A focal point of Sunday night’s episodes of The Last Dance was the rivalry between the Pistons and the Bulls. Michael Jordan said he still hates the Bad Boys Pistons to this day, and the player that draws the most of his ire is Isiah Thomas.
There is still some very clear, deep-seeded anger Jordan feels towards Thomas and the Pistons for walking off the floor without so much as acknowledging the Bulls in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas explained the decision and why they’d do it differently now in the documentary, but Jordan wasn’t buying it and insisted there was nothing you could show him to convince him Isiah “wasn’t an asshole.”
For Thomas, the ramifications of that decision lingered beyond just the end of the Bad Boys run, but to him not getting an invite onto the Dream Team — something he seems to have just figured out, even though it’s been the general assumption of most for decades.
Isaiah Thomas: "If I'm not apart of the Dream Team because of a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone's hand, if that's the reason why I didn't make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn't selected." pic.twitter.com/5QQk3kmX0g
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 27, 2020
Thomas made the rounds on ESPN on Monday, speaking with First Take and Get Up!, and on the latter, he discussed what he learned from last night’s episodes — and also couldn’t help but jab at the Bulls for finally doing what they were supposed to and realizing they needed to lift weights and get tougher.
"You shouldn't be rewarded for lifting weights."
—Isiah Thomas on the Chicago Bulls path to a championship pic.twitter.com/5Bb18ja1Cr
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 27, 2020
Now, Thomas is not exactly an objective party to all of this, but he’s right in this situation that it’s pretty wild that Jordan and the Bulls didn’t really commit to weight training until they’d lost twice to the Pistons and realized they needed more physical and mental toughness. That’s a part of the game that’s taken for granted as the expectation now that wasn’t necessarily as big a part of the game in the 1980s, but it’s still incredible that they hadn’t taken getting strong that seriously until then.