In “The Last Dance” episodes that aired last Sunday, it became clear to everyone that there is still no love lost between Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan close to 30 years later.
In a recent CBS interview, the Hall of Famer Thomas, who was an integral of the “Bad Boy” Pistons of the late ’80s and early ’90s, ranked the best players he ever played against, and Jordan came in at number four on the list.
Ranked ahead of Jordan were Kareem Abdul- Jabar, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. Julius Erving finished fifth.
Thomas based his reasoning for Jordan being ranked fourth in Jordan, not having to beat Larry Bird, Magic, and Dr. J to three-peat.
When you put Jordan and his basketball team in the ’80s, they weren’t a very successful team,” Thomas told CBS Sports. “They just weren’t. When you talk about Jordan and his team dominating, they dominated the ’90s. But when you put him with those Lakers teams and those Pistons teams and those Celtics teams, they all beat him. They just did. … What separated Jordan from all of us was he was the first one to three-peat. But he didn’t three-peat against Magic, Larry and Dr. J.”
It doesn’t seem as though Jordan and Thomas will be making up anytime soon.
Flip the page to see Thomas’ list of the best NBA players he played against.