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Isiah Thomas: LeBron better than Jordan

02/19/2013 2:05 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma

If you ask Isiah Thomas, he'd take LeBron James over Michael Jordan.(AP)
Basketball Hall of Famer, and former Knicks head coach and executive Isiah Thomas is at it again. Thomas, who has a known chilly relationship with former rival Michael Jordan, was a guest on "The Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago and put his two cents into the LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan discussions that ran rampant over All-Star weekend in Houston.

"They're both great players, and they're both great in their eras," Thomas said. "LeBron James is the best athlete of today, and he's probably a better athlete than Michael Jordan was. He's bigger, he's faster, he's stronger."

Thomas did go on to say that in a head-to-head matchup it is a tossup who would win.

Another counterpart and rival of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, disagreed with Thomas before "Zeke" made his comments on the radio. Johnson tweeted, "If MJ and LeBron played 1-on-1 10 times, MJ would win all 10. MJ is the ultimate 1-on-1 player!"

Jordan and Thomas had a very unstable relationship as competitors in the years they played against each other. In the 1985 All-Star game, Thomas and other teammates were accused of having planned a "freeze out" of Jordan by not passing him the ball. Later, the Pistons and Bulls were involved in a rivalry of their own, which Jordan and Thomas's dislike for each other was at the forefront. Finally in 1992 their rivalry came to a head, when Thomas did not make the 1992 Olympic Dream Team supposedly because of his relationship with Jordan.

Isiah Thomas was in Chicago announcing a basketball program to aid at-risk youth with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.

Follow Joe Auriemma on Twitter: @JoeAuriemmaYES

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