“He figured it was some trickery involved… Let’s put it this way, he hates Scottie Pippen” Shaquille O’Neal talking to Isaiah Thomas about his ‘Dream Team’ snub

Shaquille O'Neal speaks on Detroit Pistons legend Isaiah Thomas being snubbed from 'Dream Team' and reveals how he felt after being rejected on selections.

Shaquille O'Neal and Isaiah Thomas

We all know that the NBA rosters in the early to late 90s were some of the bests of all time. The league featured names such as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, etc. During this era, each player had their own distinct reason to be known for. Even role players had a major significance among league leaders.

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Michael Jordan

The 90s witnessed some of the most dominant players and heated rivalries of all time, most notably the feud between Michael Jordan and Isaiah Thomas. The two were never interested in building a relationship with each mainly because IT felt that he was being completely overshadowed by MJ despite him being “better”. The rivalry between both players still exists but it seems that it extends beyond two individuals.

Shaquille O’Neal and Isaiah Thomas get snubbed from the 1992 Olympics Dream Team

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Shaquille O’Neal

The 1992 Dream Team was one of the most talented groups in the history of the sport. It was apparent why IT did not make the cut, and even more understandable since many other players did not gel with the Detroit Pistons legend. However, Shaquille O’Neal was a front runner in the election despite averaging 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds on 56.2% shooting from the field.

Shaq admitted he was upset saying, “I was pissed off. I was jealous. But then I had come to the realization that  I was a more explosive, more powerful player, but Christian Laettner was a little bit more fundamentally sound than I was. Plus he stayed all four years and graduated. I just think it helped me grow as a player.” The LA Lakers legend would receive his opportunity to play in the Olympics held in Atlanta in 1996. He averaged 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds including one block per game.

Isaiah Thomas was shocked after another Bulls legend did not wish to play with him on the Dream Team

Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan
Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan

Isaiah Thomas was understanding why Jordan did not wish to team up with him for the Olympics. However, he was not the only Chicago Bulls player to reject IT, Scottie Pippen on being asked if his teammate did not want to play with IT revealed that he also did not wish for the player to join him. Thomas was seemingly baffled as he realized who it was.

“I don’t mind Michael Jordan saying, ‘I didn’t want Isaiah on the Dream Team.’ I don’t mind if Larry Bird said, ‘I don’t want Isaiah to be on the Dream Team.’ But if Scottie Pippen said, ‘I don’t want Isaiah on the Dream Team?’ Man, come on. You can’t say nothing.” said Thomas. Shaquille O’Neal chimed in saying, “He thinks, I don’t want to repeat what he said, but he figured it was some trickery involved in that. Couple people didn’t want him… Let’s put it this way, he hates Scottie Pippen.”

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