• Ryan Tippett

Why Did The "Dream Team" Hate Isiah Thomas?

I was negative three months old when the “Dream Team” embarked on winning gold during the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona so most of the details that emerge from ESPNs documentary “The Last Dance”, detailing the 97’/98’ bulls, are new to me. One major storyline that I never grasped was the hatred mostly every superstar had for Pistons guard Isiah Thomas. I wasn’t alive during the era but the open disdain MJ had for Thomas was enough to feel like I lived through it. But it wasn’t just him who felt that way – Pippen, Magic and Bird all shared those same sentiments. Isiah built his brand on being hated, which is why it’s so surprising to see how shocked he was that most of his peers loathe him.

Jordan denied having played a part in Thomas’ exclusion from the Olympic team but Magic Johnson confirmed in the book, “When the Game Was Ours” that he, Jordan and others played a role in conspiring to keep Isiah off the team. It is easy to parcel through the politics of the relationship between MJ and Thomas to see fundamentally why Isiah was left off the team – it was the chemistry he would’ve interfered with.