With (my) apologies to Gerry Goffin and Carole King for the above headline, Isiah Thomas tells SI.com’s Ian Thomsen he’s dismayed by Magic Johnson’s comments in the newly published “When The Game Was Ours”, a book co-authored by Magic, Larry Bird and former Boston Globe scribe Jackie MacMullan. In the tome, Johnson describes his role in keeping Thomas off the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team, along with accusing Zeke of spreading rumors about Johnson’s sexuality.
“I’m really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years,” said Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard and former NBA coach and executive, most recently with the Knicks. “I’m totally blindsided by this. Every time that I’ve seen Magic, he has been friendly with me. Whenever he came to a Knick game, he was standing in the tunnel [to the locker room] with me. He and [Knicks assistant coach] Herb [Williams] and I, we would go out to dinner in New York. I didn’t know he felt this way.”
“I’m glad that he’s finally had the nerve and the courage to stand up and say it was him, as opposed to letting Michael Jordan take the blame for it all these years,” Thomas responded during one of several interviews he gave to SI.com on Wednesday. “I wish he would have had the courage to say this stuff to me face to face, as opposed to writing it in some damn book to sell and he can make money off it
“What most people don’t know is, before Magic had HIV, my brother had HIV,” Thomas said. “My brother died of HIV, AIDS, drug abuse. So I knew way more about the disease, because I was living with it in my house.”
His brother, Gregory Thomas, died five years ago, Isiah said.
“Magic acted and responded off some really bad information that he got,” Thomas went on. “Whatever friendship we had, I thought it was bulls— that he believed that. Let me put it to you this way: If he and I were such close friends, if I was questioning his sexuality, then I was questioning mine too. That’s how idiotic it is.”