Yesterday we wrote about Dino Rađa giving his two cents on players he played against. He called Malone and Mutombo dirty had respect for Rodman and Barkley. I always enjoy honesty like this and one of the things I want to find out more than anything else is this entire Isiah Thomas vs Jordan & Pippen thing. We covered it already, you can read about it here. It just feels there’s something more than basketball here.
In a sitdown with Michael Rappaport for the Players Tribune, Scottie Pippen and Charles Oakley continued this narrative. Well, Oakley did most of the talking (no surprise there). Rappaport set up the topic by asking why is there always a reaction when Isiah is mentioned, whether you played against him or with him. Oakley had an interesting way of putting it:
He’s one of those guys, he’s like a fly. I mean, you try to kill him cause he lands on your food, keeps messing with you. But, he’s a great point guard, he should’ve been on the dream team and all that. Something about him, I can’t trust him.
Just to give some context, Oakley is one of Jordan’s closest friends. When going in the paint meant accepting there is some pain coming your way, he was there to make sure people didn’t mess with MJ too much. If you touch MJ up, Oak is gonna get you the next play. So just to be fair, he is biased because we know there is no love lost between MJ and Isiah.
While Oakley was entertaining, Scottie was the one we want to hear from. First of all, just look at his face when Isiah is mentioned.
I grew up that if I don’t have nothing good to say, don’t say nothing. I’m just saying, nothing good is gonna come out of you asking me that, and I think you are videoing this, so. I don’t respect him, so I don’t have anything to say about the guy.
This would get an A+ in PR school somewhere. But somehow, you could feel this won’t stop there. Rappaport was already moving away from the question when Scottie just had to say something more specific(ish). There goes his A+.
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If Dino Rađa is reading, please call Toni Kukoč and make him write a book in which he gets MJ to elaborate on this!