Former Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas has been making the media rounds after he and his ‘Bad Boys’ Pistons were the subject of Episodes 3 and 4 of ESPN’s The Last Dance over the weekend.
Aside from how the Bad Boy Pistons treated Michael Jordan on the court, there was a moment where the team walked off the court in the Eastern Conference Finals after being swept by the Bulls. The 58-year-old admits that he is still “personally hurt” he was not asked to be a part of that legendary ’92 Dream Team and truly believes it has everything to do with not shaking Jordan’s hand.
“Why I’m personally hurt is another reason why I’m here,” Thomas said … “Because being left off the Dream Team, that personally hurt me. If I’m not apart 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.”
It’s been over ten years since the following story, so maybe Isiah may have forgotten about it, but Magic Johnson stated himself that he helped to keep him off that team in the release of a book title, “When the Game Was Ours.”
“In the book, which Johnson co-authored with Larry Bird and frequent ESPN contributor Jackie MacMullan, Johnson admits he helped keep Thomas off the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team because he believed that, in the wake of Johnson’s announcement in 1991 that he had HIV, his once-dear friend spread a rumor he was gay or bisexual.
For most of the public, this is a startling admission, but Johnson’s sexuality has been gossiped about in NBA circles for years. That can be chalked up to ignorance about his disease. Thomas, now the men’s basketball coach at Florida International University, denies speculating about Johnson’s sexuality and told SI.com he feels “blindsided” by the allegations because this is the first time Johnson is publicly airing his side of the story.”
“It was time,” Johnson stated at the time.
“We had an incredible relationship. We used to do everything together back in the day, and then that kind of faded. It was a tough period. Probably when we played those two championships made that happen. Then it just really went in opposite directions from then.”
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