Echoing comments he made a week ago, Isiah Thomas said he wasn't aware of how Michael Jordan felt about him until he saw the ESPN docu-series The Last Dance earlier this year. Whether or not you believe that is up to you, but Thomas made those comments during an episode of Club Shay Shay, Shannon Sharpe's podcast, that was put up on Tuesday.
Specifically, he was quoted as saying, "Until I watched the Last Dance, I didn’t realize he (Michael Jordan) felt the way he felt about me," per The Hoop Central:
Among many topics covered in that series, a good chunk of time is devoted to Jordan's Bulls finally being able to beat Thomas' Pistons in 1991 to advance to the NBA Finals after three straight years of being eliminated in the postseason by Detroit.
Also there was time devoted to Thomas' omission from the Dream Team in 1992, which was said to be because Jordan wouldn't play with him.
With that background established, watch Thomas make his comments on the doc here:
On the note of their rivalry, a prolonged scene in The Last Dance was dedicated to the Pistons refusing to shake the Bulls' hands after they were swept in the '91 Eastern Conference Finals.
Thomas rationalized that in an interview during the ESPN doc by saying that the Celtics did a similar thing to the Pistons when Boston's time as the dominant power in the East had set in 1988 and, according to Thomas, nobody really gave a shit.
“Adrian Dantley was shooting a free throw, and the Boston Celtics were walking off during the game,” Thomas said, according to 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.” He added that the Pistons would've made nice with the Bulls if the series occurred today, but that back in their era that wasn't the norm.
Asked to respond to Thomas, prior to actually seeing his explanation, Jordan said: "I know it’s all bullshit. 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. There’s no way you can convince me he wasn’t an asshole."
Then his reaction to the actual comments became a meme:
Okay, that was a lot to write to describe something you probably already knew.
Other (Jordan-related) topics touched on by Thomas/Sharpe include Thomas saying he was "dominant over" Jordan before a wrist injury messed that up in 1991:
Also he put together a list of the toughest players he ever faced, which led to him putting Jordan at No. 5:
These are not inherently controversial answers, but may become so if Twitter or ESPN decide they are. Consider yourself filled in but, if you want to be fully aware (and have a good chunk of time) you can see the full episode here.