"The Last Dance" wrapped Sunday and one of the key storylines during the 10-episode documentary series was the war of words between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas. Their relationship has been fractured for quite some time, but that apparently hasn't gotten in the way of Thomas respecting Jordan as a player.
In an appearance on "SportsCenter" on Sunday, former NBC Sports announcer Bob Costas cleared some of the air regarding Jordan and Thomas and said that Thomas believed that Jordan was "the greatest player he had ever played against."
"The relationship between Isiah Thomas and Michael, and that hasn't been repaired, that's obvious, and the controversy about the Dream Team. All that stuff aside: I was there with Isiah through that '97-98 season," Costas said. "I heard every syllable he uttered. Whatever his personal feelings may have been, he never once slighted Michael Jordan. There was never once a left-handed or back-handed comment. He gave him full credit as the greatest player he had ever played against, the greatest player he had ever seen. I never heard him in a production meeting, out to dinner, off the air, never once say anything that diminished Michael Jordan. So he was completely fair and completely professional in his coverage of Michael Jordan during that Last Dance season."
Jordan and Thomas obviously had their fair share of differences over the years. Jordan was miffed at the fact that Thomas and the Detroit Pistons walked off the court without shaking the Chicago Bulls' players' hands following the conclusion of the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.
In addition, Thomas was left off the famous "Dream Team" that won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Many believed that Jordan played a role in Thomas not making that particular squad.
"Being left off the Dream Team, that personally hurt me," Thomas said. "The only thing that's missing from my resume is [the Dream Team] ... I still don't know who did it or why I didn't make it. I know the criteria for making the team, I fit all the criteria. That's a big hole in my resume."
It's no secret that Jordan and Thomas were never the best of friends and their volatile relationship still holds true today. However, even though Thomas wasn't a huge fan of Jordan when the two faced off, the former Pistons star point guard still recognizes how great Jordan truly was.