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Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 1:35 pm  |  94 responses

Isiah Thomas Heavily Criticized in Dream Team Documentary



Plenty of hype has been built around the Dream Team doc airing on NBATV tomorrow night (9pm EST), and rightfully so. One of the more under-played aspects of the program to this point, however, is the criticism of Isiah Thomas – who was famously left off the team – by some of the Dream Teamers. Per the NY Post: “In a sneak preview shown at The NBA Finals for media Monday night, Michael Jordan reveals one of the ‘stipulations’ for him joining the Dream Team was having his Pistons rival not included but claimed the sentiment also came from the top. It has been long speculated Jordan kept Thomas off the club but the documentary reveals the snub ran deeper than just MJ. Jordan’s Bulls teammate, Scottie Pippen, also said he didn’t want Thomas on the club. ‘I despised how he played the game,’ Pippen said of Thomas. Pippen charged that Thomas spearheaded Detroit’s ‘Bad Boys’ and incited the rough play. ‘Isiah was the general,’ Pippen said. ‘He was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say ‘Kick them on their ass. Do whatever you have to do.’ No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team.’ When asked if Jordan wanted Thomas on the 1992 Olympic club at the Barcelona Olympics, Pippen said, ‘I can’t speak for Michael but I don’t think he wanted him on the team.’ Jordan said in his interview that he was reluctant to join the Dream Team because he had a bad first Olympic experience as part of the college group and treasured his offseason. But he came around after Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Chris Mullin, David Robinson, among others, were all in. ‘That was one of the stipulations put to me that Isiah wasn’t part of the team,’ Jordan said. ‘I was getting strong innuendos it wasn’t just…it was coming from a higher place who didn’t want Isiah on the team.’ Former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said Thomas was not considered because of the incident at the end of the recent Bulls-Pistons playoff series in which he had his teammates bolt the court before the final buzzer. It was seen as a lack of sportsmanship. ‘We were picking a group just after the Pistons had been eliminated by the Bulls,’ Granik said. ‘It was very bad timing for Isiah. Everyone had that impression in their mind, the picture of Isiah walking off the court.’ Rod Thorn, part of the Olympic selection committee and who drafted Jordan, said, ‘When the Pistons walked off the court before the final bell, it left a lot of bad taste in a lot of people’s minds.’ NBA TV officials said Monday a strong effort was made to get Thomas to participate in the documentary to give his side but he declined.”

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  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Since it’s Dream Team reminiscing week, here’s Lang’s excellent oral history of the best team ever assembled. Fantastic stuff in there.
    http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/201207/dream-team-20th-anniversary-1992-olympics-usa-basketball

  • AD

    i thought rough play was cool back then but I guess There is no pleasing people. Jordan was no saint EITHER. I would have smacked him around too if i was going against him. Jordan shot free throws with his eyes closed hahaha… Hypocrites

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    That’s pretty low for that to have happened if it’s true. Isiah has constantly gotten a bad rep since he has retired. Can’t wait to watch the documentary tomorrow.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Ha, Zeke declined to participate huh? Why would he now, he wasn’t a Dream Teamer. But still….you mad, Isiah?

  • Sparker

    does this qualify as kicking somebody when he’s down?

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    I could be wrong but didn’t the Pistons walk-off happen a full year before the olympics, in the ’91 playoffs?
    One would think the lasting image in people’s heads a year later was JORDAN HITTING ALL THOSE THREES IN GAME 1 of the Finals in Portland, no?
    Hmm, i call shenanigans on Granik’s statement.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Poor, poor IT.

  • Ctk

    he flatout should of made the team …at the time only Magic/Bird had more rings ….n Stockton wont touching him ….Wilkins should of made it over Mullin too

  • O

    Who knew Zeke was such a burgerduck? Seriously, what does James Dolan see in this kid again? They should run off to Canada and just be with each other forever. Let Donald Trump or some Arab oil billionaire buy the Knicks and go all in like the Luxury Tax doesn’t even exist…

  • bike

    Considering the egos, money, hype, and publicity surrounding this team, it’s no suprise that some bad blood entered the equation. Hoping the doc doesn’t dwell on the negatives. No point now.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Stockton was a better floor general and better defender. Not by astronomical amounts, but still better.

  • Big B

    I don’t see where Isiah would’ve fit in with the rest of the team. What I don’t like is how Karl Malone was cool with playing with Magic to get a medal but was against him playing in the league again because he didn’t want to get the HIV virus.

