Detroit Pistons: 15 players who defined the Bad Boys era

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Detroit Pistons
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14. player. 64. . Point guard. 1989-92. Gerald Henderson, Sr.

Younger readers may see the name Gerald Henderson and think of the current player who starred at Duke and bounced around the NBA, but his father made a more lasting impact on a number of title teams. After spending time on two Boston Celtics championship teams, Henderson signed with the Pistons in 1989.

The 6-foot-2 Henderson was the primary backup to Isiah Thomas, playing often with Joe Dumars when Thomas sat. His 3-point percentage of 45.2 during that season was the highest on the team. He was an early version of a 3-and-D player on that title team.

Henderson played a slightly more valuable role in 1990-91, even starting ten games when Thomas missed games due to injury. Even at the age of 35, the veteran had enough juice to drop 24 points in a tight game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in February of 1991.

In a year where Thomas missed 36 games Henderson helped keep them afloat, the Pistons would finish with 50 wins and get back to the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Chicago Bulls.

No Pistons leader boards will display Henderson’s name, and he played a relatively small role on the team all things considered. But in the playoffs, the Pistons tightened their rotation and he was still able to force his way in for 18 appearances and a ring. Prominent or not, Henderson was a part of the Bad Boys.