NBA

Michael Jordan caught on tape saying he wouldn’t play with Isiah Thomas


Jack McCallum caught Michael Jordan contradicting himself on Isiah Thomas and the Dream Team.

I have news for those who were convinced that The Last Dance was nothing more than a sneering Michael Jordan PR exercise. There already is an MJ propaganda film out there, and it’s called Space Jam.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that The Last Dance didn’t have its flaws, specifically some convenient misremembering of facts. Take the dredged-up controversy surrounding Isiah Thomas‘ exclusion from the Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics: MJ pushed back against the orthodox belief that he was responsible for Zeke not being selected for the team by insisting that he never requested such a thing. Unfortunately, the great Jack McCallum has receipts.

Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA and USA Basketball executive, also happened to be the Chicago Bulls‘ general manager when they drafted Jordan in 1984. Suffice it to say he has a special relationship with His Airness, and while he and Dream Team head coach Chuck Daly were ostensibly responsible for picking the team, there is no Dream Team without MJ.

And MJ, no matter how much he wants to deny it retroactively, simply did not want the iconic Detroit Pistons point guard on the Olympic team.

Do the math. Think about all the times the Bad Boy Pistons had Chicago’s number right up until 1991, when they infamously walked off the court in defeat without as much as a word.

Both Thomas and Jordan are consummate competitors who aren’t about to give an inch to a rival under any circumstance. It’s just a shame that MJ, despite all he’s accomplished to put him alone at the top of the all-time basketball Olympus, still can’t take what is clearly the ultimate responsibility for who was irrevocably PNG in ’92.

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