Last night, I read the first chapter of The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons, which was based on a conversation Bill had at a topless pool with Isiah Thomas. Going into the conversation, Bill thought he was going to get pounded because that’s what Isiah said would happen if they ever met. Bill is a known Boston sports fan, and I would say the Bad Boys ended the Larry Bird era of the Celtics. Also, Bill had some harsh words for Isiah on his column based on his decisions in the front office. But, Gus Johnson, who wanted the two to hash things out and move on, played the role as peacemaker and let them just talk about basketball. This was when they discussed “the secret” of winning basketball.
When Bill Simmons asked what “the secret” of winning basketball was, Isiah cracked a smile. The secret was: It is not about basketball. I did not understand what he meant. But, in the 30 for 30: Bad Boys, it was made clear to me today. In 1988, the Pistons finally were able to get past the Celtics, but then lost to the Lakers. The Pistons easily could have won the series as Isiah was playing at a peak level. Then, he sprained his ankle and had the most Willis Reed moment ever. I think if they ended up winning the game, and the series, the phenomenon would be known as The Isiah Thomas. So, they were sooooo close to winning in ’88.
In 1989, the Pistons weren’t playing that hot. They had some team chemistry issues. Based on stats, Adrian Dantley was a top player on the team, but Dennis Rodman was young, promising, and Chuck Daly wanted him to play more. Adrian Dantley took it to heart and thought the whole team was against him. Especially Isiah. So, he was traded to the Mavs for Mark Aguirre, who was, I’d assume, an Antonio Brown of the 1980s NBA. But, he had a good relationship with Isiah. The rest is history. That is why the secret is: It is not about basketball. Dynasties are formed only if the team is willing to forfeit stats for wins. That’s what happened with the Bad Boys and the other dynasties.
So… He Quote Tweeted Me Today
I tweeted this after watching the SportsCentury documentary:
Then, I was sitting on my couch and saw:
I was freaking out. I screenshotted it and instantly sent it to my brother. Then, I responded:
And he responded:
So far, this has been the only quote tweet I’ve ever had by a man of his stature. A Hall of Famer. A Detroit Icon. I’m blessed. THIS IS WHY I WANT TO WRITE SPORTS! I WANT MORE OF THESE EXPERIENCES WITH MY ROLE MODELS!
The Last Words
This has been a great day in one of the most boring time of my life. If you have any thing you want me to do a deep dive on, I’ll try it out. Tweet me @officialcarsonw to get a response.