Episodes 3 and 4 of The Last Dance documentary, have reminded the sports world that the animosity between Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Isaiah Thomas’ Pistons, runs deep. (A silly thing, when put in its proper perspective). And of course, much has been made of Thomas’ snub from arguably the greatest assembly of basketball talent on one team ever, the ’92 Dream Team.
Unfortunately the talk surrounding Thomas’ exclusion, is usually limited to a debate over who was better at the point guard position: Isaiah Thomas, or John Stockton. Most Isaiah Thomas sympathisers conclude that he was by far, the better player. I also have Thomas over Stockton but “by a hair” as Max Kellerman stated today, and find it absurd that anyone would put any point guard (including ‘Magic’ Johnson) a country mile ahead of the all time leader in steals and assists.
But what Skip Bayless on his Skip & Shannon Undisputed show today reminded the world of, was that Isaiah Thomas’ exclusion had nothing really to do with whether he was better in 1992 than John Stockton, rendering the debate moot.
After recapping the announcement of the first ten players of the Dream Team in September 1991, which included ‘Magic’ Johnson as starting point guard and John Stockton as his backup, Skip Bayless recalled that “six months later they announced they picked Clyde Drexler over Isaiah Thomas as the 11th man.”
Skip then reminded us that “John Stockton broke his leg and healed fairly quickly but guess what? They announced that the alternate for point guard was not Isaiah Thomas…it was Joe Dumars!”
As stated previously, Isaiah Thomas’ exclusion from the ’92 Dream Team had nothing to do with John Stockton’s inclusion.
Skip Bayless makes the point that Stockton was chosen because he was a better fit. I don’t know if I agree with that. I think both of those guys should have been on that team if we’re just going by the twelve best players at the time.