Isiah Thomas regrets handshake snub against Bulls in 1991 playoffs
Isiah Thomas says he regrets walking off the court without shaking hands with the Bulls after the Pistons were swept in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.
“We all should have taken the high road,” Thomas said during a taping for NBA TV’s Open Court.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls routed the Pistons 115-94 in Game 4 in Detroit to complete the sweep and eliminate the two-time defending champions, who had ousted Chicago from the playoffs the previous three seasons. In the closing seconds, Thomas and some teammates headed to the locker room without acknowledging the Bulls.
Thomas said the Pistons decided to snub the Bulls near the end of Game 4 because Chicago had criticized the Bad Boys during the series.
“We thought we deserved a little bit of respect as a champion,” Thomas said. “Everyone could play and act like the Pistons and adopt our philosophy, except the Pistons. Before the Bulls swept us, I remember clearly Jordan and Phil Jackson and everyone, they went on a day, day-and-a-half tirade about how we were bad for the game, about how we were bad people, about how [Bill] Laimbeer was a thug. They were up 3-0, and then they had this press conference just totally disrespecting us as champions.”