The Bone I Will Never Get To Pick With Chuck Daly: May He Rest in Peace

Ray StoneCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

This is not to speak anything negative about a man that has passed on, but I have to clear the air with the coach.

Something has always bothered me about the NBA Dream Team that was supposed to go down in history as the greatest team ever assembled. 

It wasn’t.

Isiah Lord Thomas III was supposed to be on that basketball team!  

Everyone knows Michael Jordan did not want Zeke on the team or whatever. 

Everyone also knows that Isiah earned his place on that team.

Raise your hand if you would for any reason pick John Stockton over Isiah Thomas so I can come and slap the s$#@ out of you.  I will not even waste time with that silliness.  

The coach of the Dream Team was of course none other than Chuck Daly.  That is a great honor to coach such a team, but I have to wonder why I did not hear Daly speak up more on behalf of his star player.

That has always really bothered me about that situation.

If anyone can appreciate the body of work that Thomas did to raise the Pistons to world championship level, it would be his own coach. 

He had to know that Isiah deserved a spot on that team as much as anyone.  He saw first hand how hard Isiah worked day in and day out.

Hell, if it had not been for Thomas being the fearless leader he was on and off the floor, Daly might not be as successful as a basketball coach.  Isiah was a great help in making Chuck Daly into a Hall of Fame and world championship coach.

I felt Daly owed it to Isiah to help make him a member of the Dream Team.

Even if it was totally out of his hands, which of course people will say it was, he could voice his opinion.  It is a free country.  Coaches have a strong voice.

I never heard Daly say that his guy belonged on that team.  That Thomas would make it a true dream team.  I felt he could have lobbied harder to get Isiah on the team; or at least to let it be known that he believed his man deserved to be there.  That goes a long way. 

Especially if the only reason he was not is because of some personal, ego crap. 

You do not let junk like that interfere with history.  Chuck could have sat down with both of those guys.  NBA coaches deal with egos all the time and Daly was really good at it.

Coaches lobby to get their players on the All-Star team almost every season in the NBA, especially if they are coaching the game.  You have to stand up for your guys. 

This was much bigger than a simple All-Star game snub.  We are talking about making history; talking about a guy who definitely earned, yet was being denied his place in history.  

His coach cannot accept that quietly. He has to go to bat for his man.

I am sorry people, but "nothing we can do about it" is not what the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons were about.  They were a tough bunch that fought for respect during their whole ride to the top. 

They went to war together and had each other’s backs.  They had to. 

The national media never liked them. Phil Jackson and company publicly cried (like pucks) that they were bad for basketball.  The league changed the rules because of them.

After all of that fighting and climbing together, I would have thought Daly would have said as much as he could to get his guy on board.  

Even if he could not, he could have made it publicly clear that his guy was robbed of a spot in history.  He could wear that on the sleeve of his designer suit.   

Taking the defeatist attitude is not the way Detroit gets down. 

Around here, if something is bullsh*t – you say its bullsh*t.  Out loud. 

But rest in peace coach Daly.  Much respect.  All is forgiven. 

And not to worry, I will be saying its bullsh*t until the day I join you.  Rest assured.