    @ AD – Shooting free throws with your eyes closed & being the ring leader in unnecessary physical play are two totally different things. I Stevie Wonder how that labels Jordan as a hypocrite.

    @ Darksaber – It says they were picking the team the year before & that’s why that was one of the ‘reasons’ why Isiah didn’t get picked.

  • LA Huey

    Anyone else find it odd that some of the Dream Team players did not want Zeke on the team because of his Bad Boys exploits but was OK with Daly as their coach? I wish they’d just say they didn’t like Zeke and Stockton was a better fit.

  • Omar

    Respectfully disagree with you, Lakeshow as far as Stcokton being a better floor general. The difference is that Isiah did not have Karl Malone on his team.

  • tavoris

    cold how they all hung him out to dry, but nothing surprising here. We ALL knew that Isiah was persona non grata outside of Detroit at that point. Bird and Magic already had the sentimental inclusions on the team. (remember that Bird could barely run at that point in his career).

    a young Jordan, Pippen, & Barkley didn’t need more than one PG on that roster.

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    I can’t stand Zeke as a person but they sound sooooooooo ghey. Like, get over it. All of you romanticizing these old timers like they were stand up dudes are even more annoying. A bunch of grown men getting together like teenage girls tryna blackball another player is petty and feminine.

  • LA Huey

    I’ll co-sign a version of Caboose without all the sexism.

  • martey

    Zeke was better than stockton in every shape or form…anyone who lived the era and is not reading stats twenty years later knows this…someone mentionned up there that wilkins was better than mullins..very true but if im not mistaken, wilkins was born in france..same goes for olajuwon who is nigerian…those three would have really made that team iconic..as far as zeke he is like a kevin garnett..his team loves him but i doubt other players do.imagine kg as coach and gm ten years from now…..

  • Heals

    but Omar he had Dumars, Lambier, VinnyJ, MarkAguire, Mahorn, and I’m forgetting a couple. Not saying I agree or disagree with LS, just that using Malone as the difference isn’t enough. Plus Malone wasn’t remembered fondly for his “clutchness.” As far as Isiah’s reputation I’m kinda indifferent. I’d like to have an opinion, but it’s tough cause although he has been wronged by others, he’s also done his fair share to deserve some of that backlash. All I know is the dude could ball out and was tough as nails so much like MJ’s short comings I’ll choose to focus on the court (and front office) rather than the personal baggage…

  • AD

    @Big B i was calling the people hypocrites… I mentioned jordan because it shows the hypocracy of jordan doing the things he did and only mentioning Isiah.

  • AD

    @heals what does clutchness have to do with performance?

  • sid

    cosign caboose

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Zeke still accomplished more in his career than all of them except the obvious big three.

  • bdogg

    i respect his game but zeke was punk and did not deserve to be on the team..period! he ratted on magic too! thanks zeke …good bye!

  • sebby

    @Darksaber

    They were selecting the team right after the ’91 playoffs, so that image of walking off the court was still fresh in the minds of conservative, judgmental, higher ups like Granick and the like.

  • sebby

    The dream team was more about marketing and honoring the great players of the preceding decade, than finding the right “fits” for the club like they do now. To leave Isiah off, and not honor one of the top 5 players of his generation, and one of the greatest of all time, because of petty childish differences was completely dishonorable and pathetic. Cats like Jordan should have taken the opportunity to apologize to Isiah, yet, apparently, they are digging in their heels further . A shame too, because its not as if Jordan, Malone, Bird, Magic, etc are complete saints. Just disgraceful.

  • Harlem601

    Guess playing for you country wasn’t enough you got to pick the team too.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I love how these cats hated Zeke guts but allowed Stockton to be on team. Stockton was one of the most dirtiest players of all-time right up there with the bill lambier’s and reggie evan’s of the world.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    he wasn’t that dirty at that time JT. you are completely right, but he wasn’t considered so dirty in 92

  • Do Work

    @slick ric i’m guessing you mean the big three would be jordan, magic and bird, which means you think pippen, 6 championships, or robinson, 2 championships, accomplished less than isiah? what about drexler? he only won one ship but went there twice. you could even argue that stockton accomplished more minus the championships, same for barkley.

  • http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/shaq-kobe-highlights/ shutup

    I have to disagree with Caboose on this one, Isiah took competition to a whole new level, he dwelled in the grey area between playing hard and playing dirty. Why would Jordan want to play with him? and if this article is based on facts then the decision didn’t come down to Jordan, you do have to remember they were representing a nation not just a sport or city. Although some incidents did occur with some of the players, Isiah was not a necessity and his lack of sportsmanship ultimately was the reason he was left out.

