One of the funniest moments from last night’s Indiana-North Carolina game came at the end, when former Hoosier point guard Isiah Thomas enthusiastically holding up a bighead of the Crying Jordan meme that was so popular the last two years.
Take a look:
You guys know the back story here, right?
Obviously, there are the college ties – Michael Jordan went to UNC, but you should know that – but there’s also an old rivalry at play. Jordan and Thomas did not like each other during their playing days. Jordan’s Bulls, after a couple years of failing, finally supplanted Zeke’s Pistons as the powerhouse in the Eastern Conference in 1991.
There was the freeze-out in the all-star. The two teams famously did not shake hands after the Bulls knocked the Pistons out of the playoffs for the first time. And, in a book written by Jack McCallum on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, Jordan is quoted as saying that he doesn’t “want to play if Isiah is on the team.”
Think about that.
Jordan stole Thomas’ title as the NBA’s biggest star and then used that star-power to keep him off of the greatest basketball team ever assembled.
You’d hold a grudge, too.
And you’d probably be happy to celebrate a big win by holding up a picture of that man crying.