Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan and Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas had their rivalry renewed when “The Last Dance” aired on ESPN. A part of the documentary focused on the 1992 “Dream Team”, and Jordan was viewed as the main reason why Thomas wasn’t on the squad.
In the documentary, Jordan denied having anything to do with Thomas not making the team. However, Jordan once told Jack McCallum on The Dream Team Tapes if Thomas was on the team, he wouldn’t have gone to Barcelona.
PISTONS' ISIAH THOMAS SAYS MICHAEL JORDAN WASN'T HIS COMPETITION DURING PRIME YEARS
Team USA selection committee member Rod Thorn “called me. I said, ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.’ He assured me,” Jordan said. “He said, ‘You know what? Chuck (Charles Barkley) doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team.”
Thomas and the “Bad Boy” Pistons weren’t loved by many people outside of Detroit. Insiders suspected that neither Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird nor Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson wanted Thomas on the “Dream Team” either.
PISTONS LEGEND ISIAH THOMAS RANKS MICHAEL JORDAN AS FOURTH-BEST PLAYER HE EVER COMPETED AGAINST
Thomas’ Pistons and Jordan’s Bulls had some intense, physical battles during their head-to-head meetings during their playing days. Jordan stated in “The Last Dance” that it still bothered him when the Pistons didn’t shake hands with the Bulls after Chicago’s sweep of Detroit in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.
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"I hated them," Jordan said of the Pistons in documentary, "and that hate carries even to this day."