Hoops Links: Butler, Lance, LeBron

July 20 at 4:33pm CDT By Zach Links

On this date in 2000, Isiah Thomas was named head coach of the Pacers, replacing Larry Bird, who stepped down following the 1999-2000 NBA season. Thomas, then 39, was a 12-time All-Star and led the Pistons to two NBA championships and was the Finals MVP in 1990. He also led Indiana University to the NCAA championship in 1981. As with Bird, who was the 1997-98 NBA Coach of the Year, the Pacers’ job was Thomas’ first coaching experience.  Thomas coached the Pacers to three consecutive winning seasons, though each campaign ended with a first-round ouster.

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