Coaching Seasons: 2000-03, 2006-08
Teams: Pacers, Knicks
Record: 187-223 (.456)
If running a basketball team from the sidelines was as the same as doing so in a jersey and some Asics, maybe Knicks fans' bodies wouldn't engulf in rage every time Isiah Thomas was mentioned in conversation.
With the Pistons, Isiah was a legend. He averaged 19 points and nine assists while shooting 45 percent from the field. At just 6'0", 180 pounds, he may be the best little man to ever log an NBA minute. But to many, none of it comes to mind when Zeke's name is brought up.
What comes to mind are those embarrassments of Knicks teams that he constructed and later coached himself, after Larry Brown exited after one miserable season. After hundreds of million in payroll, 108 losses in two years and legions of fans calling for his job on a nightly basis, James Dolan finally fired his buddy after the 2007-08 season.
"To me, it's win or die. And I literally mean death. I don't mean walk away. I mean death," Thomas said during his final season coaching in the NBA. Perhaps we have Zombie Isiah Thomas to blame for this, after all.