“Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls Were Rewarded for Lifting Weights”: Isiah Thomas Continues Bashing Jordan and Team

Published 04/27/2020, 4:30 PM EDT


Isiah Thomas is not going to back off after the heat set up by ‘The Last Dance’. It’s been almost 30 years since the Bulls-Pistons rivalry initiated in the early 90s. Probably, nothing has changed to date. Michael Jordan still carries that hatred within him for Isiah and Pistons. The new docu-series has refreshed that feud once again after a long time. In response to Jordan’s blatant comments on Isiah Thomas, the latter had immense to say in defense of himself and the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons.

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The back-to-back championships for the Detroit Pistons in ’89 and ’90 were the trigger point for Jordan and co. With the likes of John Salley, Dennis Rodman, and Adrian Dantley, the Pistons became a competition for the Bulls. The 1991 Eastern Conference Finals was the infamous ‘walk-off’ game to be remembered. The Pistons lost to the Bulls and left the court before the buzzer. Since nobody shook hands with the Bulls, Jordan called them ‘classless’ in the post-game interview. It could have been the three-peat for the Pistons if it wasn’t for the loss to the Bulls. That day still remains a scar on the Pistons and many blamed them for being the ‘Bad Boys’.

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Michael Jordan said in a segment of the documentary, “You can show me anything you want, there’s no way you can convince me he [Isiah] wasn’t an a**h**e.” It was definitely a hateful statement to make but Isiah wasn’t quiet about it either. The Hall of Fame awardee had many more words to put forward his idea of Jordan and his team. He opened up about it on ESPN ‘Get Up’ Show recently. “It’s [the documentary] fascinating to me because I’m getting an inside peek at the rival of the Chicago Bulls that we didn’t see behind the curtains.”

Former Pistons’ rival gave his peace of mind to Michael Jordan

Isiah Thomas stressed on this more than usual that how Jordan and his franchise was over-marketed in the 90s and to date. “They are rewarded for lifting weights, getting stronger, becoming mentally stronger. That’s what you supposed to do to win a championship,” he continued, “You’re not going to beat the Detroit Pistons if you wasn’t physically fit, if you wasn’t physically fit, if you wasn’t in the best shape of your life and if you wasn’t mentally tough. Chicago and Michael Jordan did and became all those things. But while they were losing to us they weren’t those things.” Isiah mocked Jordan and the Bulls for being overly appreciated for petty things. “You shouldn’t be rewarded for lifting weights. I mean, we got high school kids now lifting weights”

As a result of walking off the court that day, Isiah says he and his teammates were blamed enough. It was a step taken in the heat of the moment. The exclusion of Isiah from the 1992 Olympics ‘Dream Team’ was another major anecdote that relates to this rivalry. Thomas admitted, “And looking back, if I’m not a part of the Dream Team because, you know, a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone’s hand, if that’s the reason why I didn’t make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected.”

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Well, the rivalries are part and parcel of any sport. But this one beats many in the intensity of hatred it carries to date!

 

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Pavni Ahuja

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