There are largely two species of legendary athletes. The first type is the one who retires after an illustrious career and gets lost in history books. Their popularity remains limited to occasional mention in Hall of Fame speeches. The second type includes those who get biographies, documentaries and biopics made about them. Michael Jordan falls in the latter category with The Last Dance.
The Netflix documentary opened a closed book on the most memorable chapter of MJ’s life. The Chicago Bulls of the ‘90s was filled with surprise elements. Many notable legends interviewed for the documentary, and one of them was two-time NBA Champion Isiah Thomas. The 59-year-old regained his popularity after the series aired.
In an interview, The Baby Faced Assassin revealed the one story from the series that surprised him the most. It is very rare for something to pop up in one of these movies that can shock NBA insiders.
Isiah revealed, “I didn’t know that there was so much turmoil within their team, with his teammates, with Jerry Krause in terms of the peek behind the curtain. I didn’t realize that it was that chaotic, so to speak. And I come from the era where the Lakers was tight, the Celtics was tight. The 76ers were tight, we as a Piston team, we still got group chats, we still tight.”
In light of this, it is almost ironic how the Bulls kept winning the championships even with so much going on in the background. The legend further added, “When I watched The Last Dance, it just seems like them as a team, even though they won a lot, didn’t seem to be as, as tight and as close as, as we were, as you know, other teams were not, I found that fascinating, but also found it unique that they could overcome all of that and still win.”
Air Jordan’s notoriety against the Detroit Pistons and vice versa was known worldwide. The Detroit fans disliked the Bulls, while the Bulls also considered the Pistons their arch-rivals in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. This led to an even larger bitterness between MJ and Isiah.
The biggest blow to their relationship came when Isiah was excluded from the 1992 US Olympics “Dream Team”. Many believed that Isiah was good enough to seek an easy selection. In the documentary, Michael Jordan said, “You want to attribute it to me, go ahead and be my guest, but it wasn’t me.”
The two players respect each other’s game, but there are probably still differences that need to be ironed out.
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