‘Couldn’t Stand Him Like MJ’: Reggie Miller Explains Why He and Michael Jordan Disliked Isiah Thomas

Published 06/16/2021, 1:30 PM EDT


The Bad Boy Pistons were one of the most intimidating teams ever in the game of basketball. Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Bill Laimbeer were some players who helped the team win two NBA titles. However, they were a team known for playing a defensive approach, and often bullied their opponents which earned the name the “Bad Boys”. In a recent interview, Reggie Miller spoke about his admiration for Isiah Thomas but he also stated that he hated him, much like how Michael Jordan did.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

When asked about who he would like to play with, Isiah Thomas was the first name that came to Miller’s mind, along with Jason Kidd. But he stressed on how he hated Isiah just as Michael Jordan did.

CHICAGO – 1991: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls jumps to shoot a basket against the Detroit Pistons as Cliff Levingston #53 of the Bulls, Dennis Rodman #10 of the Pistons and Isiah Thomas #11 of the Pistons watch the shot at the Chicago Stadium during the 1991 NBA Playoffs in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

“I couldn’t stand him, it is that central division, couldn’t stand him like MJ. He would be smiling all in your face acting like he’s your friend and stuff, taking the biggest cheap shots ever and one of the toughest point guards,” said Miller.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Even though Miller wanted to play with Isiah, that didn’t stop him from disliking Isiah Thomas. Thomas was one of the best perimeter defenders the league has seen and his skill set was something else. Miller also spoke about how Jordan had issues with Isiah. As depicted in the Last Dance, Jordan was subjected to a lot of physicality from the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls reached the 1990 NBA Eastern Conference finals, but Isiah and Co defeated them to advance into the finals. That series was arguably Jordan’s turning point as he got the title the next year.

DIVE DEEPER

Lakers Veteran Reveals How they Intend to Cope Up With an Ageing LeBron James

about 2 months ago

The Pistons elevated Jordan’s game

The Detroit Pistons have won three championships. Fans always knew the franchise for the aggressiveness with which they would play ball. Likewise, after the two consecutive titles, the Pistons won it again back in 2004 with the help of Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Chauncey Billups.

However, Isiah’s Pistons were a notch up than everybody else. It was quite noticeable how they irked Jordan whenever they played the Bulls. Wearing him down physically was their game plan, and Jordan could not cope up with the Pistons’ defense. But Michael Jordan met a trainer in Tim Grover who helped him to become physically fit and land the NBA title soon thereafter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

After the disappointment from the 1990 season, Jordan came back stronger in 1991. This time things went wrong for Detroit. Jordan met the Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals and defeated them 4-0 to win the NBA title, and this was how Jordan introduced himself to the world.

The Pistons were one of the best. However, Michael Jordan’s commitment and mentality were on another level. Even though MJ respected his opponents, it was quite clear why Jordan hated Thomas; he took it personally.

WATCH THIS STORY- How a Pre-NBA Kevin Durant Humiliated LeBron James

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

Trending Stories

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Jacob Gijy

221 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT