Former NBA player and a member of the Detroit Pistons team, Bill Laimbeer, made a guest appearance on ESPN’s First Take. Known for being one of the prominent members of the Bad Boys that won two straight NBA championships, Laimbeer also has a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in league history. During the interview, he touched upon the rivalry with the Bulls and one of the hottest topics out there – a comparison between Jordan and LeBron, where he said he believes LeBron is the GOAT.
Laimbeer also shared more details on what made the Pistons so great in stopping Jordan, which rarely any team can say that faced him in the playoffs or the finals. The Bulls played against the Pistons for three straight eastern conference finals, and it took some time for Jordan and the Bulls to figure things out against them. The Pistons were known as one of the toughest and most defensive-minded teams in the NBA, which is the strategy they used against Jordan. Laimbeer believes Jordan could not involve his teammates in the right way, which is the main factor they haven’t had a lot of success against the Pistons in the first couple of years.
“At that point of his career, he was one-man band, so all you got to do was run three guys at him, and every time he tried to attack the basket, knock him on his butt. Make him go to the free-throw line and wear him down. At that time, he wasn’t able to involve his teammates to the level he had to win championships, and that was to our advantage.”
Apart from beating Jordan and the Bulls, the Pistons are among the rare teams in NBA history that consistently beat the Boston Celtics and Larry Bird, alongside Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers. Nowadays, some would say the Pistons are underappreciated as a dynasty in the NBA, something Laimbeer also talks about in the interview.