Best NBA Draft steals of all time: Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
When talking about the best NBA backcourts of all time, the Detroit Pistons’ “Bad Boys” Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas are bound to come up.
After four years at McNeese State University, Dumars entered the 1985 NBA Draft where the Pistons selected him with the 18th overall pick.
Dumars never left the franchise, including serving Detroit as President of Basketball Operations after retirement.
During his playing days, Dumars helped build the “Bad Boys” reputation due to his tenacious, physical defense. That style of play earned him five All-Defensive team selections during his career.
While on the court, Dumars became synonymous with the Bad Boys, his off-court demeanor provided a stark contrast, culminating with his selection to be the NBA’s first winner of the Sportsmanship Award. The trophy of which is now named the Joe Dumars Trophy.
Dumars wasn’t just a defensive player, though. His career averages of 16.1 points per game on 38.2 percent 3-point shooting made him a threat on both ends of the court. His ability as a two-way player earned him six NBA All-Star appearances and three All-NBA selections.
Dumars also helped lead the Pistons to seven straight post-season appearances, making his first NBA Finals appearance in the 1987-88 NBA season, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. Detroit made it back to the finals two more consecutive times, each time winning an NBA championship.
While other members of Detroit’s “Bad Boys” team may be more infamous than Dumars, his solid two-way play as the 18th pick makes him an NBA Draft steal.