Skip to main content

Isiah Thomas once raved about Pistons draft prospect touted to become his successor — “I took it home and told my wife, 'You’ve got to see this'”

In the summer of 1993, Isiah Thomas saw a player who had a promising arsenal to become his successor
Isiah Thomas has more negative comments about Michael Jordan's legacy

Isiah Thomas

Following an arduous and disappointing 1992-93 season, the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys" knew that the beginning of the end had come. Even before the summer training camp opened, Dennis Rodman had already left for the San Antonio Spurs, Rick Mahorn had long been traded, and Bill Laimbeer was already contemplating retirement.

In the backcourt, Joe Dumars was already 30 years old. Given the game's physicality back then, most players were already pretty banged up by that age. And on top of it all, Detroit knew that Isiah Thomas wouldn't be around for too long.

The Pistons were banking on their picks

All told, the Pistons were prompted to rely on the future, and by doing so, the team knew they had to be smart about their draft picks. In the 1993 NBA Draft, Detroit had a good shot at landing two decent first-rounders, having given the 10th and 11th picks in the draft.

With Thomas and Dumars still around, the Pistons hoped to acquire size from that year's crop. However, then Detroit general manager Billy McKinney admitted that they "just can't pass on talent." Therefore, the team went for backcourts and selected Tennessee's Allan Houston at 11 and Jackson State standout Lindsey Hunter, at 10.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The next Isiah Thomas

Houston and Hunter had pretty impressive resumes, but before coming up with the decision, the Pistons were closely watching tapes of the pair.

At the time, the Pistons front office knew what to do with Houston because of his God-given shooting skills. Hunter, on the other hand, had bigger shoes to fill. And he welcomed it brimming with confidence.

"I'm a young Isiah," Hunter said via NBA.com's Draft Tales. "I love to play defense. I can shoot. I'm a little cocky like him. I just met him a little while ago and I almost fainted. Here's the guy I've always looked up to and now I get the chance to play with him. I've tried to play like Isiah since I was small. He's the greatest point guard ever to play the game."

Surprisingly, Thomas himself acknowledged Hunter's qualities and quickly endorsed the youngster in a way any NBA rookie would want to.

"The coaches gave me a tape of him and I just couldn't believe what I was seeing," Thomas said of Hunter. "I took it home and told my wife, 'You've got to see this.' Not since I came into the league and Tim Hardaway have I seen a guy with that kind of dribbling ability."

Hunter and Houston went on to have a great run season with the Pistons. In fact, Hunter made the 1993-94 NBA All-Rookie team, having averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Houston, meanwhile, progressed to become a different animal. He continuously improved his scoring and logged 19.7 points per game in his last season with the Pistons. However, even when we look back at it, one thing remains a sheer fact- they never achieved the same type of success as the Thomas-Dumars duo before them.

Vanessa Bryant revealed how Kobe Bryant was like everyone else

Vanessa Bryant revealed how Kobe Bryant was a normal person like everyone else: "He wipes his own ass too"

Kobe Bryant was a superstar on the court but never acted like one outside of it. This is what endeared him to the fans

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, forward Kevin Durant and guard James Harden

“This has to go down as one of the most epic failures in the history of this league” — Tim Legler shreds the Brooklyn Nets

Two other teams in the modern NBA came to mind as faliures given the talent they had on the roster.

Kevin Durant blasts Philly fans for their chants towards Ben Simmons

Should the Brooklyn Nets regret trading for Kevin Durant?

The Durant-Irving partnership in Brooklyn could arguably go down as the most disappointing one in NBA history.

Detroit Pistons legend Rick Mahorn and Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller on who he hated facing on the bad boy Pistons — “He ​​had a crazy look in his eye all the time”

There’s a reason why Miller's most feared Pistons player was dubbed as the “Baddest Bad Boy of them all.”

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili

"I lost a lot of sleep because of him" — Chauncey Billups reveals who deserved to win the 2005 NBA Finals MVP

Tim Duncan won the 2005 NBA Finals MVP. But Chauncey Billups, as well as some fans, believed the trophy belonged to someone else.

Michael Jordan

Beer drones — the best feature on Michael Jordan's exclusive golf course

Do you want to be a member of the exclusive The Grove XXIII club? Michael Jordan has to invite you first.

miles-bridges-wife-min

Miles Bridges' wife exposes him for domestic violence

The NBA community needs to to better. ”I won’t be silent to protect others anymore because I value myself and my kids more than anyones ‘image’”