Embed from Getty Images The 1989 Detroit Pistons gathered for its 30 year NBA Championship reunion celebration this past weekend. “The Bad Boy’s” were back in Motown. The last 1980’s Pistons legacy is about much more than the blood they drew – and spilled with brutal physicality.
The Bad Boy Detroit Pistons team lead by Isiah Thomas, is a team that would rather run through you than around you. Yet they had a clear mission, Thomas proudly remembers the Pistons as a team that had to deal with race and wasn’t afraid to fight against social inequality.
The race issue started during the Eastern Conference finals in 1987, when Pistons versus Celtics suddenly became about black versus white. Former Piston Dennis Rodman said Larry Bird was overrated due to his skin color after Boston eliminated Detroit in Game 7, Thomas fueled the controversy by saying if “[Bird] were black, he’d be just another good guy.”
Those late 80’s Detroit Pistons defense overshadowed their offensive capabilities. Center Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn were considered to bethe baddest boys of them all. It is a safe bet much of Dennis Rodman’s antics later in his career can be attributed to his time under the tutelage of Rick Mahorn during their time together in Detroit.
While Laimbeer would literally fight tooth and nail during his time with the Detroit Pistons, and was the baddest of the “Bad Boys.” He was rough, dirty and everything that we loved and others hated. Bill and his antagonistic demeanor and physical play were the source of countless on-court altercations.
Much to the delight of Pistons fans. They were rough. They were tough. They were two time world champions. They were “The Bad Boy’s.”