In the Last Dance docuseries, Michael Jordan admitted he hates Isiah Thomas. The Chicago Bulls legend will never forgive the Detroit Pistons icon for not shaking his hand after Game 4 of the ’91 Eastern Conference Finals and beating him up physically during the Chicago-Detroit rivalry.
Everyone familiar with the NBA knows Jordan doesn’t like Thomas and played a role in him not making the ‘92 Dream Team. However, people focused on MJ’s hatred toward Zeke in the Last Dance so much that they missed his agent’s diss toward the Pistons great.
Who was Michael Jordan’s agent?
David Falk of ProServ represented Jordan during his playing career. The New York native helped MJ make loads of money through the Bulls, Washington Wizards, Nike, McDonald’s, and several other endorsements.
After he signed Jordan, Falk wanted to get the Bulls guard his own shoe. However, neither Converse nor Adidas was ready to make one for MJ. So, Falk decided to contact Nike and set up a meeting.
The issue with Nike, though, was that Jordan didn’t know anything about the company and had no interest in even meeting with them at their campus. He was hell-bent on going with Adidas, the shoe he wore at North Carolina, but Falk viewed them as too dysfunctional.
Jordan’s parents convinced him to take the meeting with Nike in Oregon. The Jordan family was very impressed by Nike’s pitch, and a deal was reached to give MJ his own shoe and clothing line.
In episode 5 of the Last Dance, Falk said Nike expected to sell $3 million worth of Air Jordan’s by the end of year four. In year one, Nike sold $126 million.
Before Falk started talking about Nike in episode 5, he spoke about how he and Jordan met with Converse, which was the official shoe of the NBA. It was during that segment the basketball agent took a subtle jab at Thomas.
David Falk didn’t mention Isiah Thomas while discussing Converse
While talking about Converse, Falk mentioned Magic Johnson, Dr. J, Bernard King, and Larry Bird. However, he didn’t say Thomas’ name despite the Pistons All-Star being in the Converse commercial.
This could have been intentional or unintentional. However, knowing how much Jordan despises Thomas, no one would be surprised if this was deliberate.
Converse already had big players, so they couldn’t envision putting Jordan ahead of them. That was obviously a huge mistake, and Nike took advantage of it.
Jordan hasn’t played in the NBA since 2003. However, his shoes are still extremely popular. Thanks to the Jordan brand and other endorsements, the six-time champion has an estimated net worth of 1.6 million in 2021.
Michael Jordan did praise Isiah Thomas in the Last Dance
While talking about why Thomas wasn’t on the ’92 Dream Team, Jordan said he would have ruined the group’s harmony. However, the six-time Finals MVP did call Zeke the second-best point guard in NBA history.
“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent,” Jordan said in the Last Dance. “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.”
Thomas said he didn’t know Jordan hated him so much until he watched the Last Dance. However, he should have known that after the walk-off in ’91, their relationship would never be the same.