Skip to main content

That time the Detroit Pistons called the CEO of a transportation company to replace an injured Isiah Thomas

The Detroit Pistons called up a retired NBA veteran Gerald Henderson to replace Isiah Thomas during the 1990/91 season
That time Detroit Pistons called up a retired Gerald Henderson to replace an injured Isiah Thomas

Gerald Henderson was called up to help the Detroit Pistons after Isiah Thomas suffered a wrist injury

At the end of the 1990-91 season, Detroit Pistons called the president of Philadelphia's All-State Transportation, Gerald Henderson, to replace Isiah Thomas, who went down with an injury right at the end of the regular season and before the playoffs were supposed to start. 

The Pistons were looking to three-peat

Desperate times call for desperate measures, which was just what happened with the Detroit Pistons at the end of the 1990/91 season after Isiah Thomas suffered an injury. The Pistons were aiming for a three-peat that season, and even though they were considered an old team, they were once again one of the favorites to win it all, with Isiah Thomas being their floor general as usual alongside quite a well-rounded and deep squad.  

Unfortunately for the Pistons, aging Thomas was more prone to injuries and only played in 48 games that season. After wrist surgery, the general manager Jack McCloskey decided to take a wild leap of faith on a president of a company called Philadelphia All-State Transportation to help the team overcome an injury of their captain. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The senior executive was, of course, a long-time NBA veteran Geral Henderson who had a pretty extensive NBA career until he hadn't played a prominent role on an NBA team since 1987 when he was a member of the New York Knicks. As someone who wanted to get back to basketball in any way despite owning his own company, Henderson accepted the offer and was soon back in a Pistons jersey. 

Henderson proved he could still play

In 10 games while having the role of a starting point guard, Henderson averaged 5.3 points and 2.7 assists on 43 percent shooting. Isiah Thomas even cut his rehabilitation short so that he could return to action ahead of schedule before the playoffs. 

The Pistons could never regain their footing after winning two consecutive NBA Finals, narrowly skirting past the Atlanta Hawks and depleting Boston Celtics before being swept by the eventual champion Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Henderson was able to stay in the league for two more seasons playing as a backup guard for the Pistons and Houston Rockets before finally retiring in 1992. He obviously continued working in his own company, and in 2006 he and his wife founded a real estate company as well. His son, Gerald Henderson Jr., was also an NBA player and had eight NBA seasons for the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Philadelphia 76ers. 

Willy Hernangomez says Zion Williamson is on a mission this season

Willy Hernangomez offers a frightening take on Zion Williamson ahead of this season -“He wants to destroy everybody”

Hernangomez said Williamson "wants to destroy everybody" in his return to the court after missing the entire 2021-22 season

James Harden said that his explosiveness is getting there after it was noticeably absent during his stint with the Sixers last season

James Harden and his quest to regain his explosiveness for the Philadelphia 76ers: "It's getting there"

Harden clearly wasn't himself during his first few months with the 76ers, but the good news is that he believes his explosiveness is getting back to what it used to be

Dirk Nowitzki at the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit

"Between practices I had to get tutoring in a separate room" - Dirk Nowitzki used to bring a tutor with him while traveling with Germany's junior national team

Dirk Nowitzki revealed that he had to bring a private tutor with him during his days with Germany's junior national team as he had to play and study at the same time.

Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson

"Are you willing to come back and be a coachable player?"-How Phil Jackson talked to Kobe Bryant before they reunited in 2006

The time Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson spent apart from each other made them realize that they needed each other to accomplish their goals.

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky outearns several NBA players

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky is closer to making a million each year than some NBA players on minimum contracts.


“I know he’s a great locker room guy!”- Ben Wallace believes Darvin Ham will do great things with the Lakers

Darvin Ham and Ben Wallace won a title together and their bond will forever remain tight.

Reggie Miller doing the choke sign

Reggie Miller on talking to New York Knicks fans: 'They love to come up and do the choke sign. They think it’s so cool'

Reggie Miller said most Knicks fans still hate him and they let him know about it by doing doing his iconic choke taunt in 1995.