Dennis Rodman has done a lot of crazy things in his life, and saying Isiah Thomas should’ve been on the 1992 Dream Team ahead of Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird certainly is probably one of them.
Rodman was asked during a recent radio appearance on Sirius XM’s “NBA Today” show which Dream Team member shouldn’t have made the roster so Thomas would’ve had a spot.
“I just think the fact that — I don’t know the issues of Michael (Jordan) and Magic (Johnson) and whoever, (Charles) Barkley, and stuff like that, if they didn’t like Isiah,” said Rodman, a teammate of Thomas’ on the Detroit Pistons. “But for me, I felt Isiah should’ve been on that team because of the fact that he deserved it.
“I think that the fact that, even though a lot of people will try deny it or try to correct me when I’m wrong, he should’ve been there instead of Larry Bird. Because Larry Bird was hurt, injured, he could barely play, and he was on that last leg of his career.
“I understand, again, the (preferential) treatment, because he did so much for the game, but I just think for Isiah, I think they should’ve put him on that team without Larry Bird, and that’s my opinion.”
Bird battled foot problems and a bad back during the latter stage of his career and retired after the 1991-92 season. The 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona was his last competitive basketball tournament. Bird wasn’t a top-five player in 1992, but neither was Thomas, not even close.
The reality is, some prominent members of the team didn’t want Thomas to be included. In Jackie MacMullan’s excellent book on Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, “When the Game was Ours,” the Los Angeles Lakers point guard said, “Isiah killed his own chances when it came to the Olympics. Nobody on that team wanted to play with him.”
Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls, the Pistons’ prime rivals of the early 1990s, revealed in a documentary from 2012 they didn’t want Thomas on the Dream Team, either.
Bird absolutely deserved to be on that team. Thomas didn’t, and it’s because of how he handled himself on and off the court.
Listen to Rodman’s comments below.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@greatleaderswag