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Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 at 12:15 pm  |  72 responses

Beef: Isiah vs Magic

I’m guessing that these two won’t be kissing on the cheek anytime soon: “When he heard the criticisms from his former friend Magic Johnson in a soon-to-be-released book, Isiah Thomas said he’d had enough. And so he began to fight back. ‘I’m really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years,’ said Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard and former NBA coach and executive, most recently with the Knicks. ‘I’m totally blindsided by this. Every time that I’ve seen Magic, he has been friendly with me. Whenever he came to a Knick game, he was standing in the tunnel [to the locker room] with me. He and [Knicks assistant coach] Herb [Williams] and I, we would go out to dinner in New York. I didn’t know he felt this way.”’

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  • http://www.yahoo.com Logues

    what did magic say about him?

  • jrooks

    It must be bad

  • riggs

    isiah, knicks fans wants you to strike the phrase “taken advantage of” from your vocabulary.

  • karma

    I am so copping that book.

  • maio

    I’m with Isiah on this one.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Book selling 101.

  • Jrooks

    Why is he crying

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I am with Isiah on this too, Magic is fake, I truly believe he is jealous of MJ and don’t forget he runs company’s that kill people with high preimums for health insurance. I never liked Magic as a perons, but is game is different, Magic has always come off to me as a token, yes man, who loves food, tries to be intelligent, but needs to go home. Isiah should beat him and Bill Simmons down. Haters, why isn’t no one, Bill Simmons, Magic, sports sites, ESPN hating on Larry Bird, the pacers suck with him running the show and its probably because Larry is _______. Also Larry just drafted Tyler Hansbough from UNC, that should tell you all you need to know about Bird.That is what Rodman and Isiah say on the phone.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I am with Isiah on this too, Magic is fake, I truly believe he is jealous of MJ and don’t forget he runs company’s that steal from people with high preimums for health insurance. I never liked Magic as a perons, but is game is different, Magic has always come off to me as a token, yes man, who loves food, tries to be intelligent, but needs to go home. Isiah should beat him and Bill Simmons down. Haters, why isn’t no one, Bill Simmons, Magic, sports sites, ESPN hating on Larry Bird, the pacers suck with him running the show and its probably because Larry is _______. Also Larry just drafted Tyler Hansbough from UNC, that should tell you all you need to know about Bird.That is what Rodman and Isiah say on the phone.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Even though Magic is my favorite player of all time, these days it’s hard for me to believe a word out of either one of these dudes mouths. Magic treats his theater employees like sh!t and then advertises for predatory lending companies. I don’t think I even have to explain Isiah to you.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Isiah deserves to be sh*tted on and more. For the way he’s always been from his playing days to everything he’s done since.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    This is going to unpopular, but I believe Isiah in this one.
    The whole “I love Larry Bird” thing just seems so fake from Magic. Matter of fact, Magic is just fake in general to me.
    Isiah is controlling, and mean and vindictive, but I’ve never seen him as fake. All of his negative qualities and positive qualities are on full display. Magic was the one who had the big smile, and the big knife hidden behind his back. Isiah was just going to knife you while looking at you.
    Oh well.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Logues, if you actually clicked on the link it’s the first sentence on the page.

    “In a new book, Magic Johnson accuses Isiah Thomas of questioning his sexuality”

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Allenp, that actually makes a lot of sense. I’ve always told my wife about a few of my friends she thought were kind of A-holes, “Well, i’d rather them say way they mean to my face instead of talking grimy behind my back”.

  • NUPE

    I’ve never been an isiah fan and magic is my all-time favorite player. however I have to side with isiah on this one. Don’t go out to dinner with a guy, hang out with him etc, and then turn-around and blast him in your book. There are a lot of things to say negative about Isiah that he’s brought upon himself, but I’m really disapointed in Magic for this.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Isiah should beat him and Bill Simmons down. Haters, why isn’t no one, Bill Simmons, Magic, sports sites, ESPN hating on Larry Bird, the pacers suck with him running the show and its probably because Larry is _______. Also Larry just drafted Tyler Hansbough from UNC, that should tell you all you need to know about Bird.That is what Rodman and Isiah say on the phone.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I am with Isiah on this too, Magic is fake, I truly believe he is jealous of MJ and don’t forget he runs company’s that steal from people with high preimums for health insurance. I never liked Magic as a perons, but is game is different, Magic has always come off to me as a token, yes man, who loves food, tries to be intelligent, but needs to go home.

