Isiah Thomas Ranks Michael Jordan as 5th-Toughest Player He Ever Faced in NBA

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent INovember 10, 2020

Isiah Thomas arrives at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

From 1981 to 1994, Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas produced two NBA championships amid five All-NBA nods and 12 All-Star selections. But there were a handful of players who challenged the second overall pick, including another all-time great. 

In an appearance on Shannon Sharpe's podcast, Club Shay Shay, Thomas ranked Michael Jordan as the fifth-toughest player he faced, after Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird and Julius Erving. 

While Thomas' interview may have touted Jordan's on-court skills, Jordan isn't so kind to Thomas years later. In his documentary The Last Dance, Jordan called Thomas an "assh--e," and there's a theory that the bad blood originated at the 1985 All-Star Game, according to Jerry Bembry of The Undefeated.