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Isiah Thomas gets shredded in new Dream Team documentary

Jun 12, 2012, 5:51 PM EDT


Last night I watched a preview copy of the NBA Dream Team documentary that airs on NBA TV Wednesday, highlighting the 20th anniversary of the original (and greatest) Dream Team and their run up to and through the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Watch it. It is fantastic stuff. Great stories, a reminder of how huge this was and how it changed international basketball, and just a fun trip down memory lane.

But one thing that stuck out — everyone confirmed the long-time rumor that Pistons guard Isiah Thomas was blackballed from the team. It started with the Bulls Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, although Jordan hints there were people up the USA Basketball ladder that were more than happy to do that, and NBA exec Russ Granik basically confirmed that.

Jordan and Pippen pulled no punches.

“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.’’

Granik pointed to an incident at the end of the Bulls/Pistons playoff series that year where Thomas led his teammates off the court before the final buzzer even sounded. That kind of sportsmanship and image was not what the NBA wanted to project to the world.

So Thomas was out in 1992. He would not be part of this documentary, either.

Seriously, watch the entire documentary. You’ll learn a lot more than this. But this part may be one of the most gripping.

  1. ebrownwareagle - Jun 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Stop It!! Zeke’s resume = 2 championships! Period, and leaf the team. John Stockton. 2x finals LOSER! Zeke and the Bad Boys gave “Da Bulls” fits! And they finally got over the hump! Utah never got it done. Stockton is not on Zeke’s level!

  2. trick321 - Jun 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    STOP SLOBBING JORDAN’S KNOB! The dude was/is every bit the punkass that any other prima donna NBA star has been since him. Punching his teammates in the face, getting Doug Collins fired, cheating on his wife a zillion times, drinking and gambling problems, hiking up shots, and bullsh*t like this… if Stern doesn’t start pulling his well-documented game-fixing for his poster-child, Jordan doesn’t get half those titles… I’ve listened to people jock Jordan’s sack my whole life, but it’s starting to rear it’s ugly head again with this LeBron hateration… the media will never concede that anyone could ever be better than their hero MJ… Pippen was Jordan’s yes-man… boycotting the FREAKING OLYMPICS to keep another guy (that deserved to get in) out of it is BUSH LEAGUE

    as far as Isiah, I never cared for the guy much, but it’s clear that him kicking Jordan’s ass around the court for the first half of his career didn’t sit too well with the prima donna

    as far as Stockton… all-time league-leader in steals and assists, proto-typcial point guard against which all true PGs are measured… hating on his inclusion is ridiculous… if you’re gonna hate on anyone’s inclusion, hate on Pippen or LAETTNER (I know, I know, they wanted to have an amatuer on the team too)… actually Pippen was probably at least as deserving as Thomas… either way, Jordan was the best player of his generation, but he was still a punkass, and for the front-runner “Yay, I wear Nike” generation kids that sweated him coming up to hate on LeBron for being a punkass, it just shows how lame you are

    sorry, I get heated about this stuff :/

  3. michflaguy - Jun 13, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    This is quite a statement about the NBA at that time…to blackball the best guard in the league because he was the most competitive guy in the league. The absolute joke is that John Stockton was then placed on the team…a guy who was completely OWNED by Thomas every time they went head-to-head. Pretty embarrassing for the NBA and Stockton…now we all know that the only reason Stockton was on the team was because the ‘big boys’ didn’t like Thomas – even though they knew he was better.

  4. ccshocktalk - Jun 14, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Isiah Thomas, or John Stockton, is that even a serious question anyone has to consider? I would pick John Stockton hands down to start on my team or to run my offense. Two reasons. One, he’s a class act. Two, he runs the offense flawlessly, and plays the game hard, and keeps it clean.

    People knew time and time again that he and the mailman were going to do a pick and roll or a variation of it, and nobody could stop it. Nobody.

    Team USA was far better off without Isiah Thomas, and the NBA would be far better off if he stopped ruining franchises.

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