  • Heals

    Malone has been (fairly or not) remembered for coming short/being unreliable when his team needed it most…

  • ab40

    Isiah said Magic was gay and that was the reason he got HIV, dissed him a lot after that whilst before that they were best friends. Magic was the leader of that team. And if you had to choose between dumars and thomas vs jordan and pippen you’d choose the latter. Not just on basketball skills alone but on marketability also.

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    There is a difference between not wanting to play with someone and refusing to play if they were allowed on the team. And I never said Jordan was the sole decision maker. Zeke wasn’t the only player in the league to border on dirty and playing hard. He was the most successful to play that way, at the expense of the same guys who hated him. A bunch of grown men collectively shunning another player is very effeminate to me. It’s very high school girl catty.

  • Heals

    For those interested in this check ClydeDrexler’s quite honest interview in 3rd hour of the DanPatrick Show today…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @Do work, Robison and especially Pippen didn’t accomplish more than Thomas because neither one of them lead their team to the finals and none of them went through Magic, Bird and Jordan in their respective primes.

  • BadBoyz

    Isiah Thomas not making Team USA will forever be a black eye on the NBA. I don’t care what the perception is. The fact is that Jordon basically used his clout to keep him off the team. So right away they had special treatment for players at the expense of clearly and I mean CLEARLY deserving other players. Thomas was an icon of that generation on the level of Bird, Jordon, and Magic. It was his Pistons that literally willed themselves to victory playing team basketball and hard core defense and yet somehow that is some sort of mark against them. When Bird, Magic, and Jordon did it, it was the mark of a leader…what crap. The fact were still talking about it 20 years later shows what a travesty it was.

  • ClydeSays

    Seems like the Olympic Committee took that no-handshake thing to heart. I’m no Zeke fan, but he clearly deserved to be on that team.

  • rob stewart

    Just think if the Dream Team had Zeke and traded Leatner for Shaq!

  • Compton 310

    Didn’t Karl Malone elbow Zeke in the face? Karl probably didn’t want Zeke on the Dream Team either. I take Stockton over Zeke anyday.

  • http://lele0164@yahoo.com Detroit lele313

    I will not be watching the docmentary for the following reasons: The NBA and the Dream Team overall board should have been dismanteled for not allowing Isiah on the team. They select Isiah’s coach but not him, one of the top 5 point guards at that time. The NBA is fake because Isiah walked off the court which was not good sportsmanship. I agree 100%! But we can listed a number of things on Malone, Magic, Bird and Pippen since he had the nerve to say something about Isiah that does not represent good sportsmanship or morals for represnting our country. But you all don’t want to hear that because nobody would be going or there would not be a good team representing America. Pippen sound like a like girl talking about Isiah play was too rough, it was the entire team and because our defense was working now you want to cry. NBA is all about money they have no moral or loyalty unless you are kissing their butts like Magic is doing now. Friends tell the truth Magic lifestyle is the main reason he contacted the HIV virus. I’m glad Isiah decline to speak, the entire NBA as a whole have been disrespecting him since him and Magic fell out. For the record Magic is copying off Jaylen Rose special but he told truth, Magic will be sugar coated!

  • crowcolorado

    What comes around goes around. Zeke remember the 1985 All Star Game…. Thomas is a piece of crap with a bigger ego than Jordan. It was nice to see him get his!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    If you have to choose between Jordan and Thomas, you choose Jordan. Chuck Daily knew that. You should too. End of story.

  • http://slamonline.com Billy Sunday

    so the celtics walked off the court before the game 7 ended and didnt shake hands with the heat and no one is talking about that unless I missed something…

  • sebby

    @ NBK nobody should have to “choose”. Isiah deserved to be on that team — here is a player, barely over 6 ft., so talented he made Bobby Knight bow down, and change his whole coaching ideology to accommodate him. Zeke repeatedly beat Larry Bird’s celtics, Jordan’s Bulls, and Magic’s lakers, leading a very good but not great team. Zeke played himself out of poverty and was one of the toughest, and most dedicated players of all time. Zeke’s non-inclusion is all about pettiness and ego, not honor.

    Malone fathered a child out of wedlock refusing to financially, or emotionally support the child, publicly says he wouldnt play against an HIV-positive magic, almost killed Isiah w/ a nasty cheap shot, yet Malone was included and honored. Isiah wasnt perfect, but he was disrespected here, and I know that hurt him a lot.

