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Dennis Rodman: “We Tried To Physically Hurt Michael Jordan”

(via Diario AS)

(via Diario AS)

It didn't take a long time until Michael Jordan was almost unanimously deemed the best player in basketball. However, his lack of success in the playoffs was starting to take a toll on how people viewed him as a player.

And the guys to blame for Jordan's struggles in the postseason were non-others than the 'Bad Boys' Detroit Pistons, who constantly got in his way earlier in his career when playoff time came.

The Pistons knew they didn't stand a chance one-on-one vs. Michael. They also knew they couldn't contain him once he took flight. However, they were pretty confident about their ability to limit his impact by implementing a physical, suffocating defense on him, according to former coach Chuck Daly

“If Michael was at the point, we forced him left and doubled him. If he was on the left-wing, we went immediately to a double team from the top. He could hurt you equally from either wing—hell, he could hurt you from the hot-dog stand, but we just wanted to vary the look," Daly started, as quoted by Essentialy Sports.

Obviously, focusing on just one of Jordan's multiple strengths wasn't going to do the trick for the Bad Boys, so they had to come up with another strategy to containing him in the paint, which was a euphemism for just beating him once he got to the lane:

“And if he was on the box, we doubled with a big guy. The other rule was, any time he went by you, you had to nail him. We didn’t want to be dirty, I know some people thought we were, but we had to make contact and be very physical," Daly added.

The Pistons earned a reputation for their physical style and how much of a beating most opposing players got down low. As a matter of fact, even Dennis Rodman acknowledged that they were blatantly trying to hurt Jordan:

“Every time he goes to the basket, put him on the ground. We tried to physically hurt Michael," Rodman confessed.

Michael Jordan never complained about that kind of defense. He sucked it up, got bigger, tougher, stronger, and eventually got the best of them. The rest, as we know, its history.