Despite their differences, Michael Jordan has never been overly critical of Isiah Thomas. This summer, he called the Pistons great the second-greatest point guard of all time.
Having been eliminated by the Pistons for 3 straight playoffs, Jordan knows what it was like to face a championship-caliber team. Despite his best efforts (he averaged over 30 points per game against them), he only won 1 series against the Bad Boys.
The sweep he pulled off, however, was the passing of the torch from Isiah to MJ as the consummate champion of the NBA.
MJ showers praise on his nemesis during ‘The Last Dance’ screening
When MJ fever was at its peak this summer, most basketball fans only began to realize what he had to contend with in order to become champion.
The whole docu-series brought a whole new perspective to Gen Z fans about the level of dominance MJ displayed over his peers back in the day.
“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent. To me, the best point guard of all-time is Magic Johnson. And right behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him. And I respect his game.”- Michael Jordan #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/sX1xhzVGhW
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 4, 2020
Jordan’s rivals and peers in the NBA are often overlooked when we talk about the greatest players of all time. Isiah and John Stockton are among the forgotten legends of the game.
With the rise of the scoring point guard, pure point guards like this duo have been relegated to footnotes for many young players and fans.
However, it’s clear that Isiah and Stockton, among others, will continue to hold records that will be difficult to break for a long time. John Stockton’s assist and steals totals, in particular, are the two most unbreakable career records that exist.