1.5.20

Rod Thorn (Dream Team exec): "Michael Jordan didn’t keep Isiah Thomas off Dream Team"

Isiah Thomas said on Monday he would be “more disappointed today” if he was held off the 1992 Dream Team because he didn’t shake hands with Michael Jordan after the Bulls eliminated Thomas’ Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.

But one of the Dream Team’s main architects said on Wednesday that wasn’t the case, despite the fact Jordan expressed anger with the Pistons great’s lack of sportsmanship in Episode 4 of the “Last Dance.”

Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA executive who was one of the main builders of the Dream Team roster, said Thomas wasn’t held off the squad because he upset Jordan over the shake snub.



“There was never anything in my conversation with [Jordan] that had to do with Isiah Thomas, period,” Thorn said Wednesday during an interview with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo. “He said, ‘I’ll do it.’ … Isiah’s name never came up during that conversation. And he never backtracked and said he didn’t want to do it from that time on, to those of us in the NBA office.

“Now, if that in fact happened, then it happened with somebody else; because when I talked to him, he ended up saying he would definitely [play for the Dream Team].”

Nevertheless, Jordan made it known during Sunday’s documentary installment that he was still upset with Thomas and the Pistons’ decision not to shake hands, and wasn’t about to let his fellow Hall of Famer off the hook.

“I know it’s all BS,” he said. “Whatever he said, I know it wasn’t his true actions, that he’s had time enough to think about it. The reaction of the public has changed his reaction to it.

“What it comes down to is simple. Respect. And sportsmanship.”

Thomas, who did express regret in the documentary for failing to shake hands after the game, said Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up!” that it still stings that he was left off the Dream Team and seemed to suggest Jordan could have been the reason he didn’t make the squad.

“I tried to do everything correctly, and I thought I should have made the Dream Team,” Thomas said. “However, I wasn’t a part of it. That hurt me. And looking back, if I’m not a part of the Dream Team because a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone’s hand, if that’s the reason why I didn’t make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected.”

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