The ‘Last Dance‘ documentary brought to light the story when Isiah Thomas didn’t receive an invitation for the original ‘Dream Team‘ in 1992. The notion was that it was Michael Jordan himself who didn’t want to have Isiah on the team because he was a member of the Detroit Pistons, also known as the ‘Bad Boys’. That team was without a doubt the most hated basketball squad in the NBA during those years, and since Isiah was their captain, it doesn’t come as a surprise other players didn’t want him there either.
David Robinson, who was also a member of that iconic team, recently said he is surprised Isiah was stunned by all the comments on why he was left out of that team. In Robinson’s opinion, if you are continually talking about your reputation as a member of the Bad Boys, that decision shouldn’t come as such a surprise.
“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. Can you be that surprised when people say, ‘I don’t really want to play with the ‘Bad Boys?”David Robinson, via Bulls Talk Podcast
When Robinson joined the NBA in 1989, the Detroit Pistons were already the best team in the league, and he had his share of battles against their starting center Bill Laimbeer. Laimbeer was known around the league as one of the dirtiest players that ever played the game. He would often try to injury players on purpose and didn’t care about the consequences of his actions. Cheap shots were a part of his game, and Robinson witnessed that on several occasions.
“I played against Bill Laimbeer, and I can’t count how many times he smacked me in my nose. I don’t know if he would be my first pick for the All-Star team. I’m a little bit surprised that there’s so much surprise that it went down this way because they were the Bad Boys.”David Robinson, via Bulls Talk Podcast
Despite the fact nobody liked the Pistons back in the day, Robinson believes Isiah is a fantastic player who did tremendous things for that franchise in his career. Thomas and the Pistons are truly unique because they were able to regularly beat the Celtics led by Larry Bird, Lakers with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and ultimately the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan. Thomas was their driving force, and a fierce competitor who’s competitive fire helped them win two straight NBA championships in an era many believed was the best in league’s history.
“Isiah is amazing. What can you tell about that guy’s career. He did it on the biggest stage over many many years. He took a team that wasn’t in the picture and to the championship. He’s done all those things you ask the superstar to do. When you talk about putting together a team, chemistry matters, you can’t act like it doesn’t matter, and for that team, it was clear that was the consideration for all the people involved.”David Robinson, via Bulls Talk Podcast
David Robinson on Isiah Thomas: “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. Can you be that surprised when people say ‘I don’t really want to play with the ‘Bad Boys?’” from r/nba