Dumars was a vital piece for the Detroit Pistons
When it comes to one of the most underrated players in NBA history, Joe Dumars definitely belongs on that list even though he was a crucial member during those two championships runs for the Detroit Pistons. Dumars was a prototype for a two-way player who often took on the assignment to guard the best opposing guards, but he could also give you 20 points in a heartbeat if necessary.
Dumars established himself as a vital part of that Detroit Pistons squad that was a legitimate championship contender for several years in a row. Alongside Isiah Thomas, he formed one of the best backcourts in the NBA in the second part of the ’80s and early ’90s. However, Dumars got the recognition he deserves during the Pistons battles with the Chicago Bulls, and he was, for the most part, the primary defender on Michael Jordan with his main assignment to slow down Jordan as much as possible.
Jordan believes Dumars was the best defender
As we all know, nobody could stop Jordan from scoring completely, but only slow him down, which Dumars did exceptionally well during their matchups. When the Pistons implemented the infamous Jordan Rules, he got a lot of help from his teammates in that defensive assignment. Still, even Jordan himself said Dumars was the best defender he ever had to go up against in his legendary career.
“He thought well, and he was very smart about his defense. I think he approaches the game as trying to dissect his opponents and try to find weaknesses or try to force them to do things they didn’t feel comfortable doing. He introduced certain tricks to make me expand on my talents as an offensive player, and that is why I consider him one of the best.”
Dumars remained faithful to the Detroit Pistons his entire career and has 6 All-Star selections to go along with two NBA championships. Older NBA fans know how great Dumars really was, but unfortunately, nowadays, when we talk about great players from that era, his name often doesn’t get mentioned in those conversations. Players who had to go up against him know his value, especially Jordan, who was never big on complimenting the opposing players, but even he admits Dumars gave him problems on both ends of the floor.
After his playing career was over, Dumars stayed working in the NBA and used his knowledge and experience to help franchisees reach their potential. He is currently serving as a Chief Strategy Officer on the Sacramento Kings, but in the eyes of the Detroit Pistons fans, he will be remembered as a vital piece of the puzzle for the Bad Boys when they ruled the NBA in the late ’80s and early 90s.