Isiah Thomas is arguably the second greatest point guard of all time, only behind Magic Johnson. The Detroit Pistons legend was one of the best players in the league during his prime, taking his squad to the promised land twice at the end of the 80s.
The 'Bad Boys' Detroit Pistons earned a big reputation during the years they ruled the Eastern Conference, which would hurt Thomas later when he was snubbed from the mighty 1992 Dream Team.
Zeke is a big legend of the game, but that doesn't mean a lot for fans. In fact, he's not as beloved and respected as others, namely Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal and more. Even though it's been a while since he retired from the game, old fans don't seem to forget what he did during his best years and new ones aren't interested in learning about him.
Recently, another beloved legend, Charles Barkley, explained why he thinks Thomas doesn't get the same love as others. The 1993 NBA MVP thinks that there are three main reasons why people often overlook Thomas, and two of them include Michael Jordan. Talking on The Ringer's 'Icon Club,' Barkley said:
“That’s [dirty] 1A. So I think they always gonna hold it against him [Thomas]. But they did pummel Michael [Jordan] to death. But secondly, snubbing Michael in the All-Star Game… And the third thing was when he said they only give Larry Bird credit because he’s white…Those three things are probably why he can’t get in the club."
It's well known that Thomas, along with other stars, allegedly decided to shut down Michael Jordan during the 1985 All-Star Game, which was called the 'freeze-out game.' Jordan also admitted that Thomas wasn't kind to him from their first meeting, which obviously didn't sit well with a young Mike.
This beef has been around for nearly 40 years and nothing points out it'll stop anytime soon. Thomas keeps taking shots at his former rival, while Michael made it very clear that he has no love for Isiah. This is one of the biggest rivalries in NBA history and one that will last for a long long time.