Skip to main content

Isiah puts MJ fifth on the list of toughest players he's had to face in his career

Michael-Jordan-Isiah-Thomas-min

Isiah Thomas openly says Michael Jordan wasn't the toughest player he had to face in his HOF career and names a few other players that come before Jordan on this pretty impressive list.

Another subtle shot at MJ

Isiah Thomas did it again! Another subtle shot fired at his arch-nemesis in Michael Jordan. Another criterion suiting to squeeze MJ out from getting the recognition he deserves. And like so many times, this one was also done under the pretext of "wrongfully" set parameters. But like so many times, this also must've been done on purpose.

Isiah was asked to list the five toughest players he had ever had to face. Average Joe's first instinct would've been to do it based on their individual greatness. But that wasn't Isiah's guiding light.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

You can just go by winning record, right? Magic, Kareem, Bird, Dr.J., and then I would say Jordan.

Isiah Thomas, Club Shay Shay

This was Isiah's attempt to rationalize his decision. 'Your genetic gifts, I'm going to eliminate all of that. Now we're going to play basketball, and it's going to be about our mental stamina. Because I can't jump higher than some, I can't out height some; I can't outweight some. But I can out think a lot. 'The way I see it, this is nothing but Zeke's escape route from actually having to explain putting Jordan fifth on this list.

Thomas faced off against numerous HOF players

He talked a lot of sense when he said he and the Pistons dominated the Bulls during his prime years in the '80s. That was a team-centered argument. But he can't say that he dominated Michael as an individual, nor can he diminish the level of competition he faced when going up against No.23. And putting him fifth on the list of toughest players he went up against is doing just that.

Especially since Isiah hadn't played through Kareem's prime years, nor did he play when Julius Erving was at the peak of his powers. For eight years, both Thomas and Jabbar were in the NBA, Kareem averaged 19.4/6.8/2.5. For six years, Isiah's and Erving's paths crossed, The Doctor was putting up 20.7/5.9/3.5. Just for comparison, during the stretch both Zeke and MJ were in the NBA, Jordan averaged 32.3/6.3/5.9. He was also the league's MVP two times and has led the NBA in scoring for seven straight seasons.

So if the argument of who was Isiah's toughest player to face is about their winning records as a part of a collective, it's the wrong premise to start with. It should be about them as individual performers, and then, there's no way of putting MJ fifth on that list. The only logical explanation for it is that once again, Isiah Thomas is being salty.

Laker center Shaquille O'Neal

“He bought a new Rolex for every single guy on the team” — former Laker Mark Madsen reveals Shaquille O'Neal's generosity

Just when Madsen thought Shaq buying him a car would finish the shopping spree, O'Neal decided to buy every Laker a brand new Rollie.

LeBron James admits he started taking care of his body pretty late in his career

LeBron shares his top three players of all time: "This is tough!"

Back in 2014, LeBron had a lot of trouble picking just three guys.

tracy-mcgrady-rudy-gobert-min

Tracy McGrady calls out Rudy Gobert: "What the f**k are you doing in the off-season?"

T-Mac just can comprehend Gobert hasn't added any moves to his offensive game over the years.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan once went from judging a dunk contest to destroying the winner in street clothes

MJ's future teammate Jo Jo English was one of the first people to learn an important lesson - never talk trash to Black Jesus.

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh promotes healthy eating that keeps him in prime shape despite being retired — “It gives me the energy I need to go forward”

Fully aware his NBA days are behind him, Chris Bosh explained why he still eats healthy and works out every day.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan goes up against Utah Jazz player Bryon Russell

“There's no 'Jordan rules' when you play 1-on-1“ — Bryon Russell claims Michael Jordan 'chickened out' from a 1-on-1 challenge

After being called out by Michael Jordan during his Hall of Fame speech, Bryon Russell hit back and challenged MJ to a 1-on-1 game. According to Russell, Jordan "chickened out."