Zeke made his own bed

So apparently Magic Johnson and Larry Bird combined on a book, written by Boston Globe legend Jackie MacMullan and called "When We Owned the Game." The title is a bit much — I recall some cat named Jordan, too — but five words on a book jacket hardly pushed Magic and Bird back into full public view today.

No, this sent the blogosphere abuzzing — several quotes from a hurt and dumbfounded Isiah Thomas, who reportedly, among other allegations, questioned whether or not Magic was gay after the former Lakers star was diagnosed with HIV and was subsequently left off the original Dream Team at Magic's request (not Jordan's, as has long been believed).

Upon learning these were topics in the book, the man called Zeke felt like a Zero. Their relationship chilled over the years but Thomas always considered Magic his friend, the man he famously embraced, kiss-on-cheek, before tip-off of Game 1 of the 1988 NBA Finals.

Here's the thing: Can we really feel sorry for Thomas now? Here's a man who is the scourge of New York, of Indiana, of Toronto, of a ghost called the CBA. He ruined all four organizations, lied about his plans and motives and may or may not have thrown his own daughter under the bus. What's there to pity?

Magic clearly has harbored ill-will toward Thomas since 1991, when, he believes, Isiah wondered aloud where Magic had stuck his Johnson. A bitter Magic did what all the non-confrontational do when wronged: He smiled wide, kept it in, and kept his distance whenever he could. But when he saw this villain — and saw an opportunity to tell a story and earn a few bones — Magic used the book as a platform to further vilify Isiah.

A little sleazy? Yeah. A little weak? Yeah. A little snaky? Yeah. But Thomas' feelings mean nothing to many of us. He lost this crowd somewhere between trades for the sulking Stephon Marbury and a walking basketball corpse named Stevie Francis.

The lies and deceit never helped his cause. They certainly don't help it now.

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