Last month in Chicago, Piston Great and Chicago native Isiah Thomas was a guest on ESPN’s First Take as a part of All-Star Weekend. During his appearance, they discussed a variety of different topics, but the conversation quickly shifted to Thomas’ 1980s Pistons and Michael Jordan‘s Chicago Bulls.
Max Kellerman told the Chicago crowd to not let Thomas gas the up about anyone including Michael Jordan.
“What you say about MJ [Michael Jordan] don’t let Isiah gas you about MJ or anyone,” said Kellerman. “The first time MJ played with one other All-Star never played another All-Star his entire career. The first time they [Chicago Bulls] took you to seven games and they only lose because [Scottie] Pippen had a migraine.”
Kellerman truly struck a nerve with Thomas because he would not let that slide.
“Time… Oh, oh, oh timeout, 20 seconds, throwing you out of the game,” said Thomas. Boss, you talking about Scottie [Pippen] like the first time he played with an All-Star. I’m saying I didn’t make the vote, but y’all voted Scottie [Pippen] as one of the top 50 players to ever play. On my team it was me.”
“Anytime you talk about winning championships and I sat on that stage with the 50 supposedly players ever and I’m saying supposedly because they had me up there. But, everybody had one to two to three teammates that played with them as the top 50. I stood up there by myself looking for my teammates. So, when you say Jordan the first time he got an All-Star, dude he got one of the top 50 players.”
“All I’m saying is okay, this was about Giannis, this isn’t going to turn into Chicago [and] Detriot, but all I know is head to head Detriot [and] Isiah better than Chicago. Look at the record that’s all I’m saying.”
Yo, Scottie [Pippen] is coming in here after me, right? Ask him,” said Thomas.
Scottie Pippen would respond to Thomas with ‘We were younger and we weren’t physically mature enough to compete, but once we matured it was over.”
Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen have a long history of this back and forth dating back to the late 80s and 90s. Most notably though it can be traced back to Thomas not being a part of the original Dream Team in 1992.
Thomas Doesn’t Think Pippen was Talented Enough to the Original Dream Team
During an episode of Open Court on NBA TV revealed that it was wrong that Shaquille O’Neal and himself weren’t on the 92 Dream Team. Ernie Johnson would ask Dennis Scott to name his starting five from the 90s. Scott would name Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Thomas would because Malone split his head open in the early 90s and then Scott named Scottie Pippen as his forward and Thomas piped in again. Johnson would turn the segment into an Isiah Thomas confession moment.
“Let’s acknowledge on the real, who this guy [Grant Hill] really is sitting here because when [Michael] Jordan was retiring and Grant Hill was coming in the league. We were talking about passing the mantle to you,” said Thomas. “So, it is not like Scottie Pippen could carry the league. Jordan carried the league and we are talking about a guy like yourself carrying the league. So, you can’t sit there and say, oh, well Scottie.”
Reggie Miller asked what is going on between Isiah and Scottie. Then the video cuts to Scottie saying he couldn’t speak for Michael Jordan, but he didn’t want Thomas on the Dream Team.
“Okay, I don’t mind Michael Jordan saying I don’t want Isiah on the Dream Team. I don’t mind if Larry Bird team, but if Scottie Pippen says I don’t want Isiah on the Dream Team, man com’on,” said Thomas.