Isiah Thomas: "Jordan Was A Great Player In The 80s, But They Were Finishing 3rd And 4th In The Division"

Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan have the most storied beef in the NBA, the two have had problems with each other for over 30 years now. And Isiah Thomas has never missed the opportunity to take a shot at the GOAT. 

Michael Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, but in the 1980s, he struggled to make it to the NBA Finals. And Isiah Thomas pointed that out on a talk show once. 

"Let me clarify this for the youngsters on the panel. Jordan was a great player in the 80s, but they were finishing 3rd and 4th in the division," Thomas said. 

"Okay so, I know all of y'all watching wanna say, 'Oh Jordan was the … He was great in the 90s.' Yes, he dominated in the 90s. Yes. But in the 80s, he was out in the first round."

Isiah Thomas isn't the only legend to say this, Tracy McGrady shared a similar opinion recently. So let's have a look at what the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan did during the 1980s.

1984-85 NBA Season:

Regular Season - 38-44 (7th in the East)

Playoffs - Lost 3-1 in the First Round to the Bucks

1985-86 NBA Season:

Regular Season - 30-52 (8th in the East)

Playoffs - Lost 3-0 in the First Round to the Celtics

1986-87 NBA Season:

Regular Season - 40-42 (8th in the East)

Playoffs - Lost 3-0 in the First Round to the Celtics

1987-88 NBA Season:

Regular Season - 50-32 (3rd in the East)

Playoffs - Lost 4-1 in the Conference Semifinals to the Pistons

1988-89 NBA Season:

Regular Season - 47-35 (6th in the East)

Playoffs - Lost 4-2 in the Conference Finals to the Pistons

1989-90 NBA Season:

Regular Season - 55-27 (3rd in the East)

Playoffs - Lost 4-3 in the Conference Finals to the Pistons

Michael Jordan didn't make it out of the first round for three seasons, but that was because the Chicago Bulls roster wasn't as good as might be hoped. Once they built a good team, even in the 80s, he was leading them to deep playoff runs. Isiah still gets some bragging rights though, his Pistons beat the Bulls three years in a row in the playoffs. 

Scottie Pippen Said Michael Jordan Was A Horrible Player Before He Got There

Michael Jordan isn't just beefing with opponents, he's also feuding with his greatest teammate ever, Scottie Pippen. And Pippen himself echoed this statement recently, calling Michael Jordan a 'horrible player' before he got there. 

"LeBron James will be the greatest statistical guy to ever play the game of basketball. There's no comparison to him... I've seen Michael Jordan play before I came to play with the Bulls... [Michael Jordan] was a horrible player. He was horrible to play with. He was all 1 on 1, he was shooting bad shots."

Any legend in the history of the game wouldn't be able to win alone, so a lot of these takes regarding Michael Jordan do sound a little salty. He needed a good team around him to win, but so does every superstar. It's the fact that he's undefeated in the NBA Finals that makes him so great.

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