David Robinson: Isiah Thomas Shouldn't Have Been Surprised by Dream Team Snub

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2020

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 11: Former NBA player, David Robinson, looks on during the Tony Parker jersey retirement ceremony prior to a game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs on November 11, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photos by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
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San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson said Isiah Thomas, a leading member of the 1980s "Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons, shouldn't have been surprised he wasn't selected for the Dream Team.

Robinson said Friday on the Bulls Talk Podcast (via Kevin Anderson of NBC Sports Chicago) he doesn't have a problem with Thomas personally, but he noted the two-time NBA champion's reputation made his absence from the 1992 Olympic roster a mere formality.

"If you have a reputation and you take pride in your reputation as a 'Bad Boy,' it kind of means people aren't going to like you," Robinson said. "Can you be that surprised when people say 'I don't really want to play with the 'Bad Boys?'"

He added: "When you talk about putting together a team, chemistry matters. It does. You can't act like it doesn't matter, and for that team, it was clear that was a consideration for all the people involved."

Thomas being left off the Dream Team roster has been brought back to the forefront by The Last Dance, an ongoing 10-part ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty.

Recent episodes highlighted the on-court problems between Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, three of the U.S.' top players for the 1992 Games, and delved into speculation about whether MJ suggested he wouldn't play if Thomas was on the squad.

"You want to attribute it to me, go ahead and be my guest. But it wasn't me," Jordan said as part of The Last Dance.

He admitted there would have been a different vibe around the team if Thomas was involved, though.

"The Dream Team, based on the environment and the camaraderie that happened on that team, it was the best harmony," the two-time Olympic gold medalist said. "Would Isiah have made a different feeling on that team? Yes."

Thomas discussed the apparent snub on ESPN's Get Up last week.

"I thought I should've made that Dream Team," he said. "However, I wasn't a part of it—that hurt me. 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—if that's the reason why I didn't make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn't selected."

Thomas' Pistons walked off the floor without shaking the hands of Jordan and the Bulls after the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, which was a passing of the torch moment in the NBA. Chicago won that year's championship and added five more titles in the 90s.

Robinson, who shared center duties with Patrick Ewing in the Barcelona Olympics, said on the Bulls Talk Podcast playing for Team USA that year was "some of the most incredible basketball" ever.