According to the much-anticipated NBA TV documentary about the 1992 Dream Team that airs Wednesday night, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen backed the idea of Isiah Thomas being left off the roster for the famous gold medal-winning team in Barcelona.
“That was one of the stipulations put to me that Isiah wasn’t part of the team,” Jordan said in an interview part of the 90-minute film.
It had long been rumored that MJ played a part in his rival’s snub from the squad. And while Jordan’s comments more or less confirm those beliefs, Pippen provides additional anti-Isiah sentiment and sheds light on how there was more to their disdain for Isiah than simply just their heated Pistons-Bulls rivalry back then.
“I despised how he played the game,” Pippen said.
“Isiah was the general,” Pippen added about the Pistons’ rough, arguably dirty, style of play at the time. “He was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say, ‘Kick them on their [rear]. Do whatever you have to do.’ No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team.”
According to NBA TV, Thomas declined to participate in the making of the doc. But while Jordan and Pippen’s contempt is given the coverage, other prominent members of the Dream Team, such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, reportedly were not big fans of Thomas playing on the team, either. If that many guys did not want to be teammates with Isiah, and if Isiah actually did become a member of the squad, then we could probably be looking back at a completely different Dream Team lineup that I argue would have altered history.
Photo: Andrew B. Fielding-US PRESSWIREGoogle+