  • Bob

    20 years later and the dream team is still talking about the MAN they blackballed. How interesting.

    Isiah Thomas. #11. Greatest Piston ever. 2-time NBA Champion. 6′ 1″ tall.

    What a blessing we in Detroit had to experience a decade of the most exciting highest caliber hoops ever in the NBAs greatest time.

    Dream Team whatever…. Joke.

    If only Barry Sanders could have willed his team to a Super Bowl like Zeke DID.

  • Dingo Rob

    Jordan hold grudges, proven in his HOF speech that even after winning everything and being the greatest ever he can’t let go. Piston Bad Boy is a load of BS, seriously I still think it comes to how he was frozen out of the all star as a rookie

  • tshane

    Stockton is the greatest PG of all time!!! and his assist record will never be touched!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    If everything went as it “should” we would all be nba superstars bruh

  • Scot Peirson

    Look, no matter what anyone says, Isiah had developed a nasty rep around league circles outside of what he had done to Jordan and the Bulls. Remember, when he came out of Indiana in 1981, Dallas had the first pick in the draft. Then Mavs’ owner Donald Carter wanted to personally interview Isiah and Mark Aguirre separately to determine who the Mavs would pick. Isiah was interviewed first…and Carter came out of the interview flat out saying the Mavs were picking Aguirre. No one has ever known what Isiah said that would make Carter drop any idea of picking him.
    As for MJ not wanting him on the Dream Team…look, Isiah led the freezeout of Jordan at the ’85 ASG. The implementation of the Jordan Rules with the Pistons was one thing, but Zeke didn’t have the stones to go near MJ to participate. When the Bulls finished off the Pistons in the ’91 ECF, Isiah showed his butt with the walkout. He was a frontrunner. Couldn’t deal with the loss. Then he wanted to complain about not getting picked for the Dream Team??!? He had already gone way beyond the standards for cranial/rectal inversion.
    As for Malone’s elbow to Zeke that opened up Thomas’ eyebrow early in the ’91-92 season, that came a week after Utah had gone to Detroit and Isiah had dropped 44 on Stockton–I’ve often thought that should have been considered a league-approved hit job.
    No, the members of the basketball team that went to Barcelona didn’t want Isiah on that team. Personally, I NEVER BLAMED THEM ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND.

  • BadBoyz

    The idea that Stockton was a better player than Zeke one of the funnier ideas that has ever existed. Let me guess: Stockton was better than Magic too then. Child, please. Zeke would get picked first, kickball style, every day of the week and twice on Sunday. We all know this. Zeke led his team to two straight championships in a league where Magic, Bird, and Jordon were in their primes. And honestly, he should have won a third but the worst call in the history of game 7′s prevented it. That team was truly great (not merely good). I’ve never seen more people blind to hate in my entire life. Zeke man, Detroit will always remember. Screw the “Dream Team” and its girlie men who can’t play with you because you hurt their feelings in an earlier game.

  • Scot Peirson

    Back in his playing days, the players used to say about Isiah, ” He isn’t called IT because of his initials”.
    I know the Pistons’ fans defend him to the hilt–he was a great player, and anyone who believes Stockton was better isn’t being realistic. But never forget that Peter Vescey called Isiah the “point guard/General Manager” of the Pistons. It wasn’t just players on other teams that he did dirty, he did many of his own teammates. Ask John Long sometime. Or Kelly Tripuka. Or if you happen to be in the Washington DC area and run into Adrian Dantley, ask him what he’d do to Isiah if he was left alone with him in a room.
    Moreover, doesn’t it say something that William Davidson ran Isiah out of Detroit after his playing days ended??!? Isiah certainly hasn’t been removed from the team’s history the way Larry Brown was, but he clearly ended up persona non grata there pretty quickly after he stopped playing.
    Grat player, but just a miserable personality. Isiah not going to Barcelona is more about HIM than what the players wanted.

  • BostonBaller

    Zeke was/is an all time great and talent wise should have been on the team. I’d have taken him over Drexler and they could have chosen better than Laetner. BUT it’s all about packaging, image, profits, popularity etc etc. I’m an old head and yes I do believe the rough tough D was fine b/c most of it was not over the top. The Jordan Rules were often over the top shots to discourage drives. Oh well.. “The Walk Off” didn’t bother me but it did look bad to the O committee and gave them another excuse to not take Zeke. . (someone always brings it back to The Celtics. lol…the walkoff) Let’s not disrespect Stocks game just to justify Zekes position (he doesn’t need justification.)

