Even after airing the final two episodes of “The Last Dance,” the dust surrounding all of Michael Jordan's controversies unleashed in the doc still hasn’t settled. New sources with various information are emerging, with the latest one being about the MJ-Isiah Dream Team beef.
Sportswriter Jack McCallum, the author of Dream Team, released audiotapes on his podcast “The Dream Team Tapes,” refuting Jordan’s denial about his impact on Isiah competing in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
“Rod Thorn called me. I said, ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.’ He assured me. He said, ‘You know what? Chuck doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team.’”
Michael Jordan, The Dream Team Tapes
We all know this wasn’t about Isiah’s basketball abilities. Everybody knew he could play, and he was deserving of a roster spot solely based on what he was capable of doing on the basketball court. This was personal.
Although Jordan denied his involvement in roster picking, these audiotapes prove he was lying. Or maybe that’s the wrong way to put it; perhaps he was purposely hiding the truth. I guess MJ didn’t want the public perception of him being above the team. But that was, in fact, the truth.
Jordan blackmailed Isiah out of the roster. He conditioned his appearance with Isiah’s omission, putting the ball in Daley’s corner; it wasn’t a hard decision to make. Nobody in their right mind would’ve picked Isiah over Jordan, no matter how good of a player IT was. That was the luxury of having such a special group of players. Even in such exceptional situations, they could’ve afforded to leave one of the best PG-s at home in the U.S.
Whatever the case may be, Jordan made a mistake, and I’m not even talking about the whole situation that was happening back in 1992. I’m talking about his recent comments on the entire thing. He should’ve just been honest. Everyone already knew he was behind the whole Isiah being left out of the team thing, why not just admit it? Especially since the whole talk about Isiah being the “bad guy” was gaining momentum, as more and more stories have emerged about other players not wanting to play with him.
What’s the worst that could’ve happened for MJ? People already perceive him as a bad guy. They are already describing him as egoistic. It’s all the stuff we’ve heard about Jordan before. That is the public perception about him all along.
Now people may refer to him as a liar - and he could’ve prevented it.