The New Leaf Annex

Why Would Anyone Believe Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan and many of his supporters have long insisted that his rival with Isiah Thomas, a fellow NBA Hall of Famer, began when Mr. Thomas “froze” Mr. Jordan out at Mr. Jordan’s first All Star game in 1985. Despite there being no evidence for Mr. Jordan’s claims, the story persists such that Mr. Thomas felt compelled to take to Twitter to debunk it after it appeared in a summer 2022 article. A longer debunking appeared on NBA.com in 2001, when Mr. Thomas coached Mr. Jordan in the 2003 NBA All Star Game (that artifact of history was born from the intersection of Mr. Thomas’s brief stint as Head Coach of the Indiana Pacers and Mr. Jordan’s briefer stint as a player for the Washington Wizards). Although there is no evidence supporting Mr. Jordan’s freeze out claims, I suppose there is no evidence comprehensively refuting them. One could say we are left with a he said-he said between two NBA legends with many supporters and detractors. How should we break the tie? I submit that regardless of what one thinks of Mr. Thomas, Mr. Jordan produced a TV series wherein he chose to brag about how he invented slights in order to motivate himself. In light of the foregoing, I will side with Mr. Thomas and suggest that sports journalists think more critically before publishing as fact every story that Mr. Jordan tells them.

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