  • BostonBaller

    I believe a big reason Mullins got a position over Dom was his shooting to spread the court, the team had enough athletic highlights plus Mullins was 1st team in ’91. I too would have replaced Laetner w/ Shaq but remember the marketing aspect..Drexler was 1st team in ’91 and he had a choir boy image for the most part (he balanced out Chuck. lol) M. Price was 3rd team in ’91 & 1st team ’92 but he was not as marketable as the Stock & Malone combo. The whole no Zeke but take Daly talk is irrelevant. The guards for All NBA in ’91 were (1) MJ, Drexler (2) T. Hardaway, Stock (3) M. Price, Kev Johnson in ’92 (MJ, Price (2) Stock, Dumars (3) T. Hardaway, Petrovic & Rookie of the year: Shaq. I loved Zeke’s game but from a players perspective would you want to play alongside a person who leads a team to beat you down? Literally. lol

  • Otis

    Man forgt the CREAM TEAM…..SOFT AS TISSUE EXCEPT BARKLEY AND I HATE TO SAY ITCKARL “NO RING”MALONE. PIPPEN WOULD NOT BEEN ON THE TEAM IF IT WERENT FOR JORDAN AND STOCKON OVER ISIAH….PLS. NOBODY REMEBER WHN THE CELTICS LED BY BIRD WALKED OFF THE COURT. SNUB FOR THE AGES. AND ISIAH IS STILL THE TALK OF THT BORING DREAM TEAM. ZEKE WOULD HAVE BOUGHT MORE FLARE AND THY WOULD HAVE BLEW TEAMS OUT BY 80…..NO RESPECT FOR THOSE CLOWNS. IT ALWAYS WILL BE A DOUBLE STANDARD WHN IT COMES TO ISIAH THOMAS. HOWS THT OWNER THING WORKING OUT JORDAN!!!!LOL

  • Anon

    Otis you’re an idiot.
    -3 internets for that post

  • hfcm

    Here’s whats crazy the boston celtics led by larry legend walked off the court on the bad boys all but mc Hale. Not a word from the media Jordan goes to stern for help then Jordan trashes the bad boys in the media the day before they were eliminated questions there legitmacy as champions and zeke is suppose to be a good sport? He WALKED OFF because Jordan with his clout dissed his team. Scotie Pippen was the guy that should have been left off yet he is the loudest to criticize even up to today. This guy was soft , the same pipen who came down with the imfamous migrian in the game 7 against the bad boys and his soft play. Then this same guy quit on his team in the playoff agaist the knicks because he couldn’t get the last shot. So he sat out the last play and Toni Kokoch drained the winning shot with seconds left against the knicks. Not to mention Pippen didn’t have the heart to lead the Bulls on his own Houston on his own Portland own his own to any championships or finals. As for stockton , stockton will tell you himself Zeke was better. Zeke reminded the olympic commite they made a mistake choosing stockton by lighting him up for 44 pts. It was so bad they had to have the 2 and the 3 switch off and guard zeke. When they played again in Utah Zeke was getting started early again on Stockton and that’s when Karl Malone came in and blasted him with elbow. Isiah had to be carried off to the hospital and get stitched up. But dig this this guy Isiah came back from the hospital and demanded Chuck Daily put him back in the game swollen eye shut stitches and all and played out the final minutes and almost willed the piston come back. THAT GUTS. Karl Malone can’t say anything considering that he won nothing with his boy stockton and in the final year with the lakers he loses out on a would be championship to who? THE PISTONS

  • hfcm

    P.S the whole Magic and Isiah thing was a lie as far as I’m concerned. Its no secret lon babby Magic’s agent never liked Isiah and he got second hand info from Lon that Isiah supposenly said he was gay. Magic is a opportunist even though they weren’t as cool after the finals they were still good friends and they kept in touch with each other through out the years. Magic even apperered with Isiah at the palace for celeberty games years afterward. Then all of a sudden he comes out with this book about Isiah being a backstabber? Yeah right….. Let me ask you guys this if you have any type of friend on any level especially proffessional sports. If there are rumors going around about who said what they talk it out amoung each other. Magic smiled in zeke face as if everything was ok and BAM came out with this book. So who’s the real back stabber.

