Magic Johnson Shoulders the Burden for Michael Jordan-Isiah Thomas Beef

Published 01/12/2023, 11:08 AM EST

Magic Johnson is known for his larger-than-life personality which allowed him to fit in various circles on and off the court. The Los Angeles Lakers legend showed immense talent on the court and often acted as a glue to keep the league together. Despite his passion for winning championships, Magic Johnson was able to become friends with some of the most competitive players of his time. Johnson’s Lakers faced the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls in the Finals. However, Magic was still able to build a lasting friendship with Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan. Recently, Magic Johnson has taken the responsibility to squash the beef between Thomas and Jordan.

The Michael Jordan-led Bulls and Isiah Thomas’ Pistons shared an intense Eastern Conference rivalry in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The beef between MJ and Zeke has remained active since then, with shots fired back and forth over the years. Now, Magic Johnson had decided to shoulder the burden of the massive beef that has lasted over forty years. 

Johnson hopes to bring Michael Jordan & Isiah Thomas together


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Magic Johnson joined co-hosts Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on Showtime Basketball’s ‘All the Smoke’. In his recent appearance on the show, the five-time NBA champ reckoned that he disliked the long-standing beef between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas. Johnson suggested that the two NBA legends should forget the past and sort out their differences. 

Moreover, Johnson praised Michael Jordan’s achievement of becoming the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The 12-time All-Star added that the success and business MJ’s Air Jordan shoes attained was untouchable. Moreover, Johnson also pointed out that Isiah Thomas had also established himself as a respected businessman after retiring from the league. In response, the co-host Matt Barnes suggested, ” I think only Magic can fix that sh*t. Only Magic can fix that sh*t.”

The comment from Barnes prompted Johnson to take the initiative to sort out the long-time dispute between his two good friends. Magic Johnson stated, “They should be past it. Yeah, they are my boys. So, I guess I’m gonna have to be the one to bring them together.”

Thus, Johnson decided to use his ability to bring people together. The three-time Finals MVP also claimed that he would try and sort out the beef between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas.

Recent updates on Jordan-Thomas beef

Michael Jordan’s 2020 documentary film, The Last Dance, took the beef between MJ and Zeke to a next level. The documentary revolves around the domination of the Michael Jordan-led Bulls dynasty in the 1990s. Jordan did not like the Detroit Pistons a lot and he made it known in the documentary.

The Bulls legend claimed to hate Isiah Tomas and even ended up calling names to the Pistons legend in The Last Dance. After the release of MJ’s documentary, Isiah Thomas responded by saying, “This guy comes on television and he says that he hates me and then he calls me an asshole. And then I proceed to watch a whole documentary about him being an asshole”


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During their NBA rivalry, the Detroit Pistons beat the Bulls twice in the Eastern Conference Finals to win and eventually won the championship in 1989 and 1990. However, Michael Jordan and co. finally took their revenge in the 1991 playoffs and went on to win their first-ever championship.


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Watch the Story – 5 times Michael Jordan was straight up mean to famous celebrities

Thus, the long-standing controversy between Thomas and Jordan has sparked up yet in recent years and is expected to continue, given MJ’s nature to take things personally.



Rohit Kumawat

750 articles

Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.

Edited By: Gideon Mathson