Isiah Thomas: Michael Jordan's 'Undeserving Champions' Comments 'Cut Deep'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 20, 2020

Former Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas, is honored during halftime of an NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan's rivalry was revisited during the 10-episode of The Last Dance on ESPN from April 19 through May 17. 

The Hall of Fame Detroit Pistons point guard disclosed a hurtful exchange he had with Jordan following Game 3 of the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals during an appearance with Fox Sports 1's Speak For Yourself on Wednesday:

Speak For Yourself @SFY

Isiah Thomas gives more insight into the Pistons' decision to not shake hands with the Bulls after they got swept. "After game 3, Michael Jordan called us undeserving champions and said we were bad for basketball… That really did cut and it cut deep." — @IsiahThomas https://t.co/vFq5Etl7x7

Jordan's Chicago Bulls swept the Pistons, and the Bad Boys' decision to walk off the court without shaking hands was highlighted during Episode 4 of The Last Dance:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

"... During that period of time, that's just not how it was passed. When you lost, you left the floor. That was it." –Isiah Thomas #TheLastDance https://t.co/iwK4JeEbii

ESPN @espn

“You can show me anything you want. It’s no way you can convince me he wasn’t an a--hole.” —MJ on Isiah Thomas #TheLastDance https://t.co/0v2ArzrghL

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

"Straight up bitches." –Horace Grant, describing the Pistons walking off after getting swept by the Bulls #TheLastDance https://t.co/OkxK1wzkH4

Detroit was the reigning back-to-back NBA champion.

Once the Bulls finally got past Thomas and the Pistons, they upset Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 to capture the first of Jordan's six championships.

The Last Dance orbited around the 1997-98 Bulls' title run, marking the end of their 1990s dynasty.

Chicago achieved its first three-peat from 1991-93 before a repeat three-peat from 1996-98. Detroit would not make it back to the Finals until 2004.

Jordan announced his retirement after the Bulls topped the Utah Jazz 4-2 in the '98 Finals, though the 57-year-old Hall of Famer returned with the Washington Wizards from 2001-03 before calling it quits for good.

Thomas played for the Pistons for the entirety of his career from 1981 through 1994.


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