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 EDT
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.”
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $95,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
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.
Sep 16, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT
Deron Williams opening the season healthy would be huge… but just the start of what they need from him.
Sep 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Ingles excelled in World Cup, completes dominoes set in motion by Jared Dudley trade
Sep 16, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
You won’t see this for the Americans’ gold medal
Sep 15, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT
Forward from St. John’s went undrafted
Sep 15, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
New details about incident in which he allegedly punched ex-girlfriend in the face
Sep 15, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Amundson’s best days are behind him, but maybe he can find a niche in Cleveland
Sep 15, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT
Who else was Lionel Hollins going to start?
Sep 15, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT
Washington building up competition for open 15th spot
Sep 15, 2014, 6:59 PM EDT
Some team will pick him up. Eventually.
Sep 15, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT
KD is an Iverson fan.
Sep 15, 2014, 5:10 PM EDT
Silas appears to have real chance of making the team
Sep 15, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT
Derrick Rose stayed healthy but never shook the rust fully off his shot.
Sep 15, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT
Soccer already has the right model, it’s just going to be hard to get FIBA on board.
Sep 15, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
D-League is ripe for expansion
Sep 15, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
Harris unsure whether Orlando will let him hit restricted free agency
Sep 15, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT
Blake Griffin has done some brilliant marketing campaigns.
Sep 15, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT
Liz shot 49 percent on 3-points in World Cup
Sep 15, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
Dolan said he’s let Phil Jackson run the team, and Jackson affirms Dolan has so far
Sep 15, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT
Duke coach benefits big time in recruiting from World Cup, Olympic coaching
Sep 15, 2014, 10:22 AM EDT
And so it begins.
- Report: Greg Oden’s drinking an issue during season, alleged domestic assault 13
- Kevin Durant calls Allen Iverson “pound for pound” best ever 22
- PBT Extra: What players looked good at World Cup? 4
- Time for FIBA/NBA to adopt soccer model: Only one major tournament every four years 16
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Brooklyn Nets 3
- Five lessons learned from the FIBA World Cup 10
- USA celebrates gold medal with lots of dancing (except Derrick Rose) 12
- Too much World Cup MVP Kyrie Irving for Serbia to handle as USA wins gold easily 129-92 30