The image that most associate with Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas is that of the two embracing and kissing before tip-off during the many on-court battles in their Hall of Fame careers, but for 8 years now, the two Hall of Famers have had an icy thaw in their relationship, largely due to passages contained in Johnson’s 2009 book When the Game Was Ours.
In the book, Johnson took shots at Isiah for questioning his sexuality after revealing his HIV status, and a brutal explanation of why Thomas was left off the original Dream Team:
“Isiah killed his own chances when it came to the Olympics. Nobody on that team wanted to play with him. … I’m sad for Isiah.
He has alienated so many people in his life, and he still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand why he wasn’t chosen for that Olympic team and that’s really too bad. You should be aware when you’ve ticked off more than half of the NBA.”
Even though the two have drifted apart for years, yesterday Johnson proved it’s never too late too say you’re sorry. The two sat down for a chat on the NBA TV’s Players Monthly series, and Magic gave a tearful apology to Thomas, resulting in the two embracing and appearing to crush their longstanding beef.
Moving on is always a better option than holding on. Apologies are powerful when you mean it.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 20, 2017