By: Evan Jankens and Terry Foster
When the 1992 “Dream Team” was put together you had to think the league’s arguably best PG — Isiah Thomas — would be chosen to represent the USA. Well that was not the case. Many people believed Michael Jordan was the sole reason Thomas was left off the squad because of his hatred towards the Pistons. In a trailer for the upcoming documentary on the “Dream Team,” Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen talk about someone who was left off the team and that leads me to believe they were speaking of Zeke. Malone says, “I didn’t select anybody, OK?” and goes on to say, “If you weren’t chosen then shut the hell up.” Many will remember the hard foul Malone laid on Thomas.
Scottie Pippen is then on the trailer saying “I don’t think we (Jordan and Pippen) wanted to be on the team if he (Thomas?) was on the team, we’re enemies.” Everyone from Detroit should remember the battles the Bulls and Pistons had been through up to the summer of 1992 and that was a huge reason Thomas was left off of the best basketball team ever assembled. Watch the trailer below and judge for yourself if they are talking about Thomas or not. The documentary will air June 13th on the NBA Network at 9pm EST. So it leads me to ask, was everyone against Isiah?
Terry Foster adds:
I know why Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen hated former Piston Isiah Thomas. He stood his ground and he prevented both men from winning more.
I was there when Karl Malone blasted Thomas in Salt Lake City because Thomas showed up teammate John Stockton during a game. Thomas wanted to show that he belonged on the Dream Team and not Stockton.
Thomas was more deserving. Yes, Stockton put up some impressive numbers but he didn’t win any championships. Thomas went to three NBA Finals and won two of them. Zeke was the better player and was resentful that players wanted to keep him off the Dream Team. He paid them back even before he got left off the team.
Thomas beat Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls before the Pistons got too old to compete. He told teammates to pick on Pippen because he knew he was mentally soft. Thomas was an agitator because he felt it was the only way the Pistons could win. They were not as athletic as some of the other teams were but he made sure they were mentally and physically tougher.
It was not always pretty. Thomas grew up on the south side of Chicago and carried that ghetto mentality into the league. He challenged guys bigger than him and feared no one.
Thomas didn’t just play basketball and go home. If he did he would have been on Dream Team. He did more than play the game. He played the political game also to keep the Pistons on top.
Some folks didn’t like it. That is why Pippen and Malone hate him.