David Robinson: Isiah Shouldn't Be Surprised He Was Left Off Dream Team

By 97.1 The Ticket

Nearly 30 years later, the issue of Isiah Thomas' exclusion from the Dream Team has bubbled back to the surface. 

Was it Michael Jordan's doing? Was it Magic Johnson's? Was it a collective decision by the shot-callers within USA Basketball? Whatever the case, politics surely played a part. 

Thomas knows he fit the criteria for selection. But he didn't have any NBA allies outside Detroit, the cost of playing for the Bad Boys Pistons. So while some may be miffed by Thomas' snub, at least one member of the Dream Team says no one -- including Thomas himself -- should be all that surprised. 
"Man, I’ve heard all this talk," David Robinson said on the Bulls Talk Podcast. "I’ll say this about it. If you have a reputation and you take pride in your reputation as a ‘Bad Boy,’ that kind of means people aren’t going to like you."

It echoes what Jordan said in 'The Last Dance,' that Thomas would have disturbed the chemistry of the team. 

"The Dream Team, based on the environment and the camaraderie that happed on that team, it was the best harmony. Would Isiah have made a different feeling on that team? Yes," Jordan said. 

Unlike Jordan, Robinson says he has no ill will toward Thomas. The two are on good terms to this day.

"But at the same time, can you be that surprised when people say, ‘I don’t really want to play with the ‘Bad Boys?’ I played against Bill Laimbeer, I can’t count how many times he smacked me in my nose," Robinson said with a laugh. "All I’m saying is, I don’t know if he would've been my first pick for my All-Star team.

"So I’m a little bit surprised there’s so much surprise that it went down this way, because they were the Bad Boys. I don’t think Larry Bird enjoyed playing them, I don’t think any of those guys were really looking forward to saying, 'Let’s play with the Bad Boys one more time.' I don’t think that was in their minds." 

Thomas considers his exclusion from the Dream Team the one hole on his resume. Robinson can appreciate why, without wondering why it all happened. 

"I appreciate what he did, man. Isiah’s amazing. What can you say about that guy’s career," Robinson said. "He did it on the biggest stage, over many, many, many years. He took a team that wasn’t in the picture to the championship, he’s done all those things you would ask a superstar to do.

"But when you talk about putting together a team, chemistry matters, man. It does. You can’t act like it doesn’t. And for that team, it was clear that was a consideration for all the people involved.”