Michael Jordan recording: ‘I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on’ 1992 Dream Team

Even after 28 years, it’s the story that just won’t die.

ESPN’s recently aired documentary series “The Last Dance,” chronicling Michael Jordan’s final championship season with the Chicago Bulls, rekindled interest in Jordan’s long-running feud with Isiah Thomas, including how the Pistons’ star was left off the 1992 Dream Team that won Olympic gold in Barcelona.

Author Jack McCallum addressed the controversy in the most recent episode of his “The Dream Team Tapes” podcast series. McCallum said Jordan brought up the issue of Thomas himself in a 2011 interview.

“When they called me and asked me to play — Rod Thorn called me. I said ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.’ He assured me. He said, ‘Chuck doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team,’” Jordan said on the recording that McCallum played during the podcast.

Chuck, of course, referred to Chuck Daly, the U.S. national team coach who also coached Thomas with the Pistons. McCallum went on to address the argument that Jordan should not have had the power to exclude Thomas from the team, saying it was quite clear at the time that Jordan wasn’t the only one who didn’t want Isiah on the roster.

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