There have been many rivals over the course of NBA History. Wilt vs Russell, Bird vs Magic, Shaq vs Kobe. But perhaps the fiercest of all of them may be Jordan vs Thomas.
As they clashed in the late 80s, their matchups were always extremely physical. As hate for each other grew, tensions would rise in their playoff battles to follow. Things got so bad, that when the "Dream Team" was being put together, Jordan went so far as to say he would not play if Thomas was also on the team.
This rivalry has been revisited in "The Last Dance" documentary and it's been astounding to witness the hate these two players had for each other.
In one particular part of the doc, Jordan talks about the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals and is asked to react to Isiah Thomas' explanation on why his team refused to shake hands after the Bulls' swept the series.
"I know it’s all bull----," Jordan said in the fourth episode of "The Last Dance," the 10-part documentary on Jordan’s NBA career and the 1997-98 Bulls’ season. "Whatever he says now, you know it wasn’t his true actions then. He has time left to think about it, or the reaction from the public has changed his perspective."
"You can show me anything you want," Jordan said."There’s no way you can convince me he wasn’t a (jerk)."
Needless to say, the bitter feelings still exist today. In Jordan's eyes, IT's behavior on the basketball court told him the kind of man he was and there's just no going back from that.
Obviously, Thomas sees it differently. On "The Last Dance" his version of events was also told.
"Adrian Dantley was shooting a free throw, and the Boston Celtics were walking off during the game," Thomas said, per NBC. "And I grab McHale and then he stopped as he was walking off the floor. That's how they left the floor. And to us, that was okay."
Thomas would go on to say that the Pistons would've congratulated the Bulls by today's standards, but it wasn't the norm back then.
No matter whose side you take, the Jordan vs Thomas documentary is definitely one of the fiercest we've seen. And, unlike a lot of them, it's one that lives on even today.
In Jordan's eyes, his Detroit rival will always be an a**hole.