With Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, and Rick Mahorn, the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early 1990s didn’t just beat you on the court, they beat you down on the court.
The Pistons were up and comers during the mid-1980s when the Boston Celtics ruled the Eastern Conference. So, obviously the “Bad Boys” had extra contempt for Larry Bird and his crew. The Pistons went a little harder against the Celtics, particularly Bird, whom Laimbeer targeted with extra elbows. Bird never shied away from physical contact, but he thought Laimbeer tried to injure players and he took exception.
I had heard that Larry Bird still dislikes Laimbeer, so much that Bird won’t talk to him in social settings where the two are in the same room. This pretty much confirms that.
Hey, I LOVED those Detroit Pistons, but their “Bad Boys” nickname was actually too nice a moniker. They were more “Crazy Assholes” but that wasn’t really catchy, TV-friendly nor was it going to sell t-shirts.
** How did I not know that Grantland had a Youtube channel? If you’re an NBA fan, there’s a goldmine of insider videos and behind-the-scenes interviews you should check out.