  • hfcm

    @ scott Isiah did nothing more than what Jordan or Magic did in L.A or Chicago or bird in boston ask some of the ex players about magic and theyll tell you that we was the opposite of what you see on Tv and Jordan has stories of skeletons being covered up by the media. Its a double standard Scott

  • sebby

    Whats up with all this “Jordan freeze out” talk in the ’85 All Star Game? Jordan had nine shots on a team w/ Larry Bird, Dr. J, Moses Malone, Isiah himself, etc. Malone had 10 attempts, and Jordan had 9….so what, was Isiah “freezing out” Moses as well? Jordan, as a rookie, only had a few less shots than established superstars — so what in the hell is all this freeze out stuff about? Sorry, MJ, if the league wasnt ready to bow to your greatness as a rookie, and use the ASG as a showcase for ‘HIs Airness’

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Isiah walked around and tried to get the other guys to freeze out michael. which a lot of them followed. But it’s a basketball court, with Michael Jordan running around, ofcourse he is going to get shots.

  • hfcm

    um sorry but I have a hard time beleiving Isiah a 2nd year player convincing vets like DR J Moses Malone to follow a wet behind the ear point guard

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    third year. and the “wet behind the ears” point guard was averaged 21 and 14 at the time. and the whole “freeze out” theory came from Isiah refusing to give Jordan the ball when he was wide open on multiple occasions.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Detroit fans showed up over night haha. Funny they can’t separate the man from the basketball player.
    Thomas is a douche. Thomas is a top 5 PG. We get it. Why don’t ya’ll?

  • hfcm

    So is Jordan Magic and Bird ..Lake

  • tavoris

    how many years did Zeke play after the 92 Olympics? How about Stockton, Malone, Robinson, Ewing, Mullin, Jordan, Pippen, or even Magic?

    The dude’s resume is untouchable, but he was hardly a surprising omission. Frankly, they didn’t need what he would have brought to the team. Mark Price, Kevin Johnson & Tim Hardaway were all playing considerably better by that time.

    The only real omission from that team was Shaq.

  • aaron

    Ok where do I start. First of all isiah deserve to be on the team. Take personality, no hand shaking of Jordan hand out of the mix. Isiah beat the following players during the championship run (Bird,Magic,Jordan,Barkley,Ewing,Dexeler,Malone,Stockton,Robinson,Mullen,Pippen,Wilkins,Olajuwon,Miller,etc.) All of these players were in their prime. Isiah won two championship rings, two all star MVP’s and was among the league leaders in assist every year.

    The committee said they wanted players that showed good sportmanship. Ok, lets see, barkley was suspended four times in two years for fighting, Bird and Ewing fought, Magic got HIV, Malone cheap shot Isiah. Pippen said Isiah was the ring leaders of the bad boys but he had no problem playing for the bad boys coach. And truth be told, Pippen should not been on that team. He only made three all star games up to that point. Dennis Rodman, (before he dressed in a dress and makeup) was a three time all star, four time rebounding champ, and three time defensive player of the year.) He should have been on the team before Pippen.

    For everyone that say Stockton was better than Isiah, grow up. Stockton had Isiah introduce him into the hall of fame. Stockton may be the all time assist leaders and steals, but Isiah has two rings. Bottom line, Isiah deserved to be on that team…

  • hfcm

    well said aaron

  • sebby

    @NBK….you care to substantiate those claims that Isiah attempted to convince other All-stars to “freeze out” jordan? The story to this point was always that Isiah, supposedly, refused to pass to Jordan — now you’re telling me he was attempting to collude w/ other all-stars against Jordan? LOL, seems the story grows more dramatic as the years pass.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Sebby, i’ve read/heard it multiple times, most famous admission was Magic Johnson, from the LATimes -
    . Johnson’s relationship with Isiah Thomas was Magic & Larry backward, a close-as-brothers bond gone wrong, which Johnson acknowledged in a new book he and Bird co-wrote with Jackie MacMullan, “When the Game was Ours.”

    Johnson acknowledges knowing that Thomas participated in the 1985 All-Star freeze-out of Michael Jordan, and didn’t object when Thomas was left off the 1992 Olympic Dream Team: “Nobody on that team wanted to play with him,” writes Johnson, et al. “. . . Michael didn’t want to play with him. Scottie [Pippen] wanted no part of him. Bird wasn’t pushing for him. Karl Malone didn’t want him. Who was saying, ‘We need this guy?’ Nobody.”

