The latest episodes of Michael Jordan's The Last Dance highlighted the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons rivalry throughout the 80s. In the documentary, Michael Jordan revealed that he still hates the Pistons. The documentary episodes made fans wonder about the Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas relationship and ask 'Are Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas friends?'.
The Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas story dates back to 1980s when the 'Bad Boy' Detroit Pistons eliminated the Bulls from the playoffs for 3 straight years. The team used defensive techniques to keep Jordan from scoring, which the six-time NBA champion describes as 'personal'. When the Bulls finally defeated the Pistons in 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons left the court without shaking hands. The Pistons received backlash for their move, though Thomas defended their team, saying that they did not think beyond the game and that is how things were back then.
John Salley says the Isiah Thomas/Michael Jordan beef started when Isiah went back to his hometown of Chicago and saw his nephew wearing a Michael Jordan jersey— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 27, 2020
(🎥 VladTV) pic.twitter.com/IISL5V7laS
In a recent interview, John Salley revealed that their rivalry began when Thomas went to his hometown and saw his nephew wear Jordan's jersey. Salley added that Thomas was mad after that, though not at Michael Jordan. In Thomas' brain, he believed that whenever he played Jordan, he was trying to go off so his nephew would know this is the jersey he should wear.
Despite being one of the best point guards in the NBA, Isiah Thomas was left out of the 1992 Dream Team. Reports suggested that Jordan refused to play if Thomas was on the team, which is why ultimately Thomas was left out of the team. While speaking about the team this March, Thomas stated that he was happy his friend Magic Johnson received the spotlight.