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Isiah Thomas Claims Michael Jordan Traded His Friend Charles Oakley For More Protection Against The Bad Boy Pistons

Isiah Thomas Claims Michael Jordan Traded His Friend Charles Oakley For More Protection Against The Bad Boy Pistons

There are some things in this world that you can bet your house on and one of those is Isiah Thomas finding ways to take shots at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The rivalry between the Detroit Pistons and the Bulls in the late 80s was one of the NBA's most intense, and a lot of it has carried over despite 30 years having passed since.

Thomas recently suggested that Jordan didn't go through the greats of the 80s like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to get his titles, insisting instead that it was his story that had been changed into the narrative around Jordan to further his case as the GOAT. During the same conversation on the 'Point Forward' podcast, Thomas went on to accuse MJ of trading away his friend Charles Oakley so that he could have more protection when his team faced the Pistons. 

“So we in Chicago and Chicago has just traded Oakley because he wasn’t physical enough. They traded [Charles] Oakley for [Bill] Cartwright. Jordan needed more protection, so they brought Cartwright in and you know he had this, you know, they said he swung his arms.”

The Pistons were infamous for their overly physical style of play, and Jordan famously hated how much they constantly fouled him in those games. It's no secret that Jordan and Oakley were good friends and remained so even after Oak joined the Knicks but at the end of the day, the Bulls made the moves they needed to get the right pieces around MJ and win the championship. 

Thomas has clearly always had his problems with the influence that Michael Jordan enjoyed during the 90s and it doesn't seem like he's letting the beef die anytime soon. For his part, MJ has rarely engaged apart from The Last Dance, but it definitely seems like there will always be some bad blood between the two legends.