  • hfcm

    and we beleive Magic? This guy Magic undercut zeke and I don’t believe his book for the simple fact that even after they played in the finals they were still good friends. Magic made appearance with Zeke up until 09 and never said a word to zeke about the rumors? But drops the book about and never said a word to Isiah? Sounds like a opportunist to me and following pippen by kicking his friend while down. The book came out during an unpopular time while zeke was getting blasted by the ny media for the whole knicks disaster. The whole Magic and Bird thing was for the cameras Magic for the longest hated Bird. Thats how it was in the 80′s Problem was the Pistons wernt suppose to be part of that royalty of champions. After Boston and the Lakers the NBA wanted Chicago and Jordan to take the throne. Isiah was suppose to be the cute little guy. But Bird Jordan and Magic found out that Zeke was just as competative as they were and he beat them all. Bird was nasty and one of the biggest trash talkers of all time do your history. Jordan mad a living off of emarrasing opponets and team mates make them feel small. Magic the same way. But when they do it its called comptative fire when zeke did it it was called cheap and classless. Double Standard

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    conspiracy kids man. if a lot of people are saying something happened, then it probably happened. there is no league wide conspiracy to black ball isiah thomas – that has caused 20 years worth of lies and even attributed to a book.

  • hfcm

    Yeah beleive Jordan who got on live Tv and lied about keeping zeke off the team. Beleive Magic who was cool with Isiah up until the book came out right? The book has holes in it and so does the stories of Jordan and Pippen and Magic why do you think there such a big uproar. Anybody knowing these guys know the three of them look like hypocrites

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jordan on any TV, live or not, is saving face. You first need to understand marketability. Once you understand that, it’s much easier to see what is fake and what is real. Magic and Michael have brands, huge, billion dollar brands, they will always say what is most appealing to a camera. Magic didn’t need to print a book for money. I don’t think anyone realizes how much that guy has. plus, if Larry Bird’s name is on the book, you can bet they aren’t just making sh*t up.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    there is no logical reason magic would put his reputation on the line for a book. he is not Jose Canseco. He has enough money to be a partner in purchasing the f*cking Dodgers for a billion dollars above market value.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    plus Larry Bird was in that locker room in 85, you can’t say you know about a freeze-out that didn’t happen, while co-writing a book with a guy who was IN the locker-room.

  • Fruitbat

    Anyone that thinks Stockton was better than Thomas is a complete idiot.

    Thomas could beat you with passing, off the dribble, and he was maybe the greatest streak shooter in the history of the NBA.

  • hfcm

    NBK not refuting Magic’s assets or wealth or Jordan my question is about their creditability and Jordan lied on Tv plan and simple so what makes you think Magic lied. But explain to me how these guys were friends all the way up to Magic’s book coming out and Isiah not knowing anything about it. You don’t find that shaddy? Lets be honest some of these athlets are known to be attention horror and they love that camera. So when you retire and you don’t get as much pub guys like them want to get back out there in some type of capacity at any cost. When Magic publicly denouces Isiah about a two decade old rumor that Magic never once brought up to Isiah at no time. These guys had dinner discussions went out on the town met up in New York spent time at each others homes and this was years after the finals. Yet Magic never said one word about his friend possibly back stabbing him? Come on NBK Where there is smoke there is fire. As for Bird or Dr J or Moses Malone none of them came out and said anything about a freeze out period. Plus neither of those guys are going to be listening to Isiah a 2-3rd year player.

  • hfcm

    Plus Jordan right now is taking somewhat of a beating in the press about him lying about his dream team involvement. Plus I heard Jordan was not so giddy about Magic posting that dream team stuff about him not wanting Isiah on the team.

  • KP

    At this point, who cares. I understand these guys have egos but Isiah accomplished more then all these players except for the big three. I would never include Pippen because well Pippen would of never won a thing without Jordan. He proved that during this tenure with Portland and Houston,..both teams had a ton of talent. I like Stockton as a player but Isiah was better in my eyes, he won the ring being the main option and without a top 50 player playing beside him. It’s over with so who really cares but Pippen really needs to shut up. The guy was a great 2nd option…he’s the Oates of Hall and Oates..lol

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Well obviously Jordan got 9 shots and even downplayed the freeze-out….so not everyone was involved. Watch the game, at the very least, Isiah was pullin a one man “don’t wanna give the ball up”

  • hfcm2155

    Then thats no freeze out that’s a one man show and ball hog which many guys did including Jordan show boated and ball hogged

  • jmaster

    @Ctk Wilkins is not American so he could not be on the team

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I know. That’s why I said at the very least.

