Isiah Thomas on Karl Malone’s elbow: ‘That was the cheapest (bleep) in my mind in the history of the game’
Mar 21, 2014, 9:15 AM EST
Isiah Thomas, as the story goes, was extremely upset John Stockton was selected to the Dream Team over him prior to the 1991-92 season. So, when the Pistons and Jazz met in November of 1991, Thomas took over, torching Stockton for 44 points.
Though he never disparaged Stockton publicly, Thomas made his point during gameplay – exactly where he should have made it.
Karl Malone, though, rebutted during the Pistons-Jazz rematch the following month with an extremely violent cheat shot.
To this day, Thomas is still bitter.
Thomas, via Terry Foster of The Detroit News:
“I think it was the dirtiest play I have experienced in the game of basketball in my life,” Thomas said of the play, which happened on a Pistons pick-and-roll with Malone rotating to cover the middle. “I don’t think I’ve seen anything as vicious and as intentional to a player. I still don’t understand it.”
“It was horrific,” Thomas said. “That was the cheapest (bleep) in my mind in the history of the game.”
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There is nothing wrong with Thomas’ claims. Malone absolutely and drastically went outside the bounds of fair play. He deserves much more criticism for the incident than he’s gotten (and it’s not as if this has been ignored).
Plus, Thomas’ beef was with Stockton’s Dream Team inclusion, anyway. It had nothing to do with the much-larger Malone, a muscular power forward picking on a small point guard.
But how many times did Thomas have Bill Laimbeer or Rick Mahorn serve as enforcer for him? Sometimes, what goes around comes around.
Still, Thomas never did anything to surrender his right not to get elbowed in the face like that. Never anything close.
Twenty-three years later, Thomas clearly still resents how Malone handled the situation. Thomas can keep resenting it until the end of time. I’ll be right there with him on that.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:01 AM EST
180 or 360?
Jan 30, 2015, 10:59 PM EST
It took Kobe Bryant being injured for Cousins to make the squad.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:49 PM EST
If it can happen to Duncan….
Jan 30, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
Robin Lopez has a long rap sheet of mascot abuse.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:51 PM EST
Jeff Green could get more run.
Jan 30, 2015, 6:56 PM EST
This is not a serious injury, but they will miss him defending Blake Griffin.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:59 PM EST
All of those teams could use point guard depth.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:16 PM EST
Thank the new television contract.
Jan 30, 2015, 4:29 PM EST
“So if you see me diving on the floor and people say ‘what is he doing?’ I can’t help but be the player that I am.” —Jimmy Butler on playing in the All-Star Game
Jan 30, 2015, 3:29 PM EST
He should be. He was robbed.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:51 PM EST
I’ll take Stephen Curry
Jan 30, 2015, 2:09 PM EST
NBA Commissioner has delivered on All-Star Break. Back-to-backs next?
Jan 30, 2015, 1:34 PM EST
Who wil start for Kobe?
Jan 30, 2015, 12:49 PM EST
Will center stick with Mavericks this time?
Jan 30, 2015, 12:11 PM EST
Sliding into your DMs like…
Jan 30, 2015, 11:33 AM EST
Kings center waits five years, burns Clay Travis for tweet
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Vaughn’s firing seems imminent
Jan 30, 2015, 10:13 AM EST
Who are the aWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWks?
Jan 30, 2015, 9:34 AM EST
Did anyone think he would get injured and say, “nah, I don’t want to fight through this” and walk away?
Jan 30, 2015, 8:58 AM EST
The Bulls have a great passing front line.
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