Dream Team Architect: Michael Jordan Didn’t Ban Isiah Thomas

Michael Jordan had nothing to do with the controversial exclusion of Isiah Thomas from the Dream Team, according to Rod Thorn, one of its principal architects.

“Isiah’s name never came up during that conversation,” says Thorn, pushing back against the long-held popular assumption that MJ and other NBA superstars didn’t want Zeke on the squad that dominated en route to Gold at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Thorn acknowledges, however, that Thomas and the Detroit Pistons hadn’t exactly built up a lot of goodwill around the League.


“There was never anything in my conversation with (Jordan) that had to do with Isiah Thomas, period,” Thorn said Wednesday. “He said, ‘I’ll do it.’ … Isiah’s name never came up during that conversation. And he never backtracked and said he didn’t want to do it from that time on, to those of us in the NBA office.

“Now, if that in fact happened, then it happened with somebody else; because when I talked to him, he ended up saying he would definitely do it.”

Thorn was asked why Thomas was not on the roster, assuming Jordan had no input.

“That’s a good question, because Isiah was a great player, a fantastic player,” Thorn said. “There was some controversy with the Pistons regarding not shaking hands with the Bulls — there was some bad blood, obviously, there. … But when we ended up going with the first 10 guys, he did not end up making the team.”

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