The Isiah-MJ feud has taken a fresh turn with the 2-time champion claiming he dominated Jordan head-to-head.
Isiah, who played in the NBA for 13 seasons, was a bonafide star around whom the Pistons built a successful playoff team. Coach Chuck Daly had many weapons in his arsenal, but Thomas was his trump card. The personification of guts, nobody who watched it can forget Isiah exploding for 25 points after injuring his ankle in the 1988 NBA Finals.
Isiah is, however, doing his legacy no good by talking down on his contemporary and the consensus GOAT, Michael Jordan. It seems ever since Jordan revealed his revulsion of Isiah on The Last Dance, the former has lived rent-free in the head of the latter.
Why Isiah is right, and yet wrong about his rivalry with Michael Jordan
Appearing on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast, Isiah made this controversial statement. According to Thomas, he dominated the head to head with Jordan.
“Head to head, I was dominant over Jordan, he just wasn’t my competition. My focus was on Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dr. J more than Michael.”
Isiah Thomas says he was “dominant” head to head vs. Michael Jordan;
“Head to head, I was dominant over him (Michael Jordan)…Until 1991 when I basically had career-ending wrist surgery, my record against him and his team, it really wasn’t competition there.”
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 11, 2020
Through 4 playoff series, Thomas holds a 3-1 record over Jordan. He won his first 3 faceoffs with the Bulls, although the degree of difficulty got higher each time.
The problem, as many would point out, was that once Jordan started winning against the Pistons, Thomas and co had no answer for him. The Bulls swept the Pistons in 1991, and the two never faced each other in the playoffs again.
Thomas missed the playoffs both in 1993 as well as 1994. An Achilles tear led to him retiring comparatively early for a top 50 player of all time.
While it’s true that Thomas dominated his head to head initially with Jordan, it is preposterous to think he didn’t worry about him. Jordan was the biggest thorn in the Pistons’ path to the championship both in 1989 and 1990, winning more games than his other opponents. This is plain hate on Thomas’s part.