October 22, 2009

"I'm really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years,'': is Isiah Thomas's reaction to multiple allegations in "When the Game Was Ours" a new book written by Larry Bird, Jackie MacMullen, and Magic Johnson. Surprisingly, the allegations in the book are made by Magic, Isiah's former friend.

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 01:24 PM - 13 comments

Among the allegations:

  • Isiah spread rumors questioning Magic's sexuality following his HIV diagnosis.
  • That Isiah was blackballed from the Original Dream Team, but that Michael Jordan wasn't alone in keeping Thomas off the team.
  • That Jordan was frozen out during the 1985 All-Star Game, but that Thomas engineered the plot.
  • And that Magic helped persuade MSG president Steve Mills to Hire Thomas as GM.

posted by lilnemo at 01:31 PM on October 22, 2009

Pretty interesting.

Also interesting was Isiah claiming Magic hated Bird and that the whole 'best buddies' act is only for show.

posted by justgary at 01:55 PM on October 22, 2009

Wow! That is some pretty powerful stuff being said by Magic. Isiah has shown to be very manipulative while the president of the Knicks organization so this wouldn't really shock me either if it's true that Isiah did all those things. It's a shame that a relationship like theirs soured over time but if it was worth repairing, it would've happened a long time ago.

posted by BornIcon at 02:00 PM on October 22, 2009

Geez, who does one believe here? Isiah Thompson or Magic Johnston?

Isiah lost a lot of public credibility after the entire Knick debacle. But I get this gut feeling that Magic is not the Super Great Guy that the public has been led to believe he is. He did have an affair, after all (I have no idea what his mistress looked like). And Larry Bird looks like the kind of guy that if he smiled hard enough his face would crack.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:07 PM on October 22, 2009

Magic did not just have an affair but was knows for what they called booty parties (hooker orgies). That was the story of his HIV infection. The kissy kiss relationship he seemed to have had with Thomas added fuel to the gay speculation. To this day here in LA I think people question his sexuality. Not that there is anything wrong with it. It is just how many Aids cases have you heard about of heterosexual men, who are not intraveinous drug users?

In any case this book and its allogations show that these guys as great as they were as players, were pretty immature kids who maybe have yet to grow up.

posted by Atheist at 02:29 PM on October 22, 2009

Magic is a snake. There is no reason to pretend to be friends with someone who you secretly dislike. Further, this book and those allegations about Thomas are the worst kind of gossip. Thomas can only show the record that, for instance, he publicly supported Magic after he came public with his HIV. Magic is a nasty gossip.

posted by bperk at 02:31 PM on October 22, 2009

Geez, who does one believe here? Isiah Thompson or Magic Johnston?

I hate to point it out but I believe you just combined Magic Johnson and Moose Johnston. That would be a pretty interesting player though.

Magic is a snake. There is no reason to pretend to be friends with someone who you secretly dislike

But Isiah has shedded his skin as well. Magic has grown to become friends with Larry throughout the years while Isiah has looked extremely bad during his tenure with the Knicks due to the sexual harassment case that was settled out of court for $11.6 million in punitive damages to a former team executive.

posted by BornIcon at 03:12 PM on October 22, 2009

The biggest NBA stars of the '80s are turning out to be such divas.

posted by rcade at 03:20 PM on October 22, 2009

You know that it was a play on the intro that Isiah got at his new college gig, right BI?

Yeah, you probably did.

posted by THX-1138 at 03:23 PM on October 22, 2009

I remember that happened to Isiah when he was introduced as the new head coach for his college gig but I wasn't aware you meant that in jest. I stand corrected.

I figured you knew exactly what you were doing THX...and I fell for the bait. Dammit!

btw, I didn't even notice the Isiah Thompson...ahhhhhh, good times.

posted by BornIcon at 03:26 PM on October 22, 2009

Ugh. What a bunch of old ladies.

And it's good that they hated each other. I think that made for more intense games and great battles. I think the games are still good these days, but the whole kissy/huggy everyone-hangs-out-together stuff is disappointing.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:42 PM on October 22, 2009

Geez, who does one believe here? Isiah Thompson or Magic Johnston?

On PTI today, they were discussing with the author and both she and Wilbon (both of whom were reporting on basketball around the time) both said that they heard the same allegations of Isiah back then and by other sources than the agent who supposedly told Magic. Basically multiple people were supposedly told by Isiah that he thought Magic was gay.

Given Isiah's lack of popularity by pretty much everyone who has ever known him...I'd probably tend to back Magic's version. He seems to be the consensus "snake".

There is no reason to pretend to be friends with someone who you secretly dislike

He supposedly never did. They haven't been close for years. When they would cross paths he would be polite, but that was it. To me that's pretty classy..not snaky.

posted by bdaddy at 08:52 PM on October 22, 2009

I'm with THX. (I have no idea what his mistress looked like) The real question here is, were the men that Magic dated hot or not? The Bible proscribes both cheating on your wife and doin' the do with the dude next door, but it's so much more declasse` when you do it with somebody the rest of us aren't hot for.

posted by outonleave at 10:31 PM on October 22, 2009

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