The Detroit Pistons were one of the teams that managed to beat Michael Jordan before his two three-peats. The Bad Boy Pistons were one of the toughest teams in the league and were an elite defensive team that could beat any opponent. Beating the player that is widely considered the GOAT is a testament to how good that team really was, and the talent they had on the roster. Despite their achievement, they are not widely discussed as being among the greatest teams in NBA history.
Recently, a member of the Bad Boy Pistons has spoken to the press about The Last Dance and about being overlooked. Rick Mahorn reportedly didn’t watch The Last Dance, and took a shot at Jordan, claiming that the Pistons beat Jordan, and that’s all that matters. Their defense was the only thing that managed to slow down Jordan. Don Drysdale of Detroit Sports Nation reported on Mahorn’s words.
I do. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t watch the Jordan doc because I wouldn’t give a damn or hell about what Jordan did. We whooped that ass, that’s all that matters. But it’s a respect. I finally watched the 30 for 30 probably this year for the Bad Boys because it was something that, I said, ‘I already know about all that.’ But you learn about the players that are around you. It keeps us in contact. It’s nice to get that. We were never acknowledged as one of the best teams in the league, it was always the Celtics, the Lakers and then it was Chicago. You skip over two teams that won back-to-back with the Pistons and also the Houston Rockets. You gotta give these teams their due, because we’re in history. It didn’t skip from the Lakers to Chicago. It was a blip in all this stuff. The thing is, I’m glad that we’re finally getting the respect and the NBA is giving it to us.
Rick Mahorn makes a good wider point about underdogs, and how some teams are glossed over in the NBA media. The Bad Boy Pistons managed to go back-to-back, all while beating some generational teams. Michael Jordan hated the Detroit Pistons back then and still does to this day. In the article, it is also revealed that Jordan said that in some ways, beating the Detroit Pistons was better than winning a championship for him, likely due to his tough losses against them. Their extreme defensive tactics ultimately got them two championships. They deserve their respect and should be mentioned alongside other great NBA dynasties.