PONTIAC, MICH., JUNE 3 -- Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas, trying to cool a simmering racial controversy stemming from remarks he made about Larry Bird, said today he has made peace with the Boston forward.

Thomas also took the media to task for for reporting comments he made after the Celtics defeated the Pistons in the NBA Eastern Conference finals that, he said, were taken out of context.

Detroit rookie Dennis Rodman, who is black, said after Boston's 117-114 victory in Saturday's seventh and deciding game that Bird has won the NBA's most valuable player award three times because he is white.

Thomas, asked afterward to comment on his teammate's remarks, said: "I think Larry is a very, very good basketball player. An exceptional talent, but I have to agree with Rodman. If he were black, he'd be just another good guy."

Thomas called a news conference today to clarify his remarks, which he said were made sarcastically and humorously.

"In print, you don't get the laughter," Thomas said. "In print, you don't get the sarcasm. In print, you get what you get."

Thomas said he spoke this morning with Bird and that Bird told him not to worry about those comments.