When former players talk about Michael Jordan, it’s often to highlight his love for his work or his extraordinary mindset. But things are different for Isiah Thomas. MJ’s biggest rival has been brutal towards him and his attitude on the pitch.
Years passed, and yet the rivalry between Michael Jordan And the end of Isiah Thomas doesn’t seem to be coming. The two Hall of Famers still hate each other with a passion, and if the former Bulls talk little in the media, their rival Pistons leave no chance to destroy them. His favorite weapon is excessive praise Lebron James,
At the core of the tension apparently lie several meetings between Chicago and Detroit in the late 80s and early 90s. The Bad Boys’ style of play was particularly physical and they did everything possible to hurt MJ upon entering the key. As a victim of these attacks, Isiah Thomas, as captain, was No. 1 responsible for this overarching strategy.
Isiah Thomas added a layer on Michael Jordan!
Perhaps a simple apology would be enough to reconcile these two towering legends, but that’s clearly not on the agenda. During one show, “Zeke” received several punches from the Pistons on Michael Jordan. And instead of showing any semblance of regret, he pointed out that all the great players were there and No. 23 was the only player who was crying:
As soon as you touched Michael Jordan he started crying, he complained to the referee. He went to David Stern’s office and went to meetings to say that he had to make too many mistakes, that he took too many blows, that the rules had to be changed. I saw Dr. J, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, even me get destroyed on the court, but we had to change the rules for the only Michael Jordan?!
Isiah Thomas doesn’t understand why Michael Jordan is given so much support by the league when he and many other fronts have to deal with physical play and hard fouls on the racket. As a reminder, the Pistons point guard’s skull has already been cracked by Karl Malone’s ultra-vicious elbow, he knows what he’s talking about.
But the NBA has always been a business and having an influential superstar like Michael Jordan on the court was essentially an insane financial advantage. By limiting big mistakes to n°23, the risk of injury was necessarily reduced, and therefore the show offered to the fans was of a better quality. Being a potential Goat has its advantages.
Michael Jordan was a global superstar, apparently David Stern held him in high esteem. If others faced any form of violence, MJ was able to change the rules to protect himself…