The Bad Boys Detroit Pistons is one of the truly most underrated teams in NBA history. A squad molded by a tough-minded era of basketball, they were feisty opponents who didn’t show any fear within their eyes and composure upon facing towering adversities. Despite building that notorious image because of well-documented bruising, dirty antics, their hard-nosed mentality resulted in back-to-back titles in the late 80s.
Yet sadly, plenty of true fans only understand that their road on both of those prized titles in 1989 and 1990 came from hard-fought legendary encounters on some of the game’s greatest: Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics; Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as well as Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. They willed their way and were an unstoppable force all throughout those magical runs.
And as such, the franchise’s heart and soul that time, Isiah Thomas, knows that they deserve their own flowers and acknowledgment of that unimaginable feat.
In Bleacher Report’s ‘Full-Bodied’ hosted by former player Channing Frye, the all-time floor general claimed that the Celtics, Bulls, and Lakers – teams that are considered “best to ever do it” – were outlasted by his Pistons which “probably was the best defensive team to ever play” in his opinion.
“All them people that they say are the best to ever do it, my teams beat all them,” Thomas said. “We probably was the best defensive team to ever play in the NBA.”
Thomas also slammed people who were depicting their team play as dirty but didn’t know that their defensive styles were being copied by several coaches around the association.
“They’ve shown you some highlights of us … they’ve shown you a clips of us fouling people hard, and then they wrote up a few paragraphs around and say ‘Okay, this is the Pistons.'”
“But when you go back and watch Pistons play and you talk about coaches that you played for, all of them were trying to emulate [our way of] playing defense.”
The Pistons are entitled to claim that they trampled a handful of heavily-favored powerhouses. Indeed, beating Bird, Jordan, and Magic on their first championship adventure in ’89 will always be one for the books and a milestone that is worth telling for those within the honorable team that was filled by physical, great talents in the Hall of Famers Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Mark Aguirre, John Salley, and Rick Mahorn.
Rightfully so, Thomas and the co. needs to get the recognition they deserve. Amid controversies that can be drawn from the past, they are deserving to be praised for becoming one of the basketball dynasties ever.