Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan were great rivals in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the NBA, and it seems that things have not cooled off one bit between the two even 30 years later.
Thomas recently spoke about the rivalry between the two franchises and did not mince words about his feelings toward Chicago’s Hall-of-Famer.
“Every time you hit him, he cried.” Thomas said, as reported by ESPN. “He would go to David Stern’s office to talk about the beating he received.”
Isiah spoke about physicality while playing Jordan and the Bulls. pic.twitter.com/03fRH0KBGs
– NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 19, 2023
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The Bulls and Pistons met several times in the postseason during the heyday of Isiah Thomas and early in Michael Jordan’s dominant run. The Pistons eliminated Chicago from the playoffs three consecutive times from 1988 to 1990. On that occasion, they used a strategy known as “Jordan Rules,” designed to knock Chicago’s star out of the game using some very physical defensive tactics (which we can also call dirty).
Three decades later, it seems that there is still no respect between the two NBA icons. How much of Thomas’s complaints are legitimate and how much stem from a sense of jealousy over Jordan’s success is certainly up for debate, but it is certainly hard to imagine the two making peace anytime soon.