Skip to main content

How Michael Jordan showed more class than the entire Detroit Pistons team

MJ's sportmanship and mental toughness was on another level.
MJ had some fierce battles versus the Detroit "Bad Boys"

MJ had some fierce battles versus the Detroit "Bad Boys"

Nobody likes to lose, especially when you are talking about sports. From amateurs to professional athletes, losing can hurt, but in true fashion, you have to show sportsmanship and congratulate your opponent after it's all said and done. But of course, not everyone handles losing well and keeps their cool enough to shake hands with the guys that beat you, and the NBA has seen its fair share of that.

The Bulls-Pistons rivalry of the 80s.'

The 80s were indeed the golden era of NBA basketball, and the Bulls-Pistons rivalry is one major part of it. On the one hand, you had the rising dynasty in the young Bulls with MJ and Pippen against the rugged veteran Pistons of Isiah Thomas, Laimbeer, Dumars, Rodman, etc. It created some memorable, amazing, and heated moments.

From 1988 to 1990, the Pistons would handle the Bulls, bounce them out of the playoffs and keep MJ from finally catching that elusive championship. For someone that was already the best in the league, hunting that ring to fulfill his image of the best, that was a frustrating time, especially against the same team for consecutive years.

But despite getting bounced out, all while getting hacked and cheap shotted from the dirty "Bad Boys," Jordan still acknowledged they were the better team deserving of the win. The mental toughness and class MJ would show right after the games were admirable.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"All you can do is wish them good luck. We fought hard. They were the better team. We went to a seven-game series. What more can you ask for. We wanna be where they are. We still gotta wait our turn. We are still trying to improve our team. They were the better team, and they played better today." Jordan said after losing Game 7 of the ECF.

The calmness, humbleness, and sportsmanship to accept defeat and congratulate someone that beat you for three straight years was on another level, proving nobody was mentally as tough as MJ at that time.

And waiting would pay off, as the Bulls finally got over the hump the next season, sweeping the Pistons on their way to the first championship. Only Jordan didn't get the same respect and congratulations from the Pistons side.

Isiah and Laimbeer led their team off the court before the game ended without shaking any hands or showing any kind of sportsmanship. It was a poor showing for the Pistons, who looked like sore losers not ready to give up the throne to Michael. Jordan's statement about the incident in The Last Dance documentary spoke volumes and showed why he has more class than that whole Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" team:

"We shook their hands when they beat us. There's a certain respect to the game that we paid to them. That's sportsmanship, no matter how much it hurts, and believe me, it f**** hurt."

Michael Jordan, The Last Dance

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings goes off on the state of the NBA - “It’s only a couple of guys in the NBA that love the game”

Jennings' opinions are certainly divisive, but it's clear that without change the NBA would get stale, and that's why it's necessary to continue exploring ways to evolve the game

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan’s secret tattoo and the meaning behind it revealed

It's barely visible and not something MJ liked to talk about.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Zach Snyder on directing Michael Jordan in "Playground" — “He’s a natural.”

One went on to make Space Jam, the other 300, Justice League, Army of the Dead, Man of Steel, Watchmen, and Dawn of the Dead. Two great movie careers, starting in 1990.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and team president Pat Riley

The moment Pat Riley should've known LeBron James would one day leave Miami

Upon his arrival to Miami, LeBron made a request that should've let Riley know a new era was coming.

Dennis Rodman

How Dennis Rodman's gay bar double-date led to the Chicago Bulls winning the 1996 NBA Championship

Remember Jack Haley? It turns out he was crucial for the Bulls winning in 1996 because he was “the only person who speaks fluent Rodman,” and knew how to convince Dennis not to quit the team before Game 6 of the Finals.

Detroit Pistons center Bill Laimbeer and guard Isiah Thomas

“I don't need to take that s**t!” — when Isiah Thomas broke his hand after punching Bill Laimbeer

Isiah Thomas punched Bill Laimbeer so hard he broke his hand during one of Detroit Pistons' practices.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

“I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter (era)” — Michael Jordan on social media and cancel culture

There's no hand-checking and hard fouls in 2022. But there's Twitter, political correctness and almost no privacy whatsoever.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Remember when KCP played with an ankle monitor?

In terms of serving time, continuing to play games while in prison is not that bad.