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Op Ed : Magic has lost his luster with beef against Isiah

October 29, 2009

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As a rabid fan of 1980s NBA basketball, I was saddened to read last week that the friendship between Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas has evaporated and that Johnson has devoted a portion of his latest book “When the Game was Ours,” written with Larry Bird, to trash Thomas.

Once he learned about the book, Thomas simply said he had no idea that Johnson felt that way. However, even though Thomas has taken the high road, it’s still being reported as him “feuding” with Johnson. I can’t help but feel that Thomas’ fate was sealed in 1987, when he made the comment that Larry Bird “is a very, very good basketball player. He’s an exceptional talent…” before adding, “but I have to agree with [Dennis] Rodman. If he were black, he’d be just another good guy”.

That was 1987, the era of Reagonomics. For a black athlete to call America’s racial double standard into question back then took a degree of courage. Prior to that statement, Thomas was viewed as a golden boy in the same way that Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan were. After that statement, however, he was never seen in the same light again.

Continue Reading TheGrio.com

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