The Dream Team Documentary: Dream Team Was Right to Not Involve Isiah Thomas

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 13, 2012

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

On Wednesday, June 13, NBA TV is highlighting an in-depth look at the Dream Team, the greatest team ever assembled.

The Dream Team featured all the greats of the 1990s including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, John Stockton, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Chris Mullin, Magic Johnson and many more.

One memorable person who wasn't include was Detroit's Isiah Thomas. If you watch the documentary you will learn why he wasn't included.

The Dream Team was right not to include Thomas in the equation.

One of the reasons Jordan, the greatest basketball player to ever put on a uniform, decided to suit up for Team USA was because Thomas was left off the team, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. 

"In a sneak preview shown at The NBA Finals for media Monday night, Michael Jordan reveals one of the “stipulations’’ for him joining the Dream Team was having his Pistons rival (Isiah Thomas) not included but claimed the sentiment also came from the top," said Berman. 

Jordan also had this to say, according to Berman. 

“That was one of the stipulations put to me that Isiah wasn’t part of the team,’’ Jordan said. “I was getting strong innuendos it wasn’t just…it was coming from a higher place who didn’t want Isiah on the team.’’

It was almost like an option for Team USA's management group to ponder.

Michael Jordan or Isiah Thomas.


Jordan was the obvious selection for Team USA and it turned out to be the best decision. But he wasn't the only one that didn't want Thomas on the squad. Fellow Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippin didn't want his services on the Dream Team either. 

“I despised how he played the game,’’ Pippen said of Thomas. “Isiah was the general. “He was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say 'Kick them on their ass. Do whatever you have to do. No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team."

Interesting to hear these words from Jordan and Pippin, but they were in that situation. Whether you think it would or wouldn't have been a good fit doesn't matter. Jordan and Pippin didn't see it working and there is no way you could say that they made the wrong decision.

Thomas was the leader of the Bad Boy Pistons. He orchestrated some of the stuff you saw on a game-in-game-out basis. 

Some would want a character like Thomas on the roster, but it isn't appealing to others. It wasn't appealing to Jordan and Pippin and it's impossible to argue that they weren't right.

Prior to the selection of the team, the NBA and people who were selecting which players to consider received first taste into what Thomas and his actions were all about.

In Detroit's playoff series against the Bulls, Thomas had his players walk off the court before the final buzzer. 

Thomas was not considered because of his actions, according to former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik.  

“We were picking a group just after the Pistons had been eliminated by the Bulls,’’ Granik said. “It was very bad timing for Isiah. Everyone had that impression in their mind, the picture of Isiah walking off the court.’’

After seeing what happened at the Olympics that year, it's hard to argue that Team USA made the wrong decision. 

Whether you agree with it or not, you should tune-in for this documentary because it's definitely something spectacular. You will receive an in-depth look into the greatest team ever assembled, how they practiced and everything else that you didn't know. 

The documentary begins at 9 p.m. EST on NBA TV.