The long rumored blackballing of Isiah Thomas from the 1992 Dream Team that won basketball gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics has been confirmed.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com reports that he saw a preview of tonight's documentary airing on NBA TV and Michael Jordan and his Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen 'shredded' Thomas in the feature. Here's what Pippen had to say.
Isiah was the general (of the Bad Boy Pistons),’’ Pippen said. “He was the guy who would yap at his teammates and say ‘Kick them on their ass. Do whatever you have to do.’ No, I didn’t want him on the Dream Team.
Can't really get more cut and dried than that I suppose. The Bulls and Pistons battled in the early 90s and clearly what transpired on the court didn't stay there. Jordan, who is known for holding grudges, admitted as much.
Jordan didn't hold back when it came to talk about Isiah.
That was one of the stipulations put to me (on the team) that Isiah wasn’t part of the team.
I was already looking forward to this documentary and this only heightens it. That Dream Team was easily the greatest team ever assembled and they absolutely annihilated everybody they played. The USA squad won their games by an average of 44 points on their way to the gold medal. It was the first year the U.S. used professional players in the Olympics and it changed the game around the globe.
By the way, if you don't recall, a freshly out of college Christian Laettner was on that team that Isiah, one of the best players ever, was left off of. The documentary premieres tonight at 9pm Eastern on NBA TV.
How about the top ten plays from their 1992 Olympics?