1, (1990) Watching the Celtics-Pistons game on TNT, listening to Hubie Brown and some other announcer. Larry Bird goes up for a jumper from the head of the key with about 3 seconds left on the 24-clock. He sees Brian Shaw free on the wing, hits him with a pass and Shaw gets off a shot. Brown and the other guy start raving about the pass and Bird’s “brilliant clock management.” Actually the pass was low, Shaw had to bend for it, hurried his jumper and missed.
The Pistons get the rebound, Isaiah Thomas brings it up —10 seconds left inthe half– he suspends the ball for a while like a yoyo on a string, then throws a lookaway lob to John Salley for a lay-up at the buzzer.The announcers say: “So the Pistons score as time runs out…”
Remember when Isaiah told the media they were full of subtle racism? He had come to the defense of Dennis Rodman, then a rookie, who was taking vicious heat for saying that Larry Bird didn’t seem any better than quite a few black stars. For this honest expression of his opinion, Isiah stepped in —you might say he was setting a screen— and told the reporters he agreed with Rodman. And not only that, said Isiah, the media perpetrated false and insulting racial stereotypes, constantly implying that blacks have more spring, whites work harder. Isiah pointed out that nobody, no matter how “athletic,” becomes a great basketball player without thousands of hours of practice. In other words: work. —Fred Gardner in the AVA 10/19/90, “Isaiah of the Impish Grin.”