Isiah Thomas shares thoughts on handshake incident, Dream Team snub
Isiah Thomas was infamously left off the 1992 Olympic Dream Team despite being one of the NBA’s biggest stars, and some new light was shed on that situation during the latest installment of “The Last Dance” on Sunday night. After watching the new episodes of the documentary, Thomas may now be even more bothered that he did not make the 1992 Olympic team.
Episode four of “The Last Dance” dealt with the Chicago Bulls finally defeating the Detroit Pistons in the 1991 playoffs en route to their first championship. After that series, Pistons players walked off the court without shaking hands. Michael Jordan said in “The Last Dance” that he still dislikes Thomas and that Pistons team because of that sign of disrespect, especially since the Bulls shook the hands of Detroit players after losing to them the previous two years.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Monday morning, Thomas spoke about his Dream Team snub. He called it “the biggest hole in my resume” and said he would be even more disappointed now than he was 28 years ago if he knew not shaking hands with Bulls players was a major factor in him being left off the Olympic team.
"Looking back, if I'm not a part of the Dream Team because a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone's hand … then I am more disappointed today than I was back then."
Isiah Thomas is still "hurt" that he was left off the Dream Team. pic.twitter.com/YkRt8zIY09
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 27, 2020
The handshake incident was almost certainly a factor, though not the only one. Scottie Pippen, who was also a member of the Dream Team, openly admitted in a 2012 documentary about the Olympic team that he did not want to play with Thomas.
“I despised how he played the game,” Pippen said. “Isiah was the general, he was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say ‘Kick them on their a–. Do whatever you have to do.’ No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team.”
Even if the Pistons shook hands with the Bulls after the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, Thomas probably would have been left off the Dream Team. Jordan was the biggest star, and the remarks he made during the documentary show how he and his teammates felt about the “Bad Boys” Pistons.