Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas dismisses the notion about Michael Jordan being the only player to be roughed up the most by the defenders.
It’s been over 30-years, yet the Jordan-Thomas rift refuses to die down, with either of the legends taking jibes at each other at one time or the other. The infamous handshake incident had rubbed his Airness the wrong way, who refuses to forgive Thomas to this date.
It’s no secret that the league was much most physical during the 80s and 90s. There are an umpteen no of stories that narrate MJ being the victim of most physical plays. The famous Jordan Rules coined by the Detroit Pistons consisted of fouling MJ every time he drove towards the basket.
Recently, while appearing on ESPN’s Get Up, 2x NBA champion Isiah Thomas dismissed the narrative of Jordan being the sole victim of physical plays. The Pistons legend felt he got punished more than any other player during the time.
Though Zeke might have a fair point, his being part of the Bad Boy Pistons makes it hard to believe that he was at the receiving end rather than the awarding end of physical punishment.
Isiah Thomas believes he endured the most physical punishment during his time, more than Michael Jordan
When it comes to NBA stories during the 80s and 90s, it would not be wrong to say that most of them have Michael Jordan as the focal point. The 6x champion’s docuseries The Last Dance is evidence of that.
The current generation of NBA fans relates the 80s and 90s with Jordan only. One such narrative was how physical the opposition would be while guarding MJ. The famous Jordan Rules, a term coined by the Pistons as a defensive strategy against MJ.
However, recently former Finals MVP Isiah Thomas felt the above fact was overrated. Zeke didn’t have qualms in publicly admitting that he was the one enduring most physical pain.
This generation thinks that the only one getting hit back then was Jordan, Thomas said. “I can say on this television station here today, there is no player during that period of time that got hit and punished more than myself. And I have all the scars to prove it.
“This generation thinks that the only one who was getting hit back then was Jordan.”
—Isiah Thomas on the physicality of the NBA pic.twitter.com/tPDEFV96jz
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 27, 2020
As far as stats go, it’s MJ leading the way when it comes to being fouled while shooting. While MJ attempted 8.2 free throws per game, Thomas attempted 5.4.
Also read: “Terry Cummings was the one player Michael Jordan couldn’t outscore in a playoff series”: Staggering stat demonstrates Bulls legend’s scoring dominance over all but one of 269 playoff opponents