ESPN recently revealed their list of the Top 75 players in NBA history. And while these things are always debatable, the placement of one player, in particular, has a lot of folks up in arms: Isiah Thomas.
"The Last Dance" documentary has shown us just how good Thomas was, even if his game was a bit controversial. He and his "Bad Boy" Pistons bested Jordan not once, but several times during the late 80s. By the time IT called it a career in 1994, he was a 12x All-Star, 2x NBA Champion, and 5x All-NBA player.
On their list, ESPN ranked him at 31st, behind Nash, Iverson, Stockton, Giannis, and Dwyane Wade (among others).
Love him or hate him, Thomas is one of the greatest players in NBA history. There's no debate about that, even though the "Bad Boys" Pistons didn't make a lot of friends with their physical brand of basketball. The 6-foot-1 Thomas guided Detroit to two championships, and he was the 1990 Finals MVP and a two-time All-Star Game MVP, among many accomplishments. He's one of the few players in league history who can boast about taking down a prime Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan when it mattered most.
On Twitter, ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon shared his thoughts.
For his career, Thomas was a 19 point per game scorer who also averaged 9.3 assists. We know he also excelled on the defensive end, where he helped set the tone for one of the most versatile defensive strategies ever. Compared to Iverson, Stockton, and Nash, Thomas has something none of them do: a Championship. That alone could give him the edge.
Needless to say, Thomas deserves a high ranking on any NBA list. Whether or not 31st is high enough, however, is for you to decide.