Skip to main content

Isiah Thomas Talks Success, Some Sports, On New Interview Show

Isiah Thomas, the Hall of Fame basketball player, is taking a shot at hosting an interview show on TV.

His program, Unfinished Business With Isiah Thomas, is slated to premiere on a Sunday night in July (no specific date at press time) on Cinemoi North America TV, a channel on DirecTV that mostly runs international films but also airs Jonathan Ross’s interview show from the U.K.

“There will be a little sports talk, also,” Thomas told Multichannel News recently. “But it’s mainly about success stories and people who have persevered and overcome obstacles in their life, and trying to correlate how people who have become extremely successful — because we see them on television and media — the commonality they have with the everyday person.”

Thomas wrote a memoir that described his childhood poverty in Chicago, and the challenges he faced in getting a high-school education and then earning his degree at Indiana University — and winning an NCAA championship with the Hoosiers and then a National Basketball Association title with the Detroit Pistons.

Everyone faces obstacles, he said. “Life doesn’t necessarily discriminate.” We read about famous people who have endured and succeeded. “But I’d like to also shine the spotlight on the everyday common person who does it also.”

Who would be his ideal guest? Nelson Mandela, who held onto his beliefs despite decades in prison in South Africa, the country he later led. “I’d like to sit down and talk to him about how he did it and did he ever lose faith.”(

(A version of this article appeared in Multichannel News in the Through the Wire column.)