Another episode of ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” another debate about Isiah Thomas.
The third night of “The Last Dance” hit on plenty of topics, but one that needed no introduction was Jordan’s relationship with the Detroit Pistons great. Jordan was open with his hatred for Thomas in Episode 4 of the series, and that came up again in Episode 5.
Specifically, it was Thomas infamously being left off of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. Thomas spoke about how disappointing that was last week on ESPN, and this episode tried to provide an explanation for how a Hall of Famer who led the Pistons to two NBA championships didn’t make basketball’s greatest team.
It has long been believed that Jordan — who again, has been open with his opinion of Thomas as a person — played a hand in Thomas’ exclusion, but Jordan denied that role on the show.
“You want to attribute it to me, go ahead and be my guest. But it wasn’t me,” Jordan said.
When it came to Thomas’ play, Jordan was actually complimentary (in his standard backhanded way).
“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent. 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. And I respect his game."- Michael Jordan #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/sX1xhzVGhW
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 4, 2020
However, Jordan didn’t deny that Thomas’ personality, not his resume, kept the guard off the team. As Jordan told it, several players — including Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird — had enough problems with Thomas that it would hurt team chemistry.
“The Dream Team, based on the environment and the camaraderie that happened on that team, it was the best harmony,” Jordan said. “Would Isiah have made a different feeling on that team? Yes.”
Rod Thorn, one of the primary architects of the Dream Team, gave a similar recounting earlier this week.
As for Thomas, he didn’t bother speculating beyond noting he had the resume.
When your friends get on a zoom call and nobody hits you uppic.twitter.com/KsYjeFVMNC
— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) May 4, 2020
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