Isiah Lord Thomas has dedicated his life to professional basketball. He honed his skills in Chicago's South Side, went to college, signed an NBA contract, joined the Detroit Pistons, turned them into league champions in 1989 and 1990, and was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players. Thomas became general manager and vice-president of the Toronto Raptors when they entered the NBA in 1995-96. In 1999, he bought the Continental Basketball Association, which went bankrupt in 2001. Now, he's back in the game as president of the New York Knicks, who compete every night in the sports-media center of the world. Here, writer Paul Challen examines Thomas's life in depth - as a terrific player, as the man who introduced professional basketball to Canadian fans, and as the often-controversial coach and executive.