Detroit Pistons – The Bad Boys of America
Richard ”Rip” Hamilton recently became one of the legends of Detroit Pistons after his jersey was lifted to the rafters of Auburn Hills Palace.
That reminded the author of this article about something that marked the beginning of the 90s and something that I love to remember.
You remember the bad boys?
Isiah Thomas Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, and all the other guys. Dennis Rodman, John Salley, Rick Mahorn etc.
Well while I was growing up these guys made something that will be remembered in history. In fact, they created one of their own.
They were often called villains or toughs, but none of this was true.
This statement will probably cause many reactions.
But ask yourself in which manner did the Boston Celtics played at that time? When Pistons started dominating, suddenly they were the bad guys, and Celtics good ordinary boys.
Nobody condemns them because of their style of play. But this was something much deeper. This was a conflict between underground America and mainstream America.
Boston Celtics were a classical NBA team and the most famous franchise in history. Everything they represented was perfect fine and by the rules.
On the other hand, we had the Detroit the dead city at that point. Everything collapsed in Motor City and from the locomotive of American economy it quickly became something that nobody wanted to have a connection with.
The Bad Boys and their encounters with the Boston Celtics were something that will be written in the history of the sport, as one of the toughest and meanest rivalries ever.
The Bad Boys weren’t bad in fact they just wanted their share of fame.
But unfortunately for them, the media in America didn’t like when somebody messes with the Celtics or Lakers, especially someone without any reputation or background rich as the previous two teams.
In one interview Isiah Thomas had explained why they accepted the nickname Bad Boys.
”Either we let them use this against us, or we embrace it and make it our advantage,” Thomas spoke about their reputation in the media.
The fate of Detroit Pistons and the Bad Boys was sealed once they tortured Michael Jordan, the American favorite. This is something where double standards were obvious, too.
When Boston Celtics or the Lakers and especially Michael Jordan, did something unfair like or something that is not very pleasant, it was often credited because they were tired or they had a lot of problems etc. Always some kind of explanation.
But when the same thing did someone from the Pistons, immediately propaganda started rolling.
They were called gutless, yellow, vicious, evil.
But they didn’t mind they are laughing all the time and winning titles.
Nobody remembers when they were heavily robbed against the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1988. That foul, that allegedly Bill Laimbeer made on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wouldn’t be called in any other game.
But to be honest this is why the Bad Boys from Detroit are history.
Against all odds, against everyone, the media, the society, the whole America, they managed to create something that will be remembered as a golden era in the history of basketball and Detroit.