Skip to main content

THE FREEZEOUT GAME Every pass between Isiah and MJ in '84


The 1985 NBA All-Star in Indianapolis is today commonly known as the Freezeout game. Folks remember it not for Ralph Sampson's brilliant MVP performance; they recognize it as an opening prelude to the upcoming Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago Bulls rivalry, which eventually culminated with the infamous walk-out in 1991.

Both Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan started the 1985 NBA All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference All-Stars. Thomas led the East with 22 points on 9-15 shooting in 25 minutes of play, while the Bulls spectacular rookie Jordan scored only 7 points on 2-9 shooting from the field in 22 minutes of the game. 

What makes Thomas's performance in Indianapolis considerably suspicious, bearing in mind that he led the league in assists with incredible 13.9 assists per game over the 1984 campaign, is that Zeke was able to dish out only five assists in 25 minutes of action! Such a diminishing offensive effort in a game in which he was surrounded such great offensive players as Michael Jordan, Julius ErvingLarry Bird, and Moses Malone! 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Even Sidney Moncrief, who came in as a part of the team's second unit, dished out four dimes in almost as many minutes as Thomas (Moncrief played 22 minutes that night). Thomas maybe didn't look away from Jordan but certainly didn't do anything other to dish MJ the ball on isolation plays at the wing. There, Jordan was left alone to create his own space off the dribble. The latest video evidence reveals the final count of the in-game passes between Thomas and Jordan. 

Michael Jordan 4, Isiah Thomas 7

The only pass in this storied game, which eventually ended up with the field goal, came at the end of the first half. Jordan drove down the lane on George Gervin and then dished out the ball to Thomas, who spotted up in the left corner. Thomas then nailed the triple to tie the game at the halftime. 

Isiah tried to return the favor by ballooning one up for intended alley-oop play with Jordan. But even though MJ eventually hit the air breaks and got himself suspended in the air for a brief moment, it was Rolando Blackman who went up to intercept this one. With Thomas being known for his precision passes over his illustrious 13-year long NBA career, this one certainly was not one of those for the Pistons point guard.

West won the game by 140-129, and the MVP was the Rockets 7'4'' power forward Ralph Sampson. Being a great performer at such razzle-dazzle events, Thomas was voted the game's MVP in 1984 (Denver) and 1986 (Dallas). East won both of those games.

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings goes off on the state of the NBA - “It’s only a couple of guys in the NBA that love the game”

Jennings' opinions are certainly divisive, but it's clear that without change the NBA would get stale, and that's why it's necessary to continue exploring ways to evolve the game

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan’s secret tattoo and the meaning behind it revealed

It's barely visible and not something MJ liked to talk about.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Zach Snyder on directing Michael Jordan in "Playground" — “He’s a natural.”

One went on to make Space Jam, the other 300, Justice League, Army of the Dead, Man of Steel, Watchmen, and Dawn of the Dead. Two great movie careers, starting in 1990.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and team president Pat Riley

The moment Pat Riley should've known LeBron James would one day leave Miami

Upon his arrival to Miami, LeBron made a request that should've let Riley know a new era was coming.

Dennis Rodman

How Dennis Rodman's gay bar double-date led to the Chicago Bulls winning the 1996 NBA Championship

Remember Jack Haley? It turns out he was crucial for the Bulls winning in 1996 because he was “the only person who speaks fluent Rodman,” and knew how to convince Dennis not to quit the team before Game 6 of the Finals.

Detroit Pistons center Bill Laimbeer and guard Isiah Thomas

“I don't need to take that s**t!” — when Isiah Thomas broke his hand after punching Bill Laimbeer

Isiah Thomas punched Bill Laimbeer so hard he broke his hand during one of Detroit Pistons' practices.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

“I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter (era)” — Michael Jordan on social media and cancel culture

There's no hand-checking and hard fouls in 2022. But there's Twitter, political correctness and almost no privacy whatsoever.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Remember when KCP played with an ankle monitor?

In terms of serving time, continuing to play games while in prison is not that bad.