Isiah Thomas reacts to Michael Jordan calling him an ‘a**hole’
Michael Jordan’s long-simmering feelings toward Isiah Thomas are made apparent in Episode 4 of “The Last Dance” docuseries, though the former Detroit Pistons guard said he was caught off-guard by Jordan’s vitriolic words.
During the episode, Jordan is shown a clip of Thomas explaining the Pistons’ decision to walk off the court in Game 4 of the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals before the buzzer sounded on Chicago’s sweep. MJ doesn’t bite his tongue:
“I know it’s all bulls**t.” Jordan says. “Whatever [Isiah] says now, you know it wasn’t his true actions then. [He’s had] time enough to think about it, or the reaction of the public that’s changed his perspective. … You can show me anything you want. There’s no way you can convince me he wasn’t an a**hole.”
During an appearance on the Jamie and Stoney Show on Tuesday, the Pistons legend claimed he “really was surprised” by MJ’s comments:
“We’ve been in public places before, had interactions with each other, have gone out to dinner. He, Ahmad Rashad and I have had dinner together. My son, he’s given him his gym shoes, jerseys. I’ve seen him in public several times, and I’ve never got any type of hostility or un-pleasantries from him. He’s always been extremely nice to me and my family whenever we’ve been out in the past. … I was surprised to definitely hear him say that about me, but maybe he just had a bad moment.”
Thomas and Jordan’s beef can be traced back to 1985, when Thomas allegedly co-coordinated a “freezeout” of the ascending Bulls superstar in his first All-Star Game (there are also other explanations for the beef). The four consecutive grueling playoff battles from 1988-91 between Thomas’ Bad Boys and Jordan’s Bulls — featuring the infamous Jordan Rules — only fueled the tension, culminating in the Pistons departing the court without shaking hands.
Jordan infamously pushed to keep Thomas off the 1992 Dream Team, which Thomas says he’s still “hurt” by:
"Looking back, if I'm not a part of the Dream Team because a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone's hand … then I am more disappointed today than I was back then."
Isiah Thomas is still "hurt" that he was left off the Dream Team. pic.twitter.com/YkRt8zIY09
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 27, 2020
This feud isn’t dying down anytime soon.