Isiah Thomas on Him and Magic Johnson Winning Back to Back Rings Before Michael Jordan: “Had We Won Three in a Row..”

Published 01/13/2022, 11:30 AM EST
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls


As an NBA legend, Michael Jordan commands reverence among fans, commentators, and other NBA legends alike. Jordan led a Chicago Bulls team to mythical status in the 90s. On the way to glory, the Bulls broke many NBA records. A former NBA star commented on missing out on a three-peat feat that Jordan’s Bulls later accomplished.

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NBA great Isiah Thomas reminisced about the prospect of winning three NBA titles in a row. He mentioned how his franchise and Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers came close to achieving three-peats before Jordan. Thomas spoke to Kevin Durant, who also missed out on a three-peat, on’ The ETCs with Kevin Durant’ podcast.

Thomas said, “Had I not come back and won back to back, then it would bother me. But you know I look at it now as you know you talked about history in terms of what our place in history would have been had, we won three in a row during that era as opposed to winning back to back. The only two teams that won back to back in that era was the Lakers and the Pistons.”

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From left, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Ron Harper and Toni Kukoc were big parts of Bulls teams that won three straight NBA titles from 1996 to 1998. Jordan and Pippen were members of the first “three-peat” team, which won titles from 1991 to 1993. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Thomas played for the Detroit Pistons and won the 1989 and 1900 titles. Magic won the 1987 and 1988 titles with the Lakers. Durant won the 2017 and 2018 NBA titles.

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All three of the NBA greats came close to preceding and following Jordan’s three peat wins.

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Michael Jordan and his first three peat feat

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons dominated the NBA during Michael Jordan’s early NBA career. However, Jordan changed this soon by establishing a Chicago Bulls dynasty to rule the 90s. The sweetest fruits of this dynasty came with their first three peat victory in 1993.

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Though Jordan failed to win the NBA MVP trophy after back-to-back wins in 1991 and 1992 he made up for it by winning the Finals MVP award for a record third straight time. Recording an average of 41.0 ppg during the six-game Finals series, Jordan avenged his NBA MVP snub. In classic Jordan fashion, he completed another three peat feat in 1998.

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Shalom Saldanha

252 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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