About Ian Thomsen
Ian graduated in journalism at Northwestern University, where he covered the losingest team in college football history for The Daily Northwestern and the Chicago Sun-Times. He was hired out of college by The Boston Globe, regarded as the best sports section in American newspapers, for whom he covered all three of the Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Doug Flutie's Hail Mary miracle in Miami, and the ball dribbling through Bill Buckner's legs in the 1986 World Series. At age 24 he wrote a tragic feature about twin high school football stars in Pennsylvania that was named best sports story in the U.S. by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
As a charter member of The National Sports Daily, Ian’s subjects included Buster Douglas – before his upset knockout of heavyweight champion Mike Tyson – and Billy Walters, who ran the Computer Group betting syndicate in Las Vegas that introduced analytics to the world of sports. After The National's untimely (but predictable) demise, Ian moved overseas to become sports columnist for the world’s largest daily newspaper, the International Herald Tribune. Based in Paris and London, his assignments included the Olympic Games, soccer’s World Cup and Champions League, the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, the major tennis tournaments and track meets, and – his personal favorite – Europe’s Final Four basketball tournaments.
In 1997 Ian was brought back to the U.S. by Sports Illustrated, for whom he wrote the magazine's first cover story on Kobe Bryant, the emerging 19-year-old star of the Lakers. His biggest story, written with Luis Fernando Llosa and Melissa Segura, revealed that Danny Almonte, the phenom of the 2001 Little League World Series, had lied about his age.
Since 2000 Ian has been covering the NBA fulltime – for SI and more recently for NBA.com – at every major venue from the NBA Finals to the Olympic Games to All-Star Weekend. He has broken news, profiled the league’s biggest stars, written opinionated columns and created mock NBA drafts. Ian embraces the global view of the NBA as a league that plays out the ideals of America. He lives in Boston, not far from the birthplace of basketball.
Look for NBAnswers, Ian’s newsletter for international NBA fans.