Back in 1987, Isiah Thomas was already creating trouble in the NBA with his bold statements. During that time, he took a big shot at Larry Bird and his MVP awards. For Isiah, the fact that Bird was white made people see him with different eyes, something that wouldn’t happen if he was a black basketball player.

Via Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post:

The race issue is out of the closet in professional basketball, and we have Dennis Rodman to thank for it. It was Rah-Rah Rodman, Detroit’s motorized hot dog, who said after Larry Bird scored 37 points in their seventh game — still another heroic Bird effort in a decisive game — “The only reason he won all those MVPs is because he’s white.” Isiah Thomas compounded the slander by saying, “If {Bird} was black, he’d be just another good player.”

To quote Kevin McHale, who made the proper response, they’re “idiotic.” Bird is not just a great player, he’s a very great player. And if he were black, he’d be a very great player. His career averages are 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists per game. If they took a poll tomorrow for the all-time NBA team, you could stop naming forwards at B: Bird and Baylor.

Bird led his Celtics to become one of the biggest dynasties in the NBA during the 80s, always fighting with the Lakers to see who was the best team in the NBA. This man was unstoppable; even though he didn’t look like the most athletic player of all, he was dominant, he could score, he could pass, he could do everything on the court.

Perhaps Thomas was just trying to create controversy with his comments since nobody but him believes Bird was privileged for his skin color. The man is one of the best players of all time and nobody can say the opposite. He was a 3x NBA champion, 3x MVP, 2x Finals MVP and was named to the All-Star Game 12 times among other things. His accolades do all the talk.

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