NBA players are sometimes so passionate that it can carry over into their personal relationships off the court. That's what happened with Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, whose relationship began to deteriorate after the Lakers and Pistons met in back-to-back NBA Finals in 1988 and 1989.
Things went further south a few years later, when Magic fought to keep Thomas off the 1992 Dream Team. Magic admitted in a book that he co-authored with Larry Bird and Jackie MacMullan that he helped keep Thomas off the team because he felt Thomas had spread rumors about his sexuality in 1991 after he announced that he had contracted the HIV virus.
So the emotions were flowing during their reunion on NBATV's Players Only Monthly special, which aired on Tuesday night.
"This has been a tremendous day," Johnson said. "My wife, my mother, my father have been saying y'all need to get back together. So when everybody called, I said no question we're going to do this. And just to sit across from you and relive those moments of fun, excellence, working hard, dreaming big. Who sits up at 19 or 21 dreaming of stuff we wanted to do and now we are here doing it.
"You are my brother. Let me apologize if I hurt you, that we haven't been together and God is good to bring us back together."
The two then shared a long, tearful embrace.
Players and fans alike watched the reconciliation, and some, like Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade, took to Twitter to express their feelings.
The Magic/Zeke interview on NBA TV was awesome..2 of my heros..When the game stops, we should all cherish the friendships that we built..forever..— Chauncey Billups (@1MrBigShot) December 20, 2017
Johnson and Thomas are two of the best and most iconic point guards in NBA history, so it's great to see them bury the hatchet after all these years.