The early 90s proved to be of the greatest significance for the development of NBA history. In the Land of the giants, the period between 1991 and 1993 was the first ever that a team led by guard, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls, won three consecutive NBA championships.
History of the NBA quite resembles the world’s history, being affected by the recent and future global trends such as globalization, the Cold war, the internet, and now the Coronavirus.
For example, back in 1987, US President Ronald Reagan sharply called on his Soviet Union counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev, to ‘Tear down this wall!’. It was a prelude of great things to happen in the world’s history. The Berlin wall was torn down by the people of Germany in early November 1989.
A couple of years later, in May 1991, it was Michael Jordan and his Bulls who ‘tore down’ the Detroit Pistons’ wall and thus ended the Eastern Conference ‘cold war’ which had been going on for years. For quite some time, it seemed that the NBA version of the ‘cold war’ and ‘the wall’ is gone.
But, with ESPN’s crew hands full on putting together ‘The Last Dance’, which depicts the 1990s Chicago Bulls NBA championship dynasty, it seems that the mighty ‘Bad Boys’ from Detroit, are now officially awake and ready to kick some butt. But this time around their instruments are words.
It seems that the ‘Bad Boys’ have been patiently waiting for quite some time before reopening a new millennium frontline with their late 1980s and early 1990s nemesis – Jordan and the Bulls.
“I firmly believe that [LeBron James] is the best basketball player in the history of the game.”Bill Laimbeer, SI.com
What are the exact odds that two essential ‘Bad Boys’ members, point guard Isiah Thomas and center Bill Laimbeer, come up with ‘Jordan is not the G.O.A.T.’ kind of statements in just a matter of days?
It now seems that this new millennium’ ballistic strike’ on Jordan and the Bulls, is a predictive, preemptive reaction by the blindfolded if ‘The Last Dance’ went too far in depicting them as the villains. We could be at the beginning of a new chapter in the rich history of ‘Bad Boys’ from Detroit and the 1990s Chicago Bulls relationship.
“I think this generation [of players] is not getting enough credit for what they’re doing. Because the athletes that are in this generation are so far superior to what was in my generation. [When we were playing], Jordan was the best athlete that we had ever seen, [but] from an athletic standpoint, there are like 10 or 11 guys in the NBA right now with Jordan’s athleticism. We didn’t have that back then. With what [Kevin Durant] and LeBron are doing, if you put them back in the era of the ’80s, with their talent, their athleticism, and their skill, who’s the GOAT?”Isiah Thomas, CBSSports.com
So, was it a coordinated effort by two instrumental ‘Bad Boys’ members, or is it all just an ongoing marketing campaign for episodes 3 & 4 of ‘The Last Dance’, available on Netflix?
Interestingly, in a 2012 interview, John’ The Spider’ Salley, first declared himself as ‘Michael Jordan’s fan’ but then had no problem at all not finding a place for MJ in his top five players of all-time!
That there is still a deep trench on the frontline between 1980s Detroit Pistons and 1990s Chicago Bulls, can also be seen in the ‘The Last Dance’ episode’s 4 closing part. Jordan shows anger in reaction to a video statement made by Isiah Thomas, who tried to justify 1991 Pistons walk-off by recalling a similar walk-off by the Boston Celtics after they have been eliminated in 1988 EC finals.
“Well, I know it’s all bulls****. Whatever he says now, you know it wasn’t his true actions then. He has time enough to think about it. Or the reaction of the public has kinda changed his perspective of it. You can show me anything you want; there’s no way you can convince me he wasn’t an a-hole.”Michael Jordan, The Last Dance
It now seems that the feud is all but over. However, the Bulls hold the ring advantage – 6-2. And, after all, it’s all that matters.
Basketball Network contributor Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj, the 1980s and 1990s basketball specialist, is the proud co-author of the Amazon.com TOP 100 basketball biography ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’.