If there's one player whose reputation is as damaged as broken glass, it's no other than Isiah Thomas. He may be known as one of the best point guards in NBA history, but several NBA players (and even legends like Michael Jordan) have revealed that they'd rather not stay in touch with Thomas. Jordan shared his reasons why this is so when his documentary "The Last Dance" premiered in April 2020, while Pippen spoke about it with The New York Times in 2021.
According to Pippen, he never had a relationship with the Detroit "Bad Boy" Pistons member and implied that it would be practically useless to build one now.
"Well, I played in the league for 18 years and there was never a relationship there. I've been out of the league for 15 years, so why now? It's not like we're crossing each other's paths anymore," Pippen said.
Why the 90's Bulls will never get over what Thomas did
The duo of Jordan and Pippen went through a lot with Thomas' Bad Boy Pistons. Both teams battled for four straight years and thrice for the Eastern Conference championship. The Pistons were the greatest obstacle for the Bulls, who had to go through them before they solidified their dynasty in the '90s. The Pistons made life hell for Jordan and his team with their physical approach to the game.
It also didn't help that Thomas felt bad about not representing Team USA in the 1992 USA Olympics, largely because Jordan didn't want him there — as MJ admitted it himself in his documentary. But what ticked off the Bulls even more was that the Pistons didn't want to shake hands with them when the former finally defeated the latter in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. While Thomas may not have organized the shameless walk-off, that didn't help fix his broken relationship with Jordan and Pippen.
Time does not heal all wounds
Until this day, there's still much chatter about Thomas and his relationship with Jordan and Pippen. Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson recently said he'd try to bring both parties together. However, it won't be a surprise if both Pippen and Jordan don't make amends with the 2-time champion as they haven't made an effort to squash their beef over the past years despite Thomas' efforts to fix their issues. At one point after "The Last Dance" premiered, Thomas even said that his beef with Jordan and Pippen would last a long time.
As Pippen implied, there's no point in fixing a relationship that was never there in the first place. It seems both Jordan and Pippen have moved on but aren't letting bygones be bygones.