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One of the many great debates across the NBA landscape is who is the greatest player of all-time?
One of the best guards to ever lace ’em up, Isiah Thomas, said his pecking order starts with the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Then, however, Thomas said it comes down to two guys — Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 19, 2018
It should be noted, Thomas and Jordan had a fierce rivalry on the court during their playing days.
Thomas reportedly led a freeze-out of Jordan, then a rookie, at the NBA All-Star Game.
Jordan returned the favor, pushing for Thomas to not be part of the original Dream Team, which won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1992.
Magic Johnson verified that Thomas was not wanted on the Dream Team in the book he and Larry Bird co-wrote with the great Jackie MacMullan, “When the Game was Ours.”
“Nobody on that team wanted to play with him,” Johnson wrote. “Michael didn’t want to play with him. Scottie [Pippen] wanted no part of him. Bird wasn’t pushing for him. Karl Malone didn’t want him. Who was saying, ‘We need this guy?’ Nobody.’”
As the point guard for the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons, Thomas and his teammates stood in the way of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, winning back-to-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990 and eliminating the Jordan-led Bulls in the playoffs in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
Finally, Jordan & Co. dethroned Detroit in the 1991 Eastern Conference Dinals, clinching on the Pistons’ home floor. Detroit’s starters, including Thomas, walked off the court with time remaining on the game clock without shaking hands with the Bulls players.
So it should come as no surprise Thomas would take LeBron over Michael, given the choice.