Isiah Thomas Admits He Regrets Not Shaking Hands With Chicago Bulls in 1991 Playoffs

By Andrew Fisher
Isiah Thomas
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

On a recent episode of ‘Open Court’ on NBA TV, Isiah Thomas was asked about the Detroit Pistons‘ decision to not shake hands with the Chicago Bulls following their loss in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals. Here’s what the hall-of-fame point guard had to say:

“Absolutely. Now, and the reason why I would is, looking back, in terms of what has happened, had I taken the chance, we all should have. We should have taken the high road. I would say we resisted, and even myself I resisted, for a good six to eight months. We had dethroned the Celtics. We had dethroned the Lakers. And we thought we deserved a little bit of respect as a champion.”

This loss to the Bulls was certainly not a pleasant one for Thomas and company. The Pistons were trying to pull off a three-peat, but the up-and-coming Bulls swept them out of the playoffs on their way to the NBA crown. It would mark the end of an era for the Pistons and the beginning of a new one for the Bulls.

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It’s good to hear that Thomas regrets the decision to not shake hands after game four. The move is one I would consider Busch League, but at the same time, not a surprising one from the Bad Boys of Detroit. These two teams hated each other. The Pistons weren’t ready to be dethroned, but it was clear that their time atop the NBA mountain was up.

It’s also come out in recent years that Jordan did in fact keep Thomas off of the 1992 Dream Team. I’m going to guess that he still dislikes him to this day.


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