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Michael Jordan Said Isiah Thomas Is The Second Best Point Guard Ever: "No Matter How Much I Hate Him, I Respect His Game.”

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(via Chicago Sun-Times)

(via Chicago Sun-Times)

Isiah Thomas is one of the most underrated legends that has ever played the game. There's no question that he is extremely overlooked for someone that managed to win two championships and was the face of the "Bad Boy" Pistons.

Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas notably had a rivalry, but even Michael Jordan had to respect his abilities. In his documentary, The Last Dance, Michael Jordan notably claimed that Isiah Thomas was the second-best point guard in NBA history behind Magic Johnson.

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.

Despite his respect for Isiah Thomas, there's no question that Michael Jordan didn't like him on a personal level. In another section of The Last Dance, Michael Jordan notably claimed Isiah Thomas was an "a**hole".

I know it's all bulls*it. Whatever he says now, he knows it wasn't his true actions then... You can't convince me he wasn't an a**hole.

There's no question that Michael Jordan has reason to dislike Isiah Thomas. The Detroit Pistons were often extremely physical with Michael Jordan on the court and used "the Jordan Rules" to stop Michael Jordan from dominating on the court.

“This is what the Jordan Rules were,” Malone said. “On the wings, we’re going to push him to the elbow and we’re not gonna let him drive to the baseline. Number two, when he’s on top, we’re gonna influence him to his left. When he got the ball in the low post, we’re gonna trap him from the top. That’s the Jordan Rules, and it was that simple.”

Even with those defensive strategies against Michael Jordan, there'd be times where he'd get past them. At that point, either Rick Mahorn or Bill Laimbeer would knock him down to the ground. To add to that, at that point in time, the referees were far more lenient with contact even for superstars.

“That’s when [Bill] Laimbeer and [Rick] Mahorn would go up and knock him down to the ground,” Malone said.

"When we played 'Jordan' rules, the referees never looked at MJ and see if he was injured after a hard foul, none of that protecting "the savior" superstar like they do today. They didn't do that," Salley added.

There is no question that the dislike between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas runs to this day. Isiah Thomas once claimed that he'd be willing to sit down with Michael Jordan and sort out their differences, but thus far we have not seen that happen.

The Last Dance provided us with a lot of insight into Michael Jordan's history and mentality at the time, including his opinion on one of his greatest rivals. It is definitely one of the greatest sports documentaries ever, and you can check out some of the best moments down below.