Unless you've been living under a rock for the last like 30 years or so, you should know by now that Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan pretty much hate each other's guts. It's not just the Bulls/Pistons rivalry, but also in large part because Isiah was left off the 1992 Dream Team.
Depending on who you believe, rumor has it that Jordan threatened to not play if Isiah made it. Jordan denied it in The Last Dance, but come on. Everyone knows the deal. So yeah, I think it's fair to say that Isiah still holds a grudge all these years later, and that's why his statement today was the most predictable thing of all time and is no accident. He knows what he's doing. He knows MJ will see it. How do I know this? Because he's done this before! Just last October we saw Isiah say the same exact thing
I find the timing of this latest example rather interesting too. Jordan was one of the biggest storylines of All Star Weekend. Him showing up for the Top 75 celebration was awesome since nobody knew if he would actually make it. He proved once again that there is truly no one like MJ. Of all the legends we saw that day, MJ was truly the one that stood out. So what does Isiah do immediately after that weekend? Goes on TV with his LeBron is actually the GOAT take. That's a level of pettiness I think we can all get behind.
Now, is his statement even true? I dunno, this whole GOAT debate is so exhausting. It's subjective in my opinion. Jordan people have dug in their heels and LeBron people have done the same. It's one of those arguments where there is no winner. Everyone loses. I will say this, I do not think this is a situation where LeBron is on the fence, but him passing Kareem is what gets him over the hump. The only thing that matters when you have the GOAT talk is titles. Sorry, but that's the truth. Since LeBron will never be 6-0, he at least has to hit that 6 number. At least for me and how I view this. If he never wins another title, people aren't going to give a shit about how he's the all time leading scorer. Ever notice how nobody calls Kareem the GOAT? Like LeBron, he played for 20+ years. He has had the all time scoring record for decades, and he has 5 rings. His resume is about as ridiculous as LeBron's, and not even he was talked about as the GOAT. To be honest he might be one of the most underappreciated legends we have. So if LeBron only has 4 titles, the same shit is going to be the case with him, regardless of how many points he finishes with.
But again, this is not really the point of what Isiah is doing. It wouldn't shock me if he doesn't even believe this, but he knows it's going to get under MJ's skin. This is a man that wouldn't shake KAT's hand because he just destroyed the Hornets in a random regular season game. You think he's going to just brush this off? No chance. That's not the MJ we know and love.