The longstanding feud between basketball icons Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas is no secret, and it seems the embers of that rivalry continue to smolder, even years after their playing days.
Four-time NBA champion John Salley, who had the unique experience of playing alongside both legends, recently provided insight into this enduring animosity.
When asked by Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson why Thomas garners disrespect from some quarters of the basketball world, Salley offered a compelling perspective.
He attributed a significant portion of this unfavorable perception to a “false narrative” that painted Thomas as unwilling to pass the ball to Jordan.
“Because it was a false narrative,” Salley said. “Isiah took the fall when they said that he didn’t want to give the ball to Michael [Jordan], which when you’re watching that game he gave the ball to Michael the whole time.”
Salley elaborated further, revealing that during his career, Michael Jordan, with whom he shared the same agent, sought to influence Salley’s opinion of Isiah Thomas. Jordan, it appears, wanted Salley to harbor negative sentiments toward the former Pistons star.
“Michael and I had the same agent and at times he wanted me not to like Isiah. That was his personal thing. But there’s no reason for it to be like that. I just don’t understand because he is really a good guy,” he added.