Isiah Thomas is one of the best point guards in NBA history. Thomas was the leader of one of the greatest teams in NBA history, the 'Bad Boy' Detroit Pistons. On top of being a great offensive player, Thomas was also a great defender.
He had to be because the Pistons were one of the best defensive teams. Thomas has played against some of the greatest players ever. But there was one player whom he hated guarding more than anyone else.
During a roundtable discussion on NBA TV's 'Open Court' a few years ago, Isiah Thomas was asked about the player he hated guarding the most. Thomas gave an unexpected answer; Steve Colter.
Thomas revealed and demonstrated Colter's signature move, the crooked leg, where he would plant his left foot forward to draw defenders, but then take the ball from the back and get past them, a move that would always leave him dazed.
He also added that he used to tell his teammate Joe Dumars to guard Colter when he was on the Bullets (1:05 onwards).
"Steve Colter. The crooked leg. He had a move, I could not get through. We would call him the crooked leg. He would come right, full speed. He would stop, plant his left leg really hard. And then he would throw the ball behind the back and be gone with it. Full speed. Washington had this great scorer by the name of Jeff Malone. We would come to the arena, we were playing the Washington Bullets, Wizards now. I would say to (Joe) Dumars 'you take Steve Colter, I got Jeff Malone."
Isiah Thomas played against and got the better of legends like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, something he is very proud of. So him struggling the most against Steve Colter is somewhat surprising.
Colter never got under Thomas' skin, which is a good thing considering how he may have reacted. Thomas once put his hands on his assistant coach Brendan Malone after taking a heavy knock from Chicago Bulls' Bill Cartwright.