“But they did pummel Michael to death”

Unlike many of the NBA’s all-time greats, Isiah Thomas is regularly overlooked by some basketball fans. The legendary Detroit Pistons point guard’s achievements are both incredible and awe-inspiring. Yet despite his feats, he’s often treated as somewhere on the periphery when it comes to basketball greatness.

Thomas was excluded from the Dream Team that went on to dominate the 1992 Olympics when he could have easily been a shoo-in for that squad. Besides Michael Jordan not wanting him on the roster, he’s also been seemingly ostracized by certain circles in the NBA and fans.

In Jackie MacMullan’s Icons Club, she presented a Charles Barkley interview, where “Chuck” gave a candid answer as to why Thomas is not that popular among fans:

“That’s [dirty] 1A. So I think they’re always gonna hold it against him [Thomas]. But they did pummel Michael [Jordan] to death. But secondly, snubbing Michael in the All-Star Game… And the third thing was when he said they only give Larry Bird credit because he’s white… Those three things are probably why he can not get in the club. ”

Some players have all the proper credentials, but lack that certain “something” that endears them to the public, their peers, and the media. They are icon enigmas.This is #IconsClub with Jackie MacMullan: open.spotify.com/episode/1a0EjO…

Isiah Thomas was a two-time NBA champion playing for the Detroit Pistons, who anchored their success with a physicality that others labeled as downright dirty. His supporting cast had some of the most physical players during that time, including Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and James Edwards.

Michael Jordan’s aerial attacks were often the center of the Pistons’ physicality and roughhousing back in the day. Their style of play rubbed many the wrong way. And whether it’s fair or not, it certainly contributed to Thomas’ lack of popularity.

MJ flipped a switch following the Bulls’ three straight playoff losses to the Pistons.After getting beat up by Detroit’s “Jordan Rules,” MJ found ways to score without dribbling the basketball.👉 bit.ly/2VXRMLX https://t.co / u0FsdRfEZJ

The one-time Finals MVP also got the ire of thousands of basketball fans when the then-rookie Michael Jordan was clearly frozen in the 1985 All-Star Game. Thomas and Jordan were teammates in the East squad in that contest. “His Airness” would later admit that he was too “naive” at that time that he was deliberately being snubbed by his teammate.

Isiah Thomas’ racist comments on Larry Bird caused an uproar among NBA fans

Isiah Thomas & # 039;  racist remarks against Larry Bird in 1987 earned him the ire of basketball fans. [Photo: YouTube]
Isiah Thomas’ racist remarks against Larry Bird in 1987 earned him the ire of basketball fans. [Photo: YouTube]

Isiah Thomas’ biggest mistake that most NBA fans will not forget or probably forgive was when he dismissed Larry Bird’s basketball accomplishments because of his color. Although Isiah Thomas would later call it a sarcastic joke, the incident was already etched into the minds of many.

” Larry Bird is a very, very good basketball player. I think he’s an exceptional talent. But I’d have to agree with Rodman, if he was black he’d be just another good guy. ”

Beating Michael Jordan and pushing the boundaries of hardcore basketball can be easily forgotten and forgiven. The Larry Bird brouhaha was an entirely different thing. At thatheme, the backlash was so intense that Isiah Thomas joined Bird in a press conference to clarify his comments.

Although “Larry Legend” merely shrugged off the whole thing, Thomas would forever be a villain in the eyes of many.

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