Isiah Thomas on Michael Jordan: “Never knew he hated me! Peace? NEVER, unless…”

Isiah Thomas e Michael Jordan for many years were great rivals on the court, when the Bad Boy’s Detroit Pistons first beat and then gave way to His Airness’ Chicago Bulls, not without a fight. Their relationship, past the stormy early clashes on the parquet, never seemed particularly soured until the release of The Last Dance in 2020. In the docu-series, Jordan spoke about Thomas, calling him a “asshole.” and declaring that he hates it. For years it was also reported that it was Jordan who asked Team USA not to call up Thomas when the Dream Team for Barcelona 1992 was composed, a “legend,” however, refuted Rod Thorn.

Now Thomas, who for the past 4 years has not failed to criticize Jordan and show surprise at his rancor, has commented on the matter as a guest on Draymond Green’s podcast. To explain his total bona fides, the Pistons legend told an anecdote from the2003 All Star Game., the last in the career of Jordan, then a player for the Washington Wizards. In that review, MJ was supposed to start from the bench but took Vince Carter’s place in the quintet. That year the Eastern Conference coach was Isiah Thomas himself, then coach of the New York Knicks.

“I was coaching in Jordan’s last All Star Game, Vince Carter was voted among the starters. I took him aside and convinced him to give up his spot to Michael Jordan.. I didn’t know how he felt about me until The Last Dance came out. So I find out that for the last few years you’ve been hiding behind a tree throwing stones and blaming someone else. If I had known how he felt about me, I definitely would have treated him differently. People ask me why I didn’t shake his hand. [dopo l’eliminazione dei Pistons per mano dei Bulls nei Playoff 1991, ndr]: Champions always walked off the field. Then they would go to the winners’ locker room, shake their hands and congratulate them. The Bulls are the only champion team still crying because someone didn’t shake their hand Thomas stated.

Thomas also reiterated that he will never make peace with Jordan, “unless he goes on national TV and publicly apologizes to me.”. The Detroit legend demands that MJ use the same medium used to offend and discredit him, television precisely, to repair the damage done. Jordan probably has no intention of doing so anyway, since there has never been a rapprochement between the two so far.

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