Michael Jordan was an absolute machine that stole the thunder of many athletes during his reign in the NBA. It is safe to say that as much as people praise Jordan for his contributions to the sport, he most certainly has a good amount of haters. Some of these haters may include his very own colleagues who played against him during the 80s and 90s. And if Jordan took it personally, he would do anything to prove himself right.
Despite all the messy controversies and hate-spewing at the NBA’s audience, “Your Airness” garnered a lot of attention from different people from different parts of the country and world. Michael Jordan definitely had a fair share of battles against some of the players we now know as the league’s greats. The reason why he is considered one of the greatest of all time is because of his playing ability. But his presence did not always make others happy.
The Michael Jordan and Isaiah Thomas beef origin story, where it all started
For decades, the feud between MJ and former Piston point guard Isaiah Thomas has been going at it with each individual trying to pull the other one down. For over 30-years now and the reasons are scattered everywhere. From misunderstandings during the All-Stars, Thomas and the Detroit Pistons refusing to dap up after finals loss against the Chicago Bulls to Jordan having issues with Thomas being on the same USA Basketball dream team as him.
A former player of both franchises John Salley stated that Thomas only had issues with MJ because he once found his nephew wearing a Bulls jersey labeled under Jordan’s name. Thomas was a big star in the league at that point in time but the arrival of the Bulls legend overshadowed Zeke who took offense over the fact that Jordan was more respected in his home streets.
Isaiah Thomas calls himself a better player than Michael Jordan with more experience against league veterans
The Hall of Fame point guard appeared on the Point Forward podcast with Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner saying that he has had a tougher competition over the rest of his friends. “As a matter of fact, we was beating them. Consistently. They was still finishing fourth and fifth in the division. So this whole narrative about ‘Jordan went through Bird, he went through Magic, he went through Kareem, ‘No, Timeout. That’s my story,” said Thomas.
“That ain’t Jordan’s story. Jordan didn’t go through Magic, Kareem, Bird, if I remember correctly. Jordan beat, he beat us in ’91 at the end, and then he beat Barkley, Shawn Kemp, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing. There were the people he beat. He didn’t beat Magic, Bird, and Kareem. Y’all been sold this story, ‘Oh, he was in the 80s getting down.’ No, no, no, no.” he added. Jordan is one to hold grudges and take personal issues very seriously. But he came forth calling Isaiah Thomas one of the best in his room, he said, “the best point guard of all-time is Magic Johnson. Right behind him is Isaiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game.”