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Isiah Thomas says the Chicago Bulls were a team that cried the most because of the physicality in the NBA

Thomas once again calls out the Bulls for being afraid to play physical basketball
Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas

We've seen Isiah Thomas recently call out Michael Jordan for the way he was portrayed in The Last Dance documentary. Thomas said he was expecting Jordan's apology, but the reality is that it won't happen anytime soon. Thomas was mad at Jordan and the producers of the documentary because despite giving a long interview for the documentary, a lot of things were taken out of context, and he was shown as a villain and the leader of the infamous Detroit Pistons squad from the '80s, also called "Bad Boys."

The Bad Boy Pistons were a legitimate powerhouse in the NBA

This time in the interview with Peter Vecsey from NBA Alumni, Thomas talked about his career and what made that legendary Pistons' squad so special, given that they played in a very competitive and physical era. Those Bad Boys Pistons are still considered one of the best defensive teams of all time, and at the time, they were also the most hated team in the NBA. They won two consecutive NBA championships and were a legitimate powerhouse in the league since they based their success on breaking down the opposing teams physically and mentally.

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Thomas said the 80s were an era when players knew how to take a hit and not complain about it, but it all changed when Michael Jordan came to the scene. The Chicago Bulls regularly lost to the Pistons in the playoffs, who even set up the infamous "Jordan Rules" to stop Michael Jordan from scoring as much as possible, and the main premise of that defensive strategy was to surround him with as many players as possible and knock him to the ground if he decides to drive to the basket.

Thomas calls out the Bulls for crying about getting hit

Looking back at some of the players and teams from the '80s, Thomas said all of them were ready to get hit, and nobody really complained about it until the Bulls came to the scene led by Michael Jordan.

"That is how we played. You come down the lane, and everybody gets hit. The only people who cried about it were the Bulls. I saw Michael Cooper leveling Bird in the Finals. I saw Bird tried getting away, and Cooper grabbed his jersey. When he broke away, Coopers' fingernails were all up on his skin. There was nobody crying, saying he held me or he hit me. The only team that really cried a lot about getting hit, in my opinion, were the champions, Chicago Bulls."

To be completely fair, Jordan did get hit and knocked down on the floor a lot, especially when playing against the Pistons. Many of those fouls would be flagrant technical fouls in today's NBA, and therefore certain theories were floating around how he complained to David Stern about that treatment, which eventually made him more untouchable among the refs than other players in the league. The reality is that the Bulls eventually grew as a team, signed the right players, and were led by a great coach while the Pistons got older, which was why they eventually lost to the Bulls in the 1991 ECF.

The NBA was a totally different sport in the 80s and a much more physical game than it is now, but that was how they played it with all of its pros and cons. Some fans are nostalgic about those times because they believed teams actually played defense, while now it's a more offense-oriented game, and the types of fouls tolerated back then would be unimaginable today. 

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