Isiah Thomas Omits Michael Jordan While Praising LeBron James’ GOAT Resume: “Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, They Thought Like LeBron”

Published 12/23/2021, 10:30 AM EST


Whenever someone brings up the debate of who is the greatest player of all time in basketball, the name of Michael Jordan is bound to come up. Well, that’s not an opinion that one of his fiercest rivals shares. That ex-player is none other than Isiah Thomas.

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Thomas and Michael Jordan were fierce rivals back in their playing days and it seems to have continued as Thomas left Jordan out of a notable list.

Isiah Thomas skips Michael Jordan in GOAT list

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Thomas was on the ‘Full Bodied’ podcast with Channing Frye. He was asked about LeBron James and Thomas talked about a piece of advice that he had given LeBron James.

Isiah recalled a moment between him and LeBron James where he told James, “You have to accept the challenge of trying to be the greatest player to ever play. Because not many of us, including myself, has ever had the opportunity to play for being the greatest player to ever play.”

Thomas advised LeBron, “You got to become smarter at the game. The brain is a muscle, so you have to start reading before the game… So Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, they thought like LeBron James. They understood that type of detail in the game.”

He continued and took other legendary names like Larry Bird and Dennis Johnson. However, Thomas casually omit Michael Jordan’s name while mentioning the all-time greats of the sport. The two definitely share an interesting past. 

Jordan and Isiah Thomas rivalry

The Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons have been long-time rivals, and that rivalry had intensified during the late ’80s and the ’90s. So it is only natural for the best players from both teams to be fierce rivals.

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Time certainly has not helped put the feud to sleep. The two legends still hold a grudge as shown by Jordan in his ‘The Last Dance’ documentary. “No way you can convince me he wasn’t an a-hole,” Jordan said about Thomas in the documentary.

The main reason for the feud has been the long-standing theory of Thomas hampering with Jordan’s All-Star selection. Many believe that Thomas was the conspirator behind freezing Jordan during the All-Star game in 1985.

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Although, since then, Thomas has denied the allegations regarding Jordan’s all-star game fiasco and coached him for the all-star game in 2001. Will their rivalry ever end? Only time can tell. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Abhinava Ghosh

162 articles

Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.

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