ESPN’s long-awaited The Last Dance documentary was a rousing success. The 10-part series captivated audiences and re-opened discussions on many theories about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
On Tuesday, an old audio clip seems to have disproven one of the documentary’s claims.
Journalist Jack McCallum launched “The Dream Team Tapes” podcast in 2011. In the series, he posted an interview with Jordan about the 1992 Olympics.
“Rod Thorn called me,” Jordan tells McCallum in the recording. “I said, ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.”
An early episode of The Last Dance rehashed the issues between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons. After losing to the Bulls in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons left the court without shaking hands. Jordan admitted his relationship with the players would never be the same.
For years, journalists suspected this incident is the reason behind Isiah Thomas’ exclusion from the 1992 U.S. Olympic team. Many believe Jordan himself advised Rod Thorn to exclude Thomas. During the documentary, Jordan denied those claims.
“I respect Isiah Thomas’ talent,” Jordan said. “To me, the best point guard of all time is Magic Johnson and behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game…it was insinuated that I was asking about him, but I never threw his name in there.”
Rod Thorn recently joined ESPN’s Golic and Wingo to discuss the Dream Team. Thorn denied the rumors as well.
“There was never anything in my conversation with [Jordan] that had to do with Isiah Thomas,” Thorn said. “Period.”
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