  • Scot Peirson

    hfcm, I never would say that it wasn’t a double standard about what Bird did in Boston or what Magic did in LA, plus, we could bring in MJ’s (mis)management of the Bobcats…but the issue is Isiah. He wasn’t disliked because the Pistons were winning titles–the dislike was going on long before that.
    You don’t remember the full story of the ASG Freezeout. It was Converse that went to the guys wearing their shoes and wanted MJ frozen because of the Air Jordans (Remember during the Slam-Dunk Competition, MJ didn’t wear his uniform, but his AJ warmups). Isiah’s always been ID’d as the guy Converse went to freeze Mike–Mike, of course, just got mad at everybody. He was mad at Magic for being part of the Freezeout, forgetting that Magic was playing for the Western Conference All-Stars. Of course, Mike didn’t know about the Freezeout–and who organized it–until after the game. The Bulls’ first game after the ASG break was at Detroit. Mike dropped 44 on the Pistons.
    But ultimately, this whole thing is old news. Everyone knew MJ didn’t want Zeke on that team. Everyone understood why Larry didn’t Isiah on the team (“He’d be just another player if he was black”…so, when you mention Larry leading the C’s off the floor in 1988, consider…and of course, Larry got even when he took the Pacers back over). When Chuck Daly was named coach of the team, he didn’t fight for Isiah. Isiah WORE ON PEOPLE. Call it “little man’s syndrome”, “competitive drive”, or just plain nastiness…after a point, no one wanted him around.
    So much of this conversation seems to be varied attempts to turn Isiah into a victim over his not being included for Barcelona. But to many involved in the selection process, the players at the time, the league, and the public; Zeke earned not being picked. He did dirt, and much more than was did to him back in the day. In that case, he got dirt back.

  • http://google QgAlldaY

    IsaiaH was a lokk..then it was figured john stockton should play n a big series such ad theOlympics wit the other twelve over zeek who has bak to bak nba trophys….john got the nod cuz they thoght hed never enjoy success in the nba postseason as an nba perennial assist leader..so they made sure got to beat up on something until 97 and98 rolled around fir him n malone to face MJ

  • http://google QgAlldaY

    ZeeK u r my favorite pg ever..ur wat every pg like myself in the late 90s n 2000s was tryna emulate fireal….takes notes….spraind ankles 40plus points and theW…everbody knew u were better than stockton…tim hardaway….michael adams…all them..luv u zeek

  • Dre

    People keep saying that EVERYONE on the team had an issue with Isiah and that’s just not true. Only Jordan, Bird, Pippen and Magic did. Everyone else was cool with Isiah. Drexler and Barkley have come out and said Zeke should’ve made the team.

  • Big Roc

    Y’all need to stop sayin Pippen didn’t deserve to be on tht team!!! All I hear is “if,if,if,if” well the man has the same amount of rings as MJ and and MJ has the same amount with out Pippen (0)!! At the time Pippen was the best SF in the league and besides MJ the best all around player in the league!! Pippen paid his dues getting bet up by the Pistons and learning frm the GOAT!! For those who keep bringing up ’94 Bulls as a failure, tht year he avg 24 pts 8 rebs 7ast 2 stl 1.5 blks and finished second in the MVP. Tht team resembled the Cleveland teams Lebron endured thru. Tack on the fact he was ASG MVP and got a bum call frm Hue Hollins, a notorious Bulls hating ref tht changed the series vs Knicks So Pip deserves his status!! In Houston and Portland he was well past his prime not to mention in Hou it was still Hakeems team

  • Dream Team

    I remember being a little kid walking into the store and asking the guy at the counter where the thomas dream team jerseys were. He looked at me and said sorry kid he didn’t get picked but your the 8th person to ask me that today.

  • http://FaceBook Charline Moore

    I remember how well you played Issiah and the trophies you won that is something to be proud of Don’t let anyone take your pride away you did accomplish something that alot of guys wish they could have accomplished, at least you weren’t a broke down beat dad like some of these fathers are .Hello!!!!!!

  • sholepacheco

    michael jordan should grow up how could he block isiaha thomas from the dream team

  • KP

    I’ll take Isiah’s two rings over Stockton and Malone.

  • Alonzo

    Yes but Jordan also didn’t win anything without Pippen. When Jordan didn’t have Pippen, he didn’t win anything either and last anyone remembers Pippen has more rings than Thomas so we can leave Stockton out of the discussion since you’re only comparing Pippen and Thomas. Thomas was and always will be classless, being an Olympian is much more than just talent alone.

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