Isiah Thomas claims he’s not afraid of anybody and hints towards a reconciliation with Michael Jordan following a strained relationship.
Rivalries are what fuel competitiveness within the NBA. Whether it was Kobe Bryant going up against Tracy McGrady or Steph Curry going up against LeBron James, there were certain matchups that fans and the players themselves were invested in. However, no rivalry has withstood the test of time as the one that’s between Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan.
Many claim that their ‘beef’ started way back in Michael Jordan’s rookie season where Thomas was accused of conspiring against the Bulls 3rd overall pick during the 1985 All-Star Games, making sure he wouldn’t make the ASG that year. Though Isiah Thomas has long denied this, Michael Jordan returned the favor 7 years later by freezing him out of the 1992 ‘Dream Team’.
It is what happened within that 1985 ASG and the 1992 Dream Team debacle that fueled a rivalry between the two; a rivalry that stands to this day.
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls went up against the Detroit Pistons 3 times in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Michael Jordan’s ascension to ‘GOAT’ status didn’t come easy. He repeatedly lost in the first round of the Playoffs due to the lack of a supporting cast. However, with Scottie Pippen on board along with guys like Bill Cartwright and Horace Grant, the Bulls formed a formidable team that could go toe-to-toe against any team in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls met their match when faced off against Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons in the 1989 ECF where the latter, the kids would say, beat the snot out of the Bulls, sweeping them to eventually claim their first ever franchise championship. As if having swept them wasn’t enough, it was the way in which they beat them caused a deep hatred to ensue between the two.
The ‘Bad Boy Pistons’ would repeatedly beat up on Michael Jordan and play an extremely physical game that seemed to be reserved just for the Bulls. They would continue to torment the Bulls the next year as well, beating them in 7 games in the 1990 ECF.
The Bulls would finally break free of the Pistons in 1991 and sweep them in the ECF in 1991, en route to their first ever championship. Following the sweep, the Pistons infamously walked off the court, not having shaken a single Bull’s hand. Jordan remarked on this nearly 29 years later, saying, “You couldn’t convince me into thinking Isiah Thomas wasn’t an a**hole.”
Isiah Thomas might look to make amends with Michael Jordan.
Isiah Thomas says he’s open to sitting down and talking to Michael Jordan
“I’m not afraid of anybody. I’ll sit down and speak with anyone. Anyone who’s been around me. I’m not one who walks around with fear.”
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) October 31, 2020
According to ‘Scoop B’, Isiah Thomas is more than open to sitting down with anybody to help reconcile his differences with that person. Automatically, everyone’s mind goes to his relationship with Michael Jordan and with the way Thomas worded his statement, this could be possible.
After all, if Chris Webber and Jalen Rose could make peace with one another, so can the two Pistons and Bulls legends.