Jackie MacMullan Talks Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson

By Henry Abbott

Talk of Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson feuding was all over the place yesterday. It comes from Jackie MacMullan's new book When the Game Was Ours. MacMullan was on Pardon the Interruption yesterday, offering context and insight into Johnson's disappointment in Thomas -- once one of Johnson's best friends -- allegedly spreading rumors that Johnson was gay.

As this talk about Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, HIV and homosexuality unfolds (and there's a lot of it!), one point not to miss: When homosexuality in the locker room was a big topic at the time John Amaechi's book came out in 2007, Thomas (Knicks' coach at the time) was first and foremost among those who seemed dedicated to making the NBA a place about tolerance.

The Daily News reported:

A defiant Isiah Thomas vowed yesterday, "I'll make damn sure there is no problem" in the locker room if the Knicks were to acquire an openly gay player while he is the team's president and coach. ... "I can't speak for somebody else's locker room, but if it's mine, we won't have a problem," Thomas said at the Knicks' practice facility in Greenburgh. "I don't know (if the NBA is ready for an openly-gay player). But I know this league is not about discrimination. I do know that."