Isiah Ends Long Career With Achilles' Injury

Posted: April 20, 1994

Such a brilliant career deserved a better ending.

Isiah Thomas tore his right Achilles' tendon in what was almost certainly the last game of his career, a 132-104 loss last night to the visiting Orlando Magic. The injury also will prevent him from playing for the U.S. team in the World Championships this summer in Toronto.

"I would have loved the opportunity to compete," Thomas said. "But, hopefully the committee will find someone else who is worthy and give them a chance to play."

Thomas, whose upcoming retirement after 13 seasons is the worst-kept secret in the NBA, limped off the court for the last time with 1:37 left in the third quarter. He scored 12 points in 26 minutes and waged a losing battle against Magic point guard Anfernee Hardaway, who finished with 25 points.

"I did an awful lot of stuff," Thomas said. "I look back at what I was able to accomplish with my talent, what I got out of my body, it far exceeded anything I dreamed of. I can honestly say I didn't waste my talent, I didn't waste my gift."

Thomas will go out as the all-time Pistons leader in points, assists, steals and games played.

With the victory, Orlando clinched the homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The lights at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich., were darkened for pregame introductions, which turned into a four-minute tribute to Thomas. At halftime, a six-minute video tribute was played on the scoreboard. Afterward, Thomas bowed at halfcourt.

"I was very nervous," Thomas said. "This the most nervous I've ever been before a game. I was never this nervous before an NBA playoff game.

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