Isiah Thomas On NBA Draft Combine, Chicago And Champagne

Rick Gregg
May 16, 2018 - 9:51 pm

Isiah Thomas talks with WBBM Newsradio's Rick Gregg

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- “I never had hard feelings,” former Detroit Piston great Isiah Thomas says of his hometown Chicago Bulls.

“They seemed to have hard feelings toward me, because we were winning all the time. But then, when they won, I think everything got better.”

Thomas grew up near the old Chicago Stadium, still makes his home in Chicago and is on duty this week for the NBA Draft Combine, which is being held on the West Side.

“You just want to get that last look just to make sure that your eye test is meeting up to what you wrote down on paper,” he explained.

Thomas coached both the Pacers and Knicks and served as New York’s President of Basketball Operations, so he’s done his share of draft homework over the years. And he thinks this year’s class is a deep one.

“I think there’ll be players drafted in the Second Round that will actually, probably end up being better than some of the later First-Rounders,” he said.

These days, the Hall of Famer talks hoops on NBA TV and TNT, among others. He’s also begun importing Cheurlin Champagne, and a portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold goes to the National Basketball Retired Players Association.

“We look at the NBA, where it’s at now,” Thomas said, “but we forget some of those families that are still struggling that were in the 60’s and the 70’s, that didn’t make the type of money that we made. They don’t have the money to send their kids to school or to take care of themselves physically.”