Thomas so far...
Wade, Thomas wasn't no where close to the level of peak/prime Wade.
Never have I been so happy to have my player to be losing a vote.
lol the poll is full of fail, must of been a bunch of knicks/laker fans voting. to bad its not public.
I was close on this, but have trouble with All-Time ranks when a player is still got so much left to define. Wade will pass Isiah in a season or two, but this is not "who had a better peak", so picking either guy is not horrible.
Looking back at Thomas's stats, it seems clear that Wade is better, statistically. But watching Thomas play is an entirely different thing. Neither was much to write home about when it came to shooting threes, Wade has posted high scoring averages, but Thomas was a pass-first PG who looked to set up his teammates. I mean, the dude posted almost 14 assists a game one season! That is at least 28 points he's generating to go along with the 21 points he was dropping in the bucket himself, meaning he was involved with about 50 points per game that season. Wade, in the season that he lead the league in points, posted 30 a game with 7.5 assists, equalling about 45 points of his team's offense. When you consider how Thomas facilitated, their offensive games are put into perspective a little better. Thomas also played in an era that had hand-checking. If Wade had to deal with hand-checking I suspect his FG% would take a bit of a hit.
Defensivley, they are both great. I mean, the Pistons were known for their defense, and Thomas was the leader of that team. And Thomos had to deal with more challenging assignments. I mean, he was 6'1 and he had to defend Magic who was 6'9. Obviously Wade's height gives him advantages that Thomas didn't have, but Thomas was a solid defender. And considering their size, Wade doesn't have much of an edge in rebounding. The biggest difference between the two players is the FG%, and as I said, Thomas had to deal with hand-checking, Wade did not.
I must announce my personal bias as well. I'm from the Detroit area and it was Thomas's Bad Boys Pistons that got me hooked on basketball (though I was more of a Laimbeer fan than Thomas), so that may influence my opinion a little, but I have to go with Thomas on this one.
If I was asked which one I would want today, if they were in the draft together and they were the two best talents, I would choose Wade, because I expect Wade will have a much longer career. Thomas retired at 32. Wade is 31 (though if Wade continues to pile up 8-point performances like last night be might be retiring soon as well), and I expect him to play at an All-Star level until at least 35.
But if I was given one of the two players in their prime to lead my team, I would choose Thomas.
Thomas has muddied his playing career with his coaching and front office work though. I think that will influence how people view his career in the long run and 10 years from now, or 15, people will likely not appreciate what he brought to the game.