Magic Johnson has claimed the 'Bad Boys' Detroit Pistons are responsible for Michael Jordan's GOAT status he boasts right now. Johnson saw how the Pistons defeated the Bulls in three consecutive seasons before MJ stepped up to dethrone the back-to-back NBA champions and went to play the NBA Finals for the first time, winning his first of six titles.
For Magic, it was that rivalry and those series with Detroit that helped Jordan develop into the greatest player of all time. After he beat the Pistons, they never went to the Finals again, while Jordan collected five more titles with Chicago.
“The Bulls kept trying to go through the Pistons and Isiah [Thomas] denied them but it made the Bulls the championship-winning team that they were.
They [the Pistons] took a lot of cheap shots. I can understand why Michael was so upset. The great thing is that the Pistons made Michael Jordan be the GOAT [greatest of all time]. The reason he became the GOAT is because he had to go through the Pistons,” Johnson told NBC’s Today on Monday, via Dan Cancian of Newsweek.
Magic played against the Pistons in the Finals, and he lost to Jordan during that first championship run. He witnessed the rise of Jordan and the fall of the Bad Boys. After that, MJ led the Bulls to become an unstoppable force in the association. Every time they went to the Finals, they won the series, no matter the rival or the venue.