It is widely believed that Michael Jordan’s dislike of Isiah Thomas kept the latter from the famous Dream Team at the 1992 Olympics. The fact that Thomas and the Detroit Pistons were refused to shake hands with Jordan and the Bulls after Chicago finally defeated them in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals was a big reason why. Even Thomas himself cannot completely refute this theory because he remains confused by his exclusion.
“That’s a big hole for me [basketball] continue, ” Said Thomas in an interview on ESPN Wake up. “It is the biggest hole in my resume. … in the sports arena, I win at every level. I tried to do everything right, and I thought I had to make the Dream Team. And looking back, if I wasn’t part of the Dream Team because of losing my emotions in not shaking someone’s hand, then I’m more disappointed today than I used to be. ”
However, no one, including Thomas, should be surprised that he was not chosen for what many consider to be the greatest team ever put together, according to the chosen player: Hall of Famer David Robinson. During a recent appearance on the “Bulls Talk Podcast” with Jason Goff, Robinson points to Thomas “reputation” as a determining factor.
“If you have a reputation and are proud of your reputation as ‘Bad Boy’ that means people will not like you,” Robinson said, via NBC Sports. “Can you be surprised when people say ‘I don’t really want to play with’ Bad Boys? ‘
“When you talk about putting together teams, chemistry is important. Indeed,” Robinson added. “You can’t act like it’s no problem and for the team it’s clear that it’s a consideration for everyone involved.”
The reality is that Jordan might not want Thomas on the team, but he is not the only reason that Hall of Fame guards were not chosen, because Thomas’s reputation also played a role in the decision. Jordan not the only player on the team who has a problem with Thomas. The NBA executive Rod Thorn, architect of the Dream Team, also recently stated that he is about leaving Thomas from the list.
“My conversation with Michael was only about Michael, about Michael playing,” Thorn said. “Obviously, the committee hopes that Michael will play, because he was the No. 1 player in the league at that time and the No. 1 player in the world and the most popular player in the world at that time … But he didn’t say anything to me [Thomas], and of course I also have no reason to talk about it.
The fact that he was not in the Dream Team clearly would never sit well with Thomas, because it still bothered him nearly 30 years later. However, given all that information, it seems that Thomas might play a greater role in his own exclusion than he realized; or want to admit.
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