AUDIO: Michael Jordan Admitted He Wouldn’t Have Played on Dream Team With Isiah Thomas

It’s been over a week since The Last Dance concluded, but it remains a topic of conversation. One of the subplots of the documentary — which had elements of an autobiography given Michael Jordan’s control over the content — was whether MJ kept Isiah Thomas off the 1992 Dream Team. There were a variety of motives, from Isiah allegedly freezing him out from getting the ball in the All-Star Game to the physicality of the Bad Boy Pistons to the infamous refusal to shake the Bulls’ hands when Chicago finally vanquished them.

Audio has come out, via Jack MacCallum’s Dream Team Tapes podcast, that is at least somewhat contradictory to that claim:

The beginning of the audio clip is a little muffled, but Jordan clearly says that he told Rod Thorn that he wouldn’t play if Isiah Thomas was on the team. Now, it’s certainly possible that this was an opinion that was shared by other Dream Teammates, but Jordan himself admitted that it was a him-or-me scenario with him and Isiah. A Dream Team without 1992 Michael Jordan would have had significantly less clout.

However, in the film, MJ downplayed his role in keeping Isiah off the Dream Team. “You want to attribute it to me, go ahead and be my guest,” he said. “But it wasn’t me.”

The weirdest thing about this whole situation is that MJ didn’t just own it in The Last Dance — he had his pettiness on full display, even calling Isiah Thomas an asshole at one point. Why not just admit his hand in the Dream Team snub to the millions of people watching the film?

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.