Isiah Thomas Questions Michael Jordan’s GOAT Status, Prefers LeBron James Over MJ (video)

Isiah Thomas

While he was on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, Club Shay Shay, Isiah Thomas once again chose LeBron James as the greatest basketball player of all time.


The Michael Jordan vs LeBron James debate was brought back into the spotlight after the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat this October to win their 17th NBA title. While the Lakers won after ten years, James won his fourth NBA championship. For many fans and retired NBA stars, Jordan’s championships were a major point of comparison between Jordan and James. However, James’ latest title has caused many to reconsider their claim. Isiah Thomas – who faced Jordan in the 90s – has always sided with James, labelling him the NBA GOAT.

Isiah Thomas once again chooses LeBron James over Michael Jordan

Thomas was recently on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, Club Shay Shay. On the podcast, he discussed Jordan, stating how Jordan was the fifth-toughest player he hac played against, after Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird and Julius Erving. He even spoke about James, and how they have never seen a player like that.

« He (LeBron) breaks a record every single night just to remind you you’ve never seen anything like this before ». As per Thomas, it will be hard for people to look back at James and say he was not the GOAT. This interview follows another one in September, where Thomas spoke about James having a « genius-type basketball mind », and being the « Einstein of basketball » for him.

According to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, the Detroit Pistons legend admires James and « his insatiable appetite to be on top and stay on top », and has never seen an NBA player dominate so many statistical categories. While Thomas thinks there are players who dominated areas, he has never seen anyone do it as James does. « For now, Kareem is the best that’s ever done it, » Thomas added. According to the two-time NBA champion, James is going to be the « best » basketball player the world has seen by the time he’s done.

How did the Isiah Thomas and MJ rivalry begin?

While the focus is on the James-Jordan debate, Thomas and Jordan’s rivalry dates back to the 1980s, when the ‘Bad Boy’ Detroit Pistons kept the Chicago Bulls from the playoffs for three consecutive years. In The Last Dance, Jordan referred to the Pistons’ defensive technique as « personal » as it was designed to keep Jordan from scoring.

The rivalry, which apparently began during the 1985 All-Star game, reached its peak when Pistons left the court before shaking hands with the Bulls after their 1991 Eastern Conference Finals’ loss.

Thomas had later defended his team, saying they did not think their actions never extended beyond the game. A year later, despite being one of the best point guards in the NBA, Thomas was excluded from the 1992 Dream Team. Reports suggested that Jordan (and Scottie Pippen) refused to play with Thomas, who was hence left out of the team. Their rivalry was somewhat reignited earlier this year, where Jordan said he stills hates the 90s Pistons.


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