Thursday night ESPN aired the much talked about documentary Bad Boys which chronicles the Detroit Pistons of the late 80’s and early 90’s.
If you didn’t hate the Bad Boys before, you do now.
In the film Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman recall the days when they played basketball like hockey hooligans and got away with it.
The Detroit Pistons were so rugged the NBA changed the rules to limit the effectiveness of their style. The roughhousing wasn’t completely removed from the game, but players received harsher penalties in reaction to blatant muggings.
The Pistons still claim they were disrespected and undone by the league. To this day the team remains proud of the way they played the game.
As a boy growing up everything Bulls, the Pistons terrified me and they beat us a lot. Sometimes I cried.
Almost the same thing for NBA writer Zach Lowe
The #BadBoys terrified me growing up. Slowly grew to appreciate them, was sad when CHI unseated 'em. Loving the doc so far.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) April 18, 2014
The Pistons were a scary bunch!
Especially Bill Laimbeer. Without a doubt Laimbeer was the most despised retired basketball player on Twitter last night.
Bill Laimbeer is a grade A asshole.
— BarstoolTrent (@BarstoolTrent) April 18, 2014
If Bill Laimbeer wasn’t 6’10 270 lbs I’d punch him in the face.
Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics once snapped in the middle of a playoff game and laid Laimbeer out with a two punch combo.
God the NBA used to be great.
By the way, who remembers playing this one on Super Nintendo?
All you need to know about Bill Laimbeer: pic.twitter.com/Orq7AbDwwd
— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) April 18, 2014
I’d pay good money if anyone has this shirt for sale. Email me.
— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) April 18, 2014
Isiah Thomas once scored 25 points in one quarter, with only one functioning ankle. Nobody said the Bad Boys weren’t tough.
25 points. In ONE quarter. On ONE ankle. Dare you to do better. #BadBoys
— Edward L. Smith (@EdSmith313) April 18, 2014
ESPN’s Jalen Rose has said the Bad Boys Pistons teams strongly influenced the Michigan Fab 5. The memorable goon squad also inspiring Jamal Crawford of the L.A. Clippers.
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 18, 2014
Zeke wasn’t the most popular player in his hey day. The nasty nature of his competitiveness enough that Michael Jordan said he wouldn’t play in the Olympics if Isiah was on the Dream Team.
Don't ever think Isiah Thomas wasn't one of the all, all-time greatest, toughest leaders and players ever. Ever.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 18, 2014
The current King of the NBA said the Bad Boys have him ready for the playoffs.
Man I'm ready to play now!! This doc got me goin!! Ok calm down u got a couple days still but wow my nerves are firing. #StriveForGreatness
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 18, 2014
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the film is how violent basketball used to be. If you think a few fist fights and mid-air collisions would spice up basketball then the Bad Boys are for you.