OKLAHOMA CITY — For all the criticism he’s taken over the years from all corners about all things, Isiah Thomas has a right to be upset about not being a part of the greatest collection of basketball stars ever assembled.
There’s a reason the splendid documentary, “The Dream Team” presented by Right Guard, on NBA TV last night addressed Isiah’s snub as early in the program as it did.
And that’s also why his Isiah’s Twitter response, some 20 years later of course, resonates with me:
“Today, like all Americans, I congratulate the Dream Team on their anniversary. I am proud of my career in the NBA and have fond memories of going head to head with all the members of the Team. I can’t speak to the selection process as I wasn’t involved. But 20 years later, their gold medal is still a momentous achievement.”
Even if Thomas is as bitter as any one of us would be if we’d have been snubbed for what could have been the most magical moment of our career, the fact that he chose to take the higher road makes it much easier to digest.
Anyone that disputes Isiah’s worthiness, based on his basketball merits alone, needs a history lesson in the game. (Think of it in contemporary terms and imagine someone picking a “Dream Team” starting with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, but Chris Paul gets snubbed somehow.)
Michael Jordan was in a class of his own at that time, so it makes sense that the first call was made to him. But after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Isiah should have been the fourth pick of the selection committee.
And no matter how bitter some of those guys were towards Isiah and his Bad Boys Pistons for the things that went on during the NBA season, they realize now where he stands in the history of the game and that he should have been in that Dream Team mix.
“Isiah should have been on the team,” Clyde Drexler said in a radio interview yesterday. “He was the best point guard in the league. The selection committee made a mistake.”
To their credit, it’s the only mistake they made!
*** If you missed “The Dream Team” on NBA TV last night, it will re-air on June 15 at 10:30 p.m., June 16 at 12 a.m. and June 17: 4 p.m. (All times ET) ***