Recording casts doubt on Jordan’s Isiah feud stance
In this file photo handled June 4, 1997 Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan stands out his tongue as he goes previous Jeff Hornacek of the Utah Jazz throughout video game two of the NBA Finals at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (VINCENT LAFORET/ AFP).
For nearly thirty years, NBA legend Michael Jordan has actually rejected he managed Isiah Thomas’ exemption from the US Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics – and he stayed with that story in the ESPN documentary The Last Dance, which aired worldwide over the last two months.
But last week on his “Dream Group Tapes” podcast, United States sportswriter Jack McCallum released a 2011 audio interview with Jordan in which the NBA legend relates a pre-Olympics discussion he had with All-star Team GM Rod Thorn.
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I know the requirements of choice for making the team. I fit all the requirements. Which’s a huge hole in my resume. That’s the biggest hole in my resume.
” Rod called me and I stated, ‘Rod, I will not play if Isiah Thomas is on the group,'” said Jordan.” He assured me. He said, ‘You understand what? (Coach) Chuck (Daly) does not want Isiah. So Isiah is not going to belong to the team.'”.
Jordan invested much of episode four of The Last Dance detailing his dislike for Thomas, a fellow Hall of Famer who spent his career with the Detroit Pistons. When the 1992 All-star team was discussed, Jordan once again denied he was associated with keeping Thomas off the group – apparently since Thomas declined to shake hands with the Bulls after Detroit lost to Chicago in the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference finals.
” I understand the criteria of selection for making the group,” Thomas stated on ESPN’s Get Up.” I fit all the requirements. And that’s a huge hole in my resume. That’s the greatest hole in my resume.”.
The All-star team marked the halfway point of Jordan’s profession. Two years later, he took a break from basketball to try his hand at pro baseball, signing with the Chicago White Sox.
The story goes that Jordan – overpowered by the weight of his fame and mentally drained by the murder of his dad – pursued baseball as a new difficulty and a welcome diversion.
Basketball stars Michael Jordan (L) and Earvin “Magic” Johnson clown for the media 25 July during an interview for the US Olympic “Dream Group” in 1992. (KARI MATHIS/ AFP).
” He appreciated the video game,” existing Cleveland Indians supervisor Terry Francona, who managed Jordan with the Double A Birmingham Barons, told ESPN.
” I enjoy the guy. And I don’t like the guy simply in the press. I enjoy the man. I appreciate him. I value how he handled whatever.”.
Francona went on to state he believed the then 31-year-old Jordan might have made it to the big leagues － not as a star, however at least as a reserve outfielder.
Sports Illustrated didn’t agree, and famously pled Jordan to “bag it” in a cover story that would cost the iconic magazine future quotes when the player went back to the NBA a year later on.
” SI totally missed the story,” said David Falk, Jordan’s representative. “Michael provided up whatever he had made as the king of basketball to play minor-league baseball and subject himself to criticism. He put whatever on the line to compete, with absolutely nothing to acquire. That is the essence of sports.
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” To this day, SI has actually never ever asked forgiveness to Michael, and he’ll never speak with them again.”.
Francona stated that’s all part of MJ’s competitive spirit.
” If you informed him no, he was going to discover a way to make it a yes,” he stated. “That is among the secrets to his greatness.”.