Jordan and Pippen wanted no part of Isiah on the Dream Team

There is one player that was just as deserving, if not most of being on the Dream Team and simply didn’t get chosen, it was former Detroit Pistons superstar Isiah Thomas. Thomas’ post-NBA playing career has been one that has seen many failures. He has struggled as a coach and executive, and many other undertakings by him professionally have flamed out. Those failures have come to cast a long, dark shadow over a brilliant career as the point guard of the Detroit Pistons. He should have been Magic Johnson’s backup, not John Stockton. Not a knock on Stockton, but he wasn’t Zeke. But there were forces behind the scenes that made sure that didn’t happen, and it was long-rumored he was black-balled  by certain  players when the team was put together.  Both Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, fierce rivals of Thomas, pretty much confirm that in the new Dream Team documentary.

“That was one of the stipulations put to me (on the team) that Isiah wasn’t part of the team,’’ Jordan said.

“Isiah was the general (of the Bad Boy Pistons),’’ Pippen said. “He was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say ‘Kick them on their ass. Do whatever you have to do.’ No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team.’’

Russ Granik, an NBA executive, also confirms that the Isiah choosing to lead the Pistons off the court before the final buzzer of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bulls was the nail in the coffin, and the NBA didn’t want that image being brought to Team USA. The Bulls swept the Pistons in 4 games, finishing it on the Pistons home court. Detroit and Chicago played one another 4 years in a row in the playoffs, and the Pistons had won the previous 3 meetings. The Bulls would begin their dynasty where they would win 6 NBA Titles, and they ended the Pistons run. Detroit wouldn’t win another playoff series for 10 years, and Isiah would retire 2 years following the infamous walk off.

Isiah was never a league favorite. He was also accused of organizing a freeze out of a young Michael Jordan in the 1985 All-Star game. Many have supposed that Jordan influenced the selection committee for the Dream Team as a way of retribution for that and many other incidences through the years of the Pistons and Bulls rivalries. Jordan took massive physical punishment from the Pistons for years, and Isiah was the captain, leader, and voice of the team. Isiah has continued to not receive the accolades and respect from peers and others in the league over the years, as many still disrespect him for the way he carried himself years ago, not that it has changed all that much.

  • Johnny

    Isn’t this old news…

    • Dave K

      first time those guys admitted as much, I believe.

  • JP

    that would never happen today everyone all these guys are bffs

  • Pablo

    Besides the fact the other Pistons hated him John Salley told me personally. He was an ASSHOLE to everyone and he lied and said the police found his daughter passed out and not him. Which speaks of the most soulless lying SCUMBAG you can be. Lying on your daughter.

  • antbwan

    Didn’t Magic Johnson make the final decision to not have Isiah Thomas on team, because his comments saying he was Gay?

  • thblue

    GET REAL. Maybe John made the team because he was a team player who actually enjoyed making Karl look good. Maybe the allstar type players couldn’t put up with a little whiny whimp like Isaih. Sometimes just being an agreeable person actually gets you somewhere.

  • Homo Trey

    Sounds like justice was served. Isiah was a shithead and got what he deserved.

  • vicdamoan

    Michael uncle tom jordan is the biggest shit head of them all , that shine box coon still to this day has not and never will say anything of substance. Hes willard mitt romney in blackface!

  • nutballgazette

    Everyone knew this in 1992.

  • Garrett

    You would think two known assholes like Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jeffery Jordan would get along being that they are both assholes. It seems it actually takes individuals of character and a small ego to get along. The assholes are the ones sending us to wars and destroying our country.

    Mitt just parrots the same bull shit as all the other politicians it’s just that Mitt is more transparent while Obama plays a better game. With Mitt the BS is all on the table while he knows not that it is. Obama is a real good player of the game. You have to pay close attention to read through his so called agenda.

    Either way the choice for the leader of the free world is not much of a choice.

  • john smith

    What does Obama and Romney have to do with this story ? NOT A SINGLE THING! ……Do you think Rodman or Artest would ever make Team USA? Lets be real the team sent in 2004 made an embarrassment of the US with their cockiness and arrogance. Thats what they wanted to avoid in ’92 and ’96 but couldn’t in ’04 but wisely did in ’08. Image is everything in the Olympics.

  • Xbiggdaddy

    How p%&#y is that? You can’t even play together for the good of the country? But yet want to be the poster child for peace and harmony? They didnt miss him on the team, but why not have his fire…

  • cbh49er

    Sounds like justice was served. Isiah was a shithead and got what he deserved.



  • Kelly

    I wish they would go back to using our college kids and get the big egos out!!! We want the games to be about the Olympics, not the NBA!!!!

  • Ken

    I’m glad they kept him off the team, I still hate Thomas to this day. I just wish he’d go away, oh wait he pretty much has. Anyway, Stockton was a much better choice; he was a team guy on a team that was already full of bigger-than -life stars.

  • Blackhawk

    #14 if we go back to college kids will the other countries drop their pros? The answer is of course no they won’t. That was the whole reason we started sending our pros. If it were an even playing field I would love to see the college kids go but it isn’t so we have to deal with the egos of the day. To bad they weren’t the class of the first (and only) Dream Team. There isn’t’ a group of guys you can put together that could beat those players in a 7 game series.

  • Ken

    #16: Great point about the Original “Dream Team”, amazingly what we ended up with was a group of players who decided to check their egos at the door and the results were incredible; and as you stated, you would never be able to find a group of guys that could beat that team in a 7 game series, it might have been tough to get even one win against them. Hey they beat the Rest of the Best players in the world by an average margin of 43.8 points a game. I remember the College Players started getting their butts kicked by those “Rest of the Best”.

  • Tommy F

    vicdamoan #8-your comments are pathetic and boderline schoolyard. No place for it “BRO.”

  • todd pierson

    Magic Johnson put him in his place, and I loved it. Isaiah commented that Bird was probably the best white player ever…. Magic told him that Bird was the best player he ever played against, and told Isaiah, and I played against you plenty of times.

  • shotgun517

    Michael Jordan is an ASSHOLE remember how he invited both his HS coach and the guy who beat him out to hid HOF induction trying to embarrass them both. Just another proof of his petty and hatefull behavior after all his success. He’s nothing but a Nike puppet, f-ing jerk!

  • Garrett

    Micheal Jordan should have felt comfortable with Isaiah Thomas since both are major assholes. Unfortunately Isaiah had an ego to match MJ’s if not the talent. MJ knew that Isaiah would not bow down to him. If assholes establish a pecking order among themselves and among the better elements of society they can get along.

    It is assholes that are ruining our world and they unfortunately are mostly the ones calling the shots. Thus my bringing up politics.

    A little ego is fine and in fact necessary but too much ego causes harm. Those of us who accept others leadership and at least skills when it warrants it do way better with our peers. MJ was lucky his better elements on the Bulls teams played along despite his arrogance. This Alpha male to the exclusion of everybody else shit does nobody any favors. Most times alienation backfires. MJ was so good that his teammates let him be an asshole. It does not always work that way,

  • Dee

    Bottom line Zeke was not kissing Jordan’s ass like the rest of those clowns! Y’all can talk all that shit about Isaiah you want but Isaiah was a beast on that floor period, John Stockton was good but Zeke owned him ! Who did Stockton have talk for him at the hall of fame? Zeke! The called respect! Zeke already had a gold metal anyway coming out of college! So fuck the “Dream Team”

  • Ken

    #22, Somehow I just can’t put a whole lot of stock in something that is said by someone who says “The called respect!”, Huh? or somebody who uses the word “Metal” when they mean “Medal”. Congratulations, you got the 4-letter word right. Yay! Just sayin…