The Last Dance documentary explored the rivalry between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas. Their teams, the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons, had many fierce encounters in the late 80s and early 90s. So when Thomas wasn’t picked for the Dream Team, everyone felt that Jordan’s personal rivalry against Thomas was the reason he was excluded.
The Pistons legend recently spoke to Shannon Sharpe, where he said that watching the Last Dance made him realize this.
He said, “It seems like it was only one person that had a problem with it, and that was Jordan. At that time, I didn’t realize, and even until I watched The Last Dance; I didn’t realize he felt the way he felt about me. I never had bad words with him or anything like that. We played, his team won, my team won, we went home, and they went home.”
Ever since the release of the documentary, Thomas has been repeatedly asked about his relationship with Jordan and about his Dream Team exclusion. His answers haven’t changed, but the questions seem to never end.
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Michael Jordan denies he was at fault
During The Last Dance documentary, one can see Jordan appreciating Thomas’ talent. “I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent,” Jordan said in the documentary. “To me, the best point guard of all-time is Magic Johnson, and right behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game.
“You want to attribute it to me, go ahead, and be my guest. But it wasn’t me.”
The Dream Team had Magic Johnson come out of retirement to play. But Zeke, who was still playing at All-Star levels, was ignored. However, they still won comfortably, so everybody moved on.
Does the Thomas-Jordan rivalry still exist?
Lately, Thomas has issued multiple statements that have been an indirect attack on Jordan. He called LeBron James, the greatest player of all-time. Later he also added that LeBron is more skilled than Jordan, and that “there is no comparison.”
While one can argue about either LeBron or Jordan being the GOAT, Thomas’ statements came out of the blue. And because of the differences he had with Jordan, one could call him biased. It is surprising how there still seems to be bad blood, over 30 years since they had their on-court bouts.
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