Michael Jordan speaks out on his hatred and respect for Isiah Thomas
Michael Jordan might not like Isiah Thomas, but he respects his talent as a basketball player. Jordan called Thomas the second-best point guard in NBA history behind Magic Johnson during Episode 5 of ESPN’s Chicago Bulls docu-series, “The Last Dance:”
“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, I respect his game,” Jordan said.
Viewers got a glimpse into the dislike Jordan has for Thomas during Episode 4 of “The Last Dance.”
The episode documented the Bulls’ long journey in dethroning Thomas’ Detroit Pistons as Eastern Conference champions in 1991 — a quest culminated by Thomas and the Pistons walking off the court in the final seconds of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Thomas said the gesture was supposed to evoke some kind of “passing of the torch,” as the Boston Celtics had done to the Pistons in the 1980s. Jordan was not buying any of it, however.
“I know it’s all bullshit,” Michael Jordan said before he even looked at the iPad, via Brad Botkin of CBS Sports. “Whatever [Isiah Thomas] 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 asshole.”
Jordan also notoriously opposed the idea of Thomas being part of the “Dream Team” at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona — which was well documented on “The Last Dance.”
Despite the bitter relationship between the two NBA greats, Jordan acknowledged that Thomas is one of the best players in NBA history. Just do not expect MJ to send Isiah flowers anytime soon.