Believe it or not, there was a time when Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas had no beef whatsoever. In fact, the Detroit Pistons legends was a big admirer of His Airness, putting him above the competition.
Back in 1990, in the middle of Jordan's feud with the Pistons, Thomas praised the Chicago Bulls icon, calling him 'sweet' for his style of play. In an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show, Jordan saw footage of a prior interview where Isiah showed his admiration for him (4:40).
“Michael Jordan is really unbelievable, in terms of his quickness, strength, his jumping ability. His touch, and also his knowledge and understanding for the game, he by far is the best I’ve ever seen.”
“And Erving (Dr. J) is my boy, but Air Jordan? He’s something else. He’s real SWEET. I mean, dude, you see what he’s been doing? And they’re like we’re in high school.”
Jordan reacted humbly, saying that means a lot to him, and he was proud to see one of his colleagues say nice things about his game.
Of course, their relationship wasn't the best of all given all the controversies between the 'Bad Boys' Pistons and the Jordan-led Bulls, but game recognizes game, and nobody can deny that.
MJ and Zeke starred in incredible battles over the years, with the latter preventing the former from reaching the NBA Finals until Jordan said 'enough' and beat the Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.
After all those battles, Thomas had big respect for Jordan, calling him the GOAT in 1999. In other interviews, he's taken shots at No. 23, saying he dominated him and diminishing his rivalry by picking Magic Johnson and Larry Bird as his competition over His Airness.
Still, you could see Thomas enjoyed watching MJ play, as long as he didn't have to face him.