Why Michael Jordan Still Hates the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons

During the early portion of Hall of Famer Michael Jordan‘s illustrious career, he had his battles with the Detroit Pistons. The “Bad Boys” Pistons were a thorn in Jordan‘s side that prevented him from breaking through in the Eastern Conference. That saw a lot of bad blood stir up that made the rivalry that much more intense and meaningful on both sides. It’s a bitterness that the former Chicago Bulls great still holds against that collection of Pistons players to this day.

Michael Jordan’s rivalry with Pistons

In the late 1980s, the Pistons were one of the most prominent teams in the NBA that saw them secure back-to-back championships to end the decade.

That run of dominance saw them earn a strong reputation for being a rough and dirty team, which earned them the title the “Bad Boys.” Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas led that image as their playing style was the embodiment of how he approached the game with a gritty and grind-it-out approach.

It led to things getting a bit rowdy when they faced Jordan and the Bulls as things ramped up another notch. At that time, it saw the creation of the “Jordan Rules,” which saw the Pistons take a different