Categories: Other Sports

Resurfaced Recording Contradicts Michael Jordan’s Dream Team Claims

Michael Jordan’s claims surrounding the Dream Team have been called into question after a resurfaced audio recording of the basketball legend contradicted what he said in ESPN’s documentary, The Last Dance.

The USA basketball team for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona included 11 future Hall of Famers, however, one notable absentee included two-time NBA champion, Isiah Thomas.

Thomas and the Detroit Pistons had an intense rivalry with the Chicago Bulls throughout the first half of Jordan’s career. The rivalry peaked in 1991 when the defending champions unceremoniously walked off the court after the Bulls relinquished them of their title in the Eastern Conference finals.

The following summer, Thomas was omitted from the Dream Team, a decision made all the more surprising considering his Pistons head coach Chuck Daly was taking charge of the USA team.

For years, Jordan had been implicated as a key reason behind Thomas’ absence, however, during the recent 10-part documentary series he denied asking for his rival to be omitted.

“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent. To me, the best point guard of all time is Magic Johnson and right behind him is Isiah Thomas,” said Jordan.

“No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game. Now, it was insinuated that I was asking [for Thomas to be left off the team] but I never threw his name in there.”

However, Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum played an audio recording of Jordan from 2011 on his podcast, The Dream Team Tapes, which refutes these claims.

McCallum wrote a book entitled The Dream Team, where he claimed that Jordan’s opposition to Thomas was vital to him not being selected in 1992. The author went further on the show claiming “Michael Jordan did not want him [Isiah Thomas].”

McCallum proceeds to play the recording of Jordan where he admits to giving selection committee member Rod Thorn an ultimatum before claiming that Chuck Daly didn’t want Thomas on the team.

“Rod Thorn called me. I said, ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team,’” Jordan says in the 2011 interview.

“He assured me. He said, ‘You know what? Chuck Daly doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team.’”

McCallum is the latest to criticise the acclaimed documentary which was created in collaboration with Jordan’s production company with Scottie Pippen reportedly ‘livid’ following his portrayal while former Bulls teammate Horace Grant was publicly critical of the series and Jordan’s role in it.

“When that so-called documentary is about one person, basically, and he has the last word on what’s going to be put out there … it’s not a documentary,” Grant said. “It’s his narrative of what happens in the last, quote-unquote dance. That’s not a documentary because a whole bunch of things was cut out, edited out. So that’s why I call it a so-called documentary.”

Michael Corry

Sports Journalist based in Dublin. Hit me up if you have a unique story to tell. Email: Twitter: @Corry_10 Instagram: @Corry_10

Published by

Recent Posts

Quiz: Name Every Liverpool Captain of the Premier League Era

Can you name every Liverpool captain of the Premier League era? Since the Premier League started in the 1992/93 season,… Read More

5 mins ago

Showcase Your Sport: Q&A With Swimming Sensation Mona McSharry

In our new series, ‘Showcase your Sport’, in association with the Federation of Irish Sport, we will be giving you… Read More

2 hours ago

Transfer News: PSG Want Rashford, Guardiola Interested In Alaba And Lovren Could Still Leave Liverpool

In today's transfer news round-up, Paris Saint-Germain wanting to sign Marcus Rashford is the standout story. Pep Guardiola is also… Read More

2 hours ago

Quiz: Name Every Opponent Conor McGregor Has Faced In The UFC

While he insists he's retired, it wouldn't surprise many if Conor McGregor ended up fighting again over the coming years.… Read More

3 hours ago

Pundit Arena Daily Sports Brainteaser Challenge – Day 51

Welcome to day 51 of the Pundit Arena daily sports brainteaser challenge. Each day, we’ll give you a sporting brainteaser… Read More

3 hours ago

Why Manchester United Couldn’t Make A Fifth Substitution Against Southampton

There was plenty of confusion among those watching Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Southampton on Monday night. Other talking points… Read More

4 hours ago