Isiah Thomas debunks notion NBA players used to hate each other in the 80s & 90s: “I really don’t remember that time in the NBA”


Former Detroit Pistons star point guard Isiah Thomas says he doesn’t recall a time when NBA players hated each other off the court. The notion exists that players really hated each other back in the day as they weren’t friends who grew up playing AAU basketball, but Thomas says that was never the case.

If anyone should know, Isiah would. He was part of one of the most hated teams in NBA history – no one enjoyed going up against the “Bad Boy” Pistons. But, speaking on the Atlanta Hawks’ A Night with Legends series, the ex-player insists he was cool with everyone outside of those four lines.

“You know, this narrative about players not being friends and hating each other, I really don’t remember that time in the NBA,” he said. “I was with ‘Nique [Dominique Wilkins] every summer. I was with Magic [Johnson] and George Gervin, and we all traveled around and we played. I remember when I first came in Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] telling me stories about how Bill Russell used to invite Wilt Chamberlain to his house.

So this narrative about all of us having to hate each other—yeah, out on the floor, it was that, it was real competition—but once the four lines was over, you walked outside and it was kinda like ‘OK man, how’s your family? Everybody good?'”

Of course, we don’t imagine he used to hang out with Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen. But Isiah’s comments make it seem like the relationships between players on different teams isn’t really dissimilar to what we see today.

Transcription Credit: Bleacher Report