has had a rough couple of years lately -- driving the New York Knicks into the cellar of the NBA will do that to a man -- but he seems especially down about news that Magic Johnson
and Larry Bird
's new book When the Game Was Ours
paints him in a particularly bad light. According to the upcoming memoir, Johnson says that Thomas attempted to spread rumors that Johnson was gay after Johnson's HIV positive status was revealed. Isaih Thomas at a recent press conference. (Getty Images)
Speaking to the Miami Herald
, Thomas said, "I'm just surprised and hurt, and it's a complete shock to me that Magic felt this way when I acted and conducted myself as his friend for all these years. If all this was to sell a book, is that really worth it? I guess Magic got what he wanted, which was to bring attention to his book, but there must be a better way than dragging me into it. I just wish he would have spoken to me, as opposed to writing all this in a book and then having to deal with it so publicly."
Thomas, whose brother Gregory passed away from AIDS, says that he was one of the first in the NBA to embrace Johnson after he announced he was HIV positive. His mother Mary recently suffrered from a heart attack. "He should know me better than that. I was the guy sticking up for him to play in the  All-Star Game when other players were afraid to touch him. I was president of the players association and I told everyone he should play, and I was the first one to shake his hand and hug him at that game. Go back and look."