Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009
MIAMI (AP) Hall of Fame players Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson famously kissed each other's cheek moments before tipoff of Game 1 of the 1988 NBA Finals.
Today, the relationship clearly isn't anywhere near as close.
In Thomas' mind, a 17-year-old wound has been reopened in a new book that Johnson and Larry Bird wrote with author Jackie MacMullan. In the book, Johnson says, among other things, that he played a role in keeping Thomas off the 1992 U.S. Olympic team.
"I'm just disappointed and hurt," Thomas said on Thursday night before a promotional event for his men's basketball team at FIU. "I never thought it was him who kept me off the Olympic team. That hurt."
In the book, Magic criticized Thomas' attitude and the way he treated people in the NBA. "Isiah killed his own chances when it came to the Olympics," Johnson said in the book, an advance copy of which was obtained by AP. "Nobody on that team wanted to play with him. . . . I'm sad for Isiah. He has alienated so many people in his life, and he still doesn't get it. He doesn't understand why he wasn't chosen for that Olympic team and that's really too bad. You should be aware when you've ticked off more than half of the NBA."