Changing the narrative
There is no question there is still some bad blood between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas. It all started more than 30 years ago when the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls were among the fiercest rivalries in the NBA led by their best players, Thomas and Jordan. It took Jordan and the Bulls a few years to overcome the Pistons, and when they finally did it, it was also the start of their own legendary dynasty.
Thomas made a guest appearance on the Point Forward podcast, where he shared more salty comments about Jordan and his legacy. The main thing that bothers Thomas is the narrative that Jordan and the Bulls went through tough opponents to win their titles, which he wholeheartedly disagrees with.
"When I came home '88, '89, '90, I was celebrated in my community. I came home as a champion. Chicago hadn't won yet. As a matter of fact, we was beating them. Consistently. Like, really consistently. As a matter of fact, they was still finishing fourth and fifth in the division. So this whole narrative about, 'Jordan went through [Larry] Bird, he went through Magic [Johnson], he went through Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar].' Nooooo. Timeout. That's my story!
Fans were sold a story about Jordan
Thomas admits he lost against Jordan and the Bulls but claims the players Jordan successfully dominated through the years belonged to the 90's era, not the '80s. He also added that people were sold the story of Jordan's impeccable dominance throughout his entire career, which isn't how Thomas remembers it.
"That ain't Jordan's story. Jordan didn't go through Magic, Kareem, Bird, if I remember correctly. Jordan beat, he beat us [the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons] in '91 at the end, and then he beat [Charles] Barkley, Shawn Kemp, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing. These were the people he beat. He didn't beat Magic, Bird, and Kareem. But y'all been sold this story, 'Oh, he was in the '80s getting down.' No, no, no, no, no."
Even though Isiah Thomas is somewhat right about his assessment of Jordan's lack of success in the 80s, he did beat Magic Johnson and the Lakers for his first NBA title in 1991. When it comes to winning a playoff series against Bird and the Celtics or the Lakers when Kareem was playing is something Jordan never achieved.
With that being said, not beating these legends doesn't minimize Jordan's worth because he defeated other NBA greats on his way to six NBA championships. On the other hand, Thomas can be proud of the accomplishments in his career where he can actually say he beat Jordan, Magic, Kareem, and Bird. However, even with all that success, he often sounds jealous of Jordan and his individual and team achievements.