Isiah Thomas Challenges Michael Jordan for Calling Him an ‘A**hole’: ’If You Didn’t Mean it, Get on National Television and Apologize’


Isiah Thomas wants a public apology from Michael Jordan after the former Chicago Bull called him an “asshole” in his ESPN documentary The Last Dance.

Thomas appeared on Showtime’s All The Smoke on Tuesday and discussed his rocky relationship with Jordan. Their rivalry first developed on the court, when Thomas’ Pistons defeated Jordan on numerous occasions en route to back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. When Jordan’s Bulls finally dethroned them, the Pistons infamously left the court without shaking their hands. That gesture tarnished the relationship between the two players, turning a basketball feud into a personal one that still permeates to this day.

While talking about Thomas in an episode of The Last Dance, Jordan was blunt.

“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent,” Jordan said. “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.”

A producer of the show then showed Jordan a clip of Thomas explaining the infamous walk-off. He wasn’t buying it.

“You can show me anything you want,” Jordan said. “There’s no way you can convince me he wasn’t an asshole.”

Because of the public nature of Jordan’s comments, Thomas wants an apology to be just as public.

“Don’t call me behind the scenes apologizing or asking your friends to apologize,” Thomas said on All The Smoke. “You got on national television and called me an ‘asshole,’ and then you said you hated me. You said that on national television. Now, if you didn’t mean it, get on national television and apologize for it. Now, if you meant it, let it ride as it is.”

Since their playing days, the two have found themselves at events together. Thomas said their interactions contradict Jordan’s comments and he just wants “realness” from him.

“(After) all them years that you supposedly hated me,” Thomas said, “You voted for me to be the president of your union.”

Thomas isn’t the only player that took issue with his portrayal in The Last Dance. Scottie Pippen, Jordan’s own teammate, criticized him for having creative control.

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