Michael Jordan took shots at both Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas following his 1985 ASG freeze-out; implies that they were jealous of him.
Michael Jordan quite literally burst onto the scene in the 1984 NBA season and made it clear that he was ready to take over the league. Though he exuded all the talent and confidence required from a number one option from the get-go, his teammates did not. So, for about seven years, MJ would watch from the sidelines as Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Larry Bird hoisted the Larry O’Brien time and time again.
Nevertheless, while the Lakers and Celtics were dominating, Michael Jordan was putting up absurd individual stats that booked him a trip to the 1985 All-Star Game in merely his rookie season. This ASG however, is shrouded with controversy as the infamous ‘Jordan freeze-out; happened here.
Though MJ wasn’t denied a spot on the Eastern Conference roster, it was clear that his teammates weren’t trying to get him the ball. Of the five starters, he was served the least amount of minutes and put up the worst stats of those five as no one was passing him the ball.
Michael Jordan talks about Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas freezing him out in 1985.
Rookie treatment has always been something that’s tradition amongst all NBA teams. However, considering the fact that Michael Jordan rose up the ranks as fast as he did, he was already a borderline superstar by the half-way point of his rookie campaign. Getting superstar treatment as a rookie seemingly irked established players like Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
Fast-forward to the 1987-88 season where Jordan would claim his first MVP, he sat down to talk about the incident that took place between him and the two legendary guards.
“It was tough. I was very confused and I didn’t understand the reasoning. I always felt that I was the lowest on the totem pole and I had to work my way up so I didn’t go in cocky. I figured out, as I got older, that natural jealousy is a part of professional sports. I skipped a lot of steps coming into the league, I didn’t work my way up to the top.”
“Right now, all three of us respect each other and we’ve gotten over that period. I respect both of them and I spend a lot of time with Magic.”
Michael Jordan would go on to face off against Isiah Thomas and the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons in four consecutive Playoffs, finally besting them in 1991 and would beat Magic Johnson in that same Playoff run as well to claim his first ever championship.