There have been a lot of back and forths regarding Michael Jordan’s involvement in Isiah Thomas’ snubbed from the 1992 Dream Team. They never liked each other and most evidence pointed towards ‘Black Jesus’ asking for Thomas to be out of the team.
However, not only did Magic Johnson claim that half of the team didn’t want Thomas on board, but Michael Jordan categorically denied that narrative, stating that he never asked Ron Thorn to take Zeke out of the team despite how much he hated him:
“Before the ’92 Olympics,” Jordan says, via James Herbert of CBS Sports. “(selection committee chairman) Rod Thorn calls me and says, ‘We would love for you to be on the Dream Team.” I say, ‘Who’s all playing?’ He says, ‘What does that mean?’ I say, ‘Who’s all playing?’ He says, ‘Well, the guy you’re talking about or you’re thinking about, he’s not going to be playing.’” Jordan said.
“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent. To me, the best point guard of all-time is Magic Johnson, and right behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game. Now, it was insinuated that I was asking about him, but I never threw his name in there. The Dream Team, based on the environment and the camaraderie that happened on that team, it was the best harmony. Would Isiah have made a different feeling on that team? Yes. If you want to attribute it to me, go ahead, be my guest. But it wasn’t me,” Jordan concluded.
However, Jack McCallum recently posted published footage from 1991 where Jordan specifically admits to telling Thorn that he wouldn’t be a part of the team if Isiah Thomas was there:
Michael Jordan on tape saying he wouldn’t play on Dream Team with Isiah Thomas
(h/t @NotScTop10plays )
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 26, 2020
“I don’t wanna play if Isiah Thomas is on the team”, Jordan said, to which Thorn replied “You know what? Chuck doesn’t want him either, so Isiah’s not going to be a part of the team,” McCallum reported on The Dream Team Tapes with Jack McCallum.
At the end of the day, it seems that some of Sam Smith’s claims about ‘The Last Dance’ weren’t that far-fetched at all. The author of ‘The Jordan Rules’ thinks some of the stories covered in the documentary were either false or ‘based on true stories’.
Whether that’s the truth or not, there’s no way for us to find out, but this definitely puts an asterisk on the credibility of that footage and interviews.