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Michael Jordan: "The Pistons Are Undeserving Champions. The Bad Boys Are Bad For Basketball.”

(via ESPN.com)

(via ESPN.com)

The Detroit Pistons of the late 80s played by their own rules. They were aggressive, mean, and embraced the villain role like nobody had before. Their physical playstyle and all-around controversial methods earned them the nickname "Bad Boys," and some of their fiercest battles came against Michael Jordan and the Bulls before the beginning of their run.

Their hatred for each other ran deep -- to the point where the Pistons (when the Bulls finally beat them in 1991) refused to shake their hands at the end of the series.

Jordan even called them "undeserving champions" on the day between Games 3 and 4 in Detroit in 1991.

“The Pistons are undeserving champions,” Jordan said. “The Bad Boys are bad for basketball.”

While it's easy to see how they crossed the line with some of their tactics, not everyone is so willing to write off that crew as thugs. Behind all the toughness was actually a very talented team that featured the greatest backcourt trio of all time in Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Vinnie Johnson. With Laimbeer, Rodman, and Mahorn in the frontcourt, they were an extremely well-rounded that had rebounders, scorers, and dominant defenders.

To go so far as to say they didn't earn their Championships might be a stretch -- but it goes to show just how MJ (and a lot of others) feel about this team.

So while the Pistons achieved the success they desired, it came at the price of being one of the most hated squads in sports history. And, in case you haven't guessed, those Bad Boys wouldn't have it any other way...