Former NBA star Charles Barkley believes that only two players on the Detroit Pistons’ 80s basketball team could fight despite the presence of several big men.
What’s more, Barkley named the Pistons’ guards, Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, as the only players on that team who could fight.
Barkley took a shot at Detroit’s “Bad Boys” when he appeared as a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday, saying essentially that most of the team didn’t have it in them to engage in fisticuffs.
“You know what’s really funny about that Pistons team?” Barkley said. “Only two guys on that team could fight—Isiah [Thomas] and Joe Dumars.
“Rodman couldn’t fight, [John] Salley couldn’t fight, [Rick] Mahorn couldn’t fight, [Bill] Laimbeer couldn’t fight. Vinnie Johnson and James Edwards, they fight, but the main four guys I just mentioned, none of them could fight a lick.”
Later, Barkley further called out Laimbeer as someone who was always at the end of another player’s punch. Patrick noted how the Pistons center would often start a fight, but he and Barkley eventually concluded that Laimbeer embarrassingly couldn’t end the fights he started.
The Pistons were labeled the Bad Boys because of their roughhousing tactics on the court that often ended up in a physical altercation between two or more players. Back then, Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls were on the receiving end of many of the Pistons’ physical plays.
After many years of futility, the Bulls finally overcame the Pistons in the 1991 NBA playoffs, sweeping Detroit 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Pistons were getting bashed on social media recently after the third and fourth episodes of “The Last Dance,” the 10-part docuseries on the 90s Bulls dynasty with a focus on their 1997-98 season, aired on ESPN last Sunday.