“Isiah has always pushed back on Michael Jordan, he’s never given him any love” - Rob Parker on the ‘anti-Jordan’ sentiment in Detroit, says some people won’t wear Jordan sneakers there

2022 NBA All-Star Game; Michael Jordan poses as he is inducted to the NBA 75.
2022 NBA All-Star Game; Michael Jordan poses as he is inducted to the NBA 75.
Justin Thomas Hamill

Michael Jordan and his negative relationship with Detroit was outlined by Rob Parker, who explained the beef between him and Isiah Thomas and how some won’t wear Jordans in the city.

Detroit so sour toward Michael Jordan the city won’t wear Jordans

Rob Parker said:

“Isiah has always pushed back on Michael Jordan. He’s never given him any love.”

The rivalry between Chicago and Detroit was arguably one of the most aggressive rivalries in the 90s, maybe even in league history. The Pistons did absolutely everything in their power to hurt Jordan during their playoff series together, so it makes sense that the bad blood stayed.

Plus, it was Michael Jordan and the Bulls that ended up having the last laugh after securing their six championships.

Detroit being left to watch Jordan gather all that success and notoriety would leave the city with a sour taste in their mouths. It makes sense why some won’t wear Jordan’s brand in the city.

During his 13-year career, Isiah Thomas became the Pistons' all-time leader in points, assists, steals and games played.

Playing for Detroit for the entirety of his career makes Thomas a long-standing entity for the Pistons. There is no reason for him and Michael to have a good relationship after everything that happened on the court.

Even after the two retired from the game and the league recognized Michael Jordan and his greatness, Rob Parker explained that the two never overcame their differences. Isiah Thomas refuses to recognize Jordan as the greatest of all time.

Michael Jordan has outlined the beef with Thomas in the past, during a 1992 interview with Playboy magazine.

During the interview, Jordan explained that their spat started during the 1985 NBA All-Star game, where some players on the court were apparently denying Jordan the ball in an attempt to free him out. Michael explained their initial meeting:

“The one time I did go out, I got on an elevator with Isiah Thomas to go downstairs for a league meeting. That was the first time I met him. And I said, 'Hello, how ya doin’?' That’s all I said. I was really intimidated because I didn’t know him and I didn’t want to get on his nerves.
"I didn’t want to seem like a rookie. You know, to just be so stupid. So I was quiet. I stayed in the corner. When I went down to the room for the meeting, I still didn’t say anything.
"After the weekend was over, it got back to me that I was arrogant and cocky and I wouldn’t even speak to Isiah on the elevator, that I gave him the cold shoulder. And I’m saying Isiah Thomas initiated it all.”

That may have been one of Isiah Thomas’ biggest mistakes, as Michael would go on to dominate the Pistons during his later years in Chicago.

Whether Jordan took that meeting personally and wanted to show Detroit who the boss was, Isiah Thomas freezing out Jordan would spark one of the greatest basketball rivalries ever.

If not for that meeting in the elevator, who knows what could have happened?

Edited by Adam Dickson


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