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Isiah Thomas Gets Real On The Bad Boy Pistons: "We Had The Reputation Of Fighting And Throwing, But We Was Hitting Back."

Isiah Thomas

Through the 80s and early 90s, the Bad Boy Pistons ruled the NBA with an iron grip.

Guys like Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, John Sally, and Adrian Dantley formed a powerful group of players that were known for their physical play and intimidating presence. In fact, many saw them as villains who went looking for fights during games.

On the “Point Forward” podcast with Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, Isiah Thomas set the record straight while coming to the defense of his squad.

“So we in Chicago and Chicago has just traded Oakley because he wasn’t physical enough. They traded [Charles] Oakley for [Bill] Cartwright. Jordan needed more protection, so they brought Cartwright in and you know he had this, you know, they said he swung his arms.”

"We came in wanting you to think about fighting and wanting you to think about being physical. Now that you are thinking that way, we gonna play basketball. And every time you get a little hit you ready to fight. But think about it right, how many fights did you see Dennis Rodman have? But we had the reputation of fighting and throwing, but we was hitting back. Lambeer finally stood up and hit Robert Parish back. The narrative and the way they describe all fights is so you what you seeing is not what they telling. They not telling you that dude hit him and he is hitting him back."

According to I.T., the "Bad Boys" were more about exploiting their aggressive reputation than actually getting physical on the court.

While it's hard to confirm that claim, it's not hard to imagine it being true. As much trouble as the Bad Boys got into, it wasn't always them who initiated conflicts.

Perhaps it's time to re-evaluate how we see that legendary team...