach he’s been. When he has all the pieces and the team is playing well, they’re as good as anybody. Coming out of training camp they had injuries and were hit with the injury bug more than most teams.” New York Post

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.