Joe Dumars III (born May 24, 1963), nicknamed Joe D, is a retired American basketball player in the NBA, and currently the Detroit Pistons' President of Basketball Operations. At 6'3" (190 cm) Dumars could play either shooting guard or point guard on offense and was a highly effective defender. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dumars and Isiah Thomas combined to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history. Initially a shooting guard, Dumars moved over to point guard following Thomas's retirement in 1994, sharing ball-handling duties with Grant Hill. Dumars was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Dumars was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. Dumars' mother, Ophelia, was a custodian at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches while his father, Joe (Big Joe), was a truck driver.
Dumars grew up in an athletic family, but, surprisingly, basketball was not his favorite sport as a child. Football was more popular in the region and all five of his brothers were defensive standouts at Natchitoches Central High School. His brother David later played professional football in the USFL. Dumars followed in his brothers’ footsteps playing defensive back on the football team until junior high school when a big hit on the field directed him toward basketball. Ever the supportive father, Big Joe built a hoop, made of an old bicycle wheel and half of a wooden door, in the Dumars' backyard where Little Joe spent hours practicing his jumper.