With the premiere of ‘The Last Dance’ docu-series, fans of the Detroit Pistons should expect to hear their franchise painted in a negative light.
On April 19th, ESPN debuted the long awaited 10-part series highlighting the Chicago Bulls of the 1990’s and the fearlessness demonstrated by Michael Jordan. Pretty soon we’ll hear how they felt about the Detroit Pistons.
In some of the more candid footage that we’ve ever seen from Jordan and those teams, it’s an up close look at what went into one of the greatest decade long runs in the history of American sports.
From his days at North Carolina to his final championship run with Chicago, fans will be able to hear thoughts and stories from Jordan, who’s otherwise been pretty reserved and doesn’t tend to comment on these sort of things.
During the second episode of the series, it was teased that next week’s two episodes would at some point highlight the hill that he and the Bulls had to overcome in the Bad Boys Pistons.
The late 80’s-early 90’s Detroit teams were arguably the most challenging obstacles of Jordan’s entire career.
In ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on The Bad Boys, he admitted that Chicago’s six championships may not have happened if he wasn’t pushed to the level he needed to reach in order to beat the Pistons.
The several year stretch where he couldn’t overcome the adversity proved to be pivotal for his long term success. He found a team who was working harder than he was, and he needed to put a stop to it.
So when next week rolls around, what should Pistons’ fans expect to hear about their team?
Jordan was famously hateful towards Detroit, and specifically Isiah Thomas. They were constantly (very literally) beating up on him and prevented him from getting to the basket.
One of the Pistons defensive tactics was “tap tap”. If anybody said “tap tap” on the defensive end, it meant no layups, no matter what it takes.
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This often led to players getting thrown to the ground in ways that would get players suspended in today’s game. The physicality went unmatched, and it quickly turned Detroit into the villain.
In the aforementioned 30 for 30, James Worthy mentioned that the Lakers didn’t have respect for the Pistons because of the way that they played.
They played dirty, and that’s a word that will be thrown around quite a few times. Whether or not they’ve retroactively gained the respect of their former opponents remains to be seen.
Jordan will likely have some interesting stories regarding the true nature of the way their games played out. With Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Worthy also all being in the first two episodes, we’ll likely hear from a few familiar faces.
So while Detroit in all likelihood will be painted in a negative light, we’ll still possibly hear Jordan give credit where credit is due.
Mainly because trying to defame a franchise who won back-to-back championships wouldn’t exactly work out, but also because it’ll help elevate Jordan’s legacy as a whole. (not that he necessarily needs it)
Propping the Pistons up, showing how great they really were, and then showing how you beat them is how you properly illustrate your dominance as a player.
Going out of your way to get better over the off season in order to beat that one team will allow people to see a side of Jordan that we only hear stories about.