  • LA Huey

    I hear you, Allenp.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I am with Isiah on this too, Magic is fake, I truly believe he is jealous of MJ and don’t forget he runs company’s that steal from people with high health insurance. I never liked Magic as a peron, but is game is different, Magic has always come off to me as a herb, yes man, who loves food, tries to be intelligent, but needs to go home.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I am with Isiah on this too, Magic is fake, I truly believe he is jealous of MJ and don’t forget he runs company’s that steal from people with high preimums for health insurance.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I am with Isiah on this too, Magic is fake, I truly believe he is jealous of MJ and don’t forget he runs company’s that steal from people with high preimums for health insurance.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Magic is fake and is a token to me, being used by corporatinons to pitch anything. Magic is a yes man who probably really dislikes MJ and owns places that hurt the little man.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nupe
    Good point. I mean, that’s been your ace-boon-coon in the media for a minute, and then out of the blue you release a book ripping him for stuff he did years ago, and then saying they only reason he got a job was because of your juice.
    Isiah has effed up. That’s a given. But, Magic has made some serious missteps himself and he keeps getting a pass. I mean, like Brad Long said, he’s been a gentrifying fool since he got out of the league, he’s aligned with all manner of evil big businesses, but as long as he smiles at folks and talks in broken English people think he’s a good guy.
    Dammit, how the hell does Magic get to comment on free agents and all that crap on TNT when he’s the part-owner of the Lakers anyway? Isn’t that tampering?

  • Clark

    I’m with Isiah on this one. I completely agree that even though Isiah has some serious flaws, he is the first one to show them and honesty has never been a problem for him.

    Magic really just seems like he is trying to get his hands on some money. That is just sad.

  • UnRel

    everyone’s with isiah it seems.. what does the book say?.. cause i’d like to know.. what if it said that zeke ruined the knicks?.. who’s side would you guys be on?

  • tavoris

    Allenp, in all fairness, Magic has been cold to Isiah for q few years. He even said (when the NY fiasco was in full swing), that he WOULDN’T offer Isiah a job.

  • tavoris

    And he really appears to have said stuff that people already knew. 1)lots of players-including Thomas and Karl Malone-questioned Magic’s sexuality around 1991. and 2)Nobody wanted Isiah to be part of the Dream Team. That’s why Stockton got the nod.

  • tavoris

    “I don’t discriminate,” Thomas said. “I don’t believe any race or ethnic group or social group should be discriminated against, because I have been discrimated against, and I know it would be wrong for me to discriminate.” These are words Isiah said in response. So, the Anucha situation never happened, Zeke?

  • riggs

    co-sign with the magic is fake as f*ck consensus

  • tavoris

    riggs…I don’t deny that, either…birds of a feather…

  • GHOST (of DUANE CAUSWELL)

    Magic is my #1 all time and Zeke my #2 so this hurts. You could tell that Magic’s public persona nowadays is all an act. He reminds me of George Foreman with those grills. Boy George use to be angrier than Iron Mike then he switched up with the Americana smile and the teddy bear ways. Now he loves Ali but I doubt he really does. At least Frazier keeps it real and says he hates Ali. Thomas is like that. Hate him or love him he keeps it real. The cards were stacked against him in NY because they felt the fans wouldnt have the patience for rebuilding years with all rookies on the comeup. He should have done that and maybe we’d have a decent team by now like Portland. He tried to get some vets to win now and rookies to win later and ended up getting us locked into contracts. Plus his when keepin it real goes wrong demeanor clashed with the media. Im with Isiah on this one. Magic writing a book with bird is like Tyson writing one with Holyfield. All for the doe

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tavoris
    I don’t know about Anucha, I was never sold on her story.
    Also, on the Dream Team thing, that was in 1992. Magic and Isiah were still supposed to be friends back then, and Magic is lobbying against his boy getting on the team, while publicly letting MJ take all the flack.
    The problem with Magic is similar to the problem with Jordan. The media was invested in creating a myth about who Magic was or is, and now the public is finding out slowly that they’ve been misled.
    I mean, Magic has said some stuff I had problems with when he’s appeared on TNT. He is overly critical of Kobe.
    I consider loyalty important. If Isiah told him up front that he wasn’t speaking on his AIDS and Magic accepted that, or pretended to accept that, now speaking out about Isiah is a problem for me. It seems fake and lame.

  • Da Hood

    Whoa, the drama.

  • tavoris

    Allenp, it was EVERYBODY. You can like a guy as a person, yet still realize the chaos his inclusion would have surely caused. I can’t really say Magic was in the wrong for echoing a sentiment that any non-Isiah stan is already sold on.

    You are spot-on about the impression comment. The truth does eventually come to light. Fandom can’t blind people forever. Magic is hard on Kobe…but he also reveres the dude.

  • JDH21

    The seed i think you need to post a few more times. Bill Simmons excerpts about Isiah Thomas are great. How can you possibly defend Isiah for some of his moves. He spent 90 million on Jerome James and Eddy Curry and gave up draft picks.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ PANAGIOTIS VASILOPOULOS

    I don’t care at all, i love both players for what i had the luck to see on the hardwood by them. This will never change.

  • tavoris

    @ The Seed…newsflash: most of Jordon’s contemporaries & teammates can’t stand the guy.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Since Magic & Bird wrote a book, Isiah Thomas has one-upped them both and is now working on a securing a deal for a TV show called ‘Everybody Hates Zeke’

  • Cizzo

    What????????????????????????

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tavoris
    What exactly about Isiah’s game would have made poeple not want to play with him?
    I feel like it was personal because Isiah and those Pistons teams were nasty.
    And I’m far from a Zeke stan. I actually used to hate dude when they would war with the Bulls because I wanted Mike to succeed. It’s only later in life i’ve been able to appreciate Isiah and also bristle at some of the flack he’s received. Some of it is deserved, some of it is not, in my opinion.
    And Magic rubs me the wrong way man. Something about dude just screams shady, just like watching MJ now, something him screams prick.

  • tip

    Its funny how yall speak on these players behalf when yall comment but probably never even met an nba player before so lame….

  • http://www.interbasket.net Stuart

    As a huge 1980s NBA fan, I am just eating all this up. I have to side with Isiah, outside of being from MI and loving Zeke, his story just seems more plausible – esp. being hurt and blindsided by someone he considered a friend until recently.

    Magic, I always loved him as a player, but after that, he was like Jay Leno, doing as much as he could to be in the spotlight, whoring himself out and putting a tell-all book out there like this, to someone you once considered a friend, even though you have millions of dollars? I don’t know man.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’ve been trying to refrain from dissing Magic’s game because he was so good, but his jumper looked like he was playing shotput with a basketball.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Forget the fact that Isiah was a pretty terrible GM for I think 3 different teams. We all know this; believe me, I’m a Raptors and Knicks fan. But Magic going behind his back and writing some book bashing him after pretending to be his friend is just stupid. And mean. If you’re going to criticize him in a freaking book that doesn’t just fade like any ordinary rumor, don’t go acting like you’re his buddy beforehand.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    TIP
    You know what’s even lamer?
    Coming to a website where people comment on athletes, reading through those comments, and then commenting to tell everybody they are stupid for commenting.
    That is a special sort of lame.

  • kadavour

    Looks like some of my top 80s hoops idols are a$$holes. Jordan is a renowned AS$HOLE and if the Chamillionaire story floating around youtube and ustream is to be believed then it just adds to his legend. shame. Magic has long been exposed as a puppet and not half the man of the people he and his smile purports him to be. Isaiah just showed us the snake-in-the-grass-b!tch-made side of the illustrious Earvin Johnson. The Seed made a great point about Larry Legends AS$HOLE-NESS. And Isaiah himself has a reputation of being a great AS$HOLE that precedes him. sigh.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    “I Am Not A Role Model.” It looks like Charles was at least up front about being an a$$hole.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    At least Bernard King was a cool guy to be around.

  • ENDS

    As a teacher who has taught his own daughter I know sometimes u have to be harder on the ones u love so the preception isn’t that u give that person preferential treatment. That’s why Magic is tough on Kobe

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Loved both as players, bu they’re both major douche bags off the court…I’m with Isiah on this though for sure. What Magic did was low man, real low…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/www.blacknaga.com sherman

    Reading through all the comments provides much more context to a truly sad and tragic affair. Now I think I understand why to highly successful brothers could come to blows like they did and let their friendship fade away like it has: Both of these guys are butt hole surfers! They make me feel good that sometimes I’m such a monster to friends and loved ones…

  • KH10

    you dont have to be a nice guy to be a great ballplayer??
    a lot of the all time greats sound like douches, being ultra competitive is great in sports but not in life.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Bernard King and Patrick Ewing are both cool dudes and nice people, so all is not lost for 80′s era ballplayers.

  • ClydeSays

    Magic could just sit on Isiah at this point and end this beef.

  • Steve

    Simmons bags Ike the coach, Ike the GM and Ike the business man, but he gives major props to Ike the player. Not sure anyone can argue with that assessment?

  • Steve

    exactly KH10 … that is why the whole sports people are role models thing is overblown. I wouldn’t want my daughter near ANY of these guys (especially magic, but that goes without saying I guess), but I am still more than happy to toss over some of the hard earned to watch them on the court. The good thing I guess is that the person they are is glossed over until after they stop playing so for those of us who idolised these guys in the ’80s finding out now what they are really like isn’t as crushing as it would have been at that age. That is why the Kobe/Colorado thing stung more than anything these guys do now … again except for Magic.

  • whalleywhat

    For all the things Isaiah’s messed up, and all the people who resent him, this is cold as hell on Magic’s part, and he’s either looking to sell a lot of books or he’s been holding all this inside for a long time. Even if all of this is true, it’s for men to work out between themselves, not air their dirty laundry like this. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and looks bad on the league.

  • OldeSchoole

    My two cents:
    Isiah-possibly greatest pound for pound player, killer mentality and well-hated, not very good at anything after professionally (except not too bad drafting), ethics concerning if half of what happened in New York true, can fall into protecting his hide (witness the daughter story) but one thing I don’t get the sense of him being is a backstabber (possible exception MJ in ’85). He could be putting out all of those names to back up his story as a front, but I find it hard to believe he’s going to throw all of those names out there to back him up without at least some of them being able to vouch for him. The all star game campaign to get Magic into the game sounds too legit to be false, at least to me. The biggest question to me is the he said/he said about the sexuality questions (although this one I might tend to believe Magic and Lon Rosen).

    Magic, even if most/all of it’s true, certainly looks cowardly if not vindictive in this kiss-and-tell. If Isiah even is mostly true about getting him in the All-star game, freezing him out of the Olympic team looks even more slimy if Magic accepted Isiah’s help after the freeze out he would never admit until now. I’m not excusing Isiah if he really did raise those questions about how Magic got HIV, but Isiah was the first to embrace him and kiss him (which Karl Malone and other players, even teammates wouldn’t even dare do up until then) at the all-star game, to break the ice. Maybe Isiah had an ulterior motive that day, but I find it hard to believe he did. Isiah, as potentially ugly as he can be at times, sounds like he really still thought there might be a future repair of the relationship, read more into Magic’s cordial nature than Magic did this decade, and probably truly felt backstabbed. Witness the emotion in the last quote of the SI article:
    “People who know me and my family and what I stand for will laugh at Magic and his beliefs. I’m tired of getting punched and people using me because they think I’m not going to say anything. Those days are over. Game on.”

  • http://slamonline Negetivekreep

    It took a whinning, overly sensetve gangster rapper, for you to admit that Jordan Is a dick. ( yes kids: Peer pressure is a motherfu(ker.) And all it took For you to hate Magic was turning on ZEKE! playoffs?!!! practice?, we talkin about practice??
    This is Isiah we talking about right?…..The same guy who behind closed doors was blackballed from the dream team by Jordan due to Jordans massive ego. That was ok though. To write about it in a book 16 yrs after the fact, oh…GASP! thats a NO NO. Remember when phil wrote that amazing tell all you read every night before bedtime? You know, the one about Kobe?? Awww but that was just ‘real talk’ right?
    EEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
    None of you kids or man boys for that matter ever liked Magic in the first place.
    Did you really understand or appreciate his game? nope. Dont front. “The seed” your name never fit you so perfectly as it did in this thread. One sentance into your comment and whose name is falling out of your baby lips? JORDAN. Ah yes, The man with the golden heart, after all he practically gives his shoes away to the needy. And the The Thai children whove produced his shoes in sweatshops over the years…They thank god every morning for that mans massive heart. If his gambling addiction had’nt gotten his father killed, we would never fully understand what winning meant. Not like we did when he won #4. So thanks for bringing MJ up to add a lil ballance and perspective. Now back to the Magic bashing.

  • http://none The Philosopher

    At the end of the day, life is too short. There are better things to ponder about in life, and there are worse things going on to think about.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dave

    Brad Long: ” I don’t think I even have to explain Isiah to you. ”
    I LOLed pretty hard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dave

    “For you to hate Magic was turning on ZEKE! playoffs?!!! practice?, we talkin about practice??”
    That non-sequitur gave me whiplash.

  • Rondo

    what happened was that, according to magic in his book, Isiah spread rumors about Magic being gay or bisexual after he got HIV and thats why he didnt want isaih on the drem team… thats all he said, there aint no beef

  • tavoris

    Allenp…it wasn’t necessarily his game…it was the polarizing nature of his personality. How many of his teammates speak out for him? Honestly, he’s probably as difficult to play with as Jordan, because they both are complete dix. Jordan, however, was at the height of his popularity-and HAD to be included. Isiah was at the end of his career, and his diminished ability didn’t overshadow the fact that he’s a self-serving prick.

  • iLL wiLL

    Grimey!

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    Score one for Isiah.

  • Adam

    Isn’t this Jackie Mac’s book???

    How can so many people side with someone who threw their own daughter under the bus in regards to an emergency room visit? Isiah, we now have come to realize, has deep rooted emotional problems. He didn’t just gain these issues, he’s had them forever. But 20 years ago we never saw them, because he was on a winning team.

    Again, Magic also wasn’t the person who went on record for saying this, an attorney close to Magic was the person quoted in Jackie’s book that Isiah was spreading rumors that Magic was Gay. Is it a shock to anyone that Isiah would stab his good friend in the back, keeping in mind he throw his daughter under the bus, and sexually harasses employees?

    and for the dream team, if Magic knew Isiah was emotionally unstable, than he made the right call in not fighting for Isiah. Who was that coach again that coached the 92 dream team? Chuck Daily, and you don’t think he could have added Isiah at any point to the roster out of pure stroke? If any 3 players called the shots on the roster it would be Michael, Magic, and Bird; having played against Isiah, I think they knew he would murder any team spirit amongst the others.

  • bulldog

    Step #1) Laugh
    Step #2) Read Magic’s book/Isiahs auto rebuttal book
    Step #3) Laugh
    Step #4) See both Isiah and Magic laugh all the way to the bank
    Step #5) %#@#@$!@$%#@!$#

  • tavoris

    bulldog…you mean Magic & Bird (since they’re the ones profiting, while Isiah has to answer questions to the Florida International school paper)?

  • http://sdifjlc.com Jukai

    I’m going to withhold a 100% opinion of this until I read the book… but more and more Magic is looking like a snake… I still gotta see what Isiah said about Magic. It could be pretty bad, and maybe you can’t blame Magic.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tavoris
    I don’t understand how Isiah would have murdered team spirit. The Pistons were one of the closest and toughest teams in the league and were regular contenders when he was their leader. And they were less talented than both the Lakers and Celtics.
    I think cats held a grudge. Point blank, they wanted to stick to Isiah. I’m not saying dude was a saint, the way he refused to shake Jordan’s hand when they got swept was beyond wack, but it was mainly because he was crazy competitive, just like MJ. Isiah wouldn’t have been the problem, the egos of all those other cats was the problem. Jordan and then wouldn’t let it go.
    I think John Stockton’s comments about Isiah really should have opened more eyes. The media played it like Stockton and Isiah hated each other, but then when the truth comes out, Isiah was a MENTOR to dude. That right there was shocking. Nobody knew because Isiah wasn’t seeking publicity, he was helping out a fellow baller.
    Isiah has been a snake, he has done some dirty stuff, but I’ve rarely seen him be sneaky and stuff. When he’s turned on folks, it’s been obvious and open. I think he’s gotten a bad rap as a human being.

  • blcknewyork

    I will always love Isiah. He was a joy to watch. The Dream Team was not only for the players, it was for the fans also. To see John Stockton given precedence over Isiah was one of the worst occurences in NBA history. Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. This is something you would expect from the WNBA. The thing about it is most of my peers started watching basketball around 89-90. We got heavy doses of Ewing, Pippen, Jordan ect in the 90′s, But the Dream Team was an opportunity to see Magic, Bird, and Isiah play.

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