Despite Failure Tied to Arch Rival Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Pistons Legend’s 1 Trait Left 55YO Author’s Father Floored

During the late 1980s, Michael Jordan engaged in intense rivalries with several notable players in the NBA. Surprisingly, one of his most significant and fierce competitors had a desire to join the Chicago Bulls. Although this seasoned basketball veteran wasn’t able to secure a spot on the Bulls’ roster, a particular skill of his left a lasting impression on the popular 55-year-old author’s father. 

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The sports writer elaborated on how, despite standing at just 5 feet 9 inches tall, this player managed to make a noteworthy impact in a sport typically dominated by taller and physically advantaged athletes.

Rich Cohen’s father appreciated Isaiah Thomas’s game


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Rich Cohen is a renowned sports writer celebrated for works like ‘The Fish that Ate the Whale’ and ‘The Adventures of Herbie Cohen.’ He delved into the 1987-88 NBA season in his book ‘When The Game Was War.’ In this book, Cohen also explored the profound influence of elite basketball player Isaiah Thomas, the infamous “bad boy” of the Detroit Pistons. He highlighted how Thomas earned admiration from Cohen’s own father, further emphasizing the player’s significance during that pivotal NBA season. Speaking of the 2x NBA champion, the author mentioned, “My interest in Isiah Thomas precedes Michael Jordan coming to the Bulls. My father had been a basketball coach and loved the way Isiah played, and he loved that Isiah was a regular-size guy in a game made for giants, but he didn’t play like a regular-size guy, he played like a giant.” He added, “This thing happened where he became a big rival of Michael Jordan, his big dream was to play on the Bulls and to be the big basketball player in Chicago and it became a personal thing over the love of Chicagoans, who was going to get it.”

via Reuters

He employed a strategic approach to outsmart his formidable opponents on the court, relying on his intellect to gain an advantage. An important portion of his competitive spirit stemmed from missing a significant opportunity against Jordan and Magic Johnson.

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Was Isaiah Thomas aspiring to join the Chicago Bulls?

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Thomas unquestionably held a pivotal role for the Detroit Pistons, where his contributions were invaluable. Yet, it’s intriguing to ponder what might have unfolded had he been drafted by the Chicago Bulls instead. As previously mentioned, Thomas was so determined to land with the Bulls that he resorted to unusual tactics during his draft interview, to land in the Bulls. However, he was led to the Pistons as the second overall selection, a move that proved to be mutually beneficial for both the player and the team.


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However, Thomas’ position in the Pistons was indeed a great thing. Do you agree? Tell us in the comments below. 

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