Behind Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Scottie Pippen, the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic basketball team won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The “Dream Team” is widely recognized as the greatest sports team ever assembled.
Head coach Chuck Daly never had to call a timeout, and the American’s closest contest was their 32-point victory over Toni Kukoc and Croatia in the gold medal game.
As most basketball fans know, the biggest controversy surrounding the “Dream Team” was Isiah Thomas being left off the squad. There was speculation that the Detroit Pistons star was not part of the team because of Jordan, who didn’t like the point guard.
Jordan has no problem taking the blame for Thomas not being on the team even though Johnson, Bird, and Pippen didn’t want the Chicago native on the roster either. The Chicago Bulls legend also never shied away from pointing out that everyone on the “Dream Team” was happy Thomas wasn’t with them in Barcelona.
Why did Michael Jordan hate Isiah Thomas?
Michael Jordan had a fierce rivalry with Isiah Thomas in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The Pistons defeated the Bulls three straight years in the playoffs, and Thomas and Co. used dirty tactics to stop Jordan and the Bulls.
The biggest reason why Jordan despised Thomas is because of what transpired on May 27, 1991. After the Bulls swept the Pistons in the ’91 Eastern Conference Finals, Thomas and his Detroit teammates didn’t shake Chicago’s hands as they walked off the court. From that moment, Jordan had no respect for Zeke since he was the leader of the Pistons.
MJ’s beef with Thomas wasn’t a secret to anyone. However, once news surfaced Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Scottie Pippen didn’t want the two-time champion on the “Dream Team” either, that came as a bit of a surprise.
Die-hard Pistons fans will always blame Jordan for Thomas’ “Dream Team” snub. The six-time champion doesn’t care, but he’s not afraid to remind people that it wasn’t entirely his fault.
Michael Jordan told a Pistons fan who is a famous journalist, ‘Nobody wanted Isiah Thomas on the Dream Team’
Jemele Hill, who currently works for the Atlantic and used to be a star at ESPN, grew up in Detroit. She’s a die-hard Pistons supporter and will always be a fan of Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boys” teams.
When she met Michael Jordan for the first time, Hill and the Hall of Famer had a great conversation. However, she did ask him why he didn’t want Thomas on the “Dream Team” since she’s a lifelong Pistons fan.
In classic Jordan fashion, the six-time Finals MVP looked Hill straight in the eyes and said, “Nobody wanted Isiah on the team.” The media personality was heartbroken in front of a group of people since it was evident her favorite player growing up wasn’t as popular as she wanted him to be.
Thomas and Magic Johnson eventually squashed their beef, but Jordan and Scottie Pippen still have no respect for the 1990 Finals MVP. It will likely remain that way forever.
MJ respected Zeke’s basketball talent
Michael Jordan hates Isiah Thomas, but he does respect the Pistons icon’s basketball talent. In the Last Dance docuseries, he admitted that Thomas is the second-best point guard in NBA history behind Magic Johnson.
Fans would pay good money to see Jordan and Thomas sit down on TV and squash their beef. However, the odds of that happening are low, especially after the Last Dance docuseries and Thomas’ comments about LeBron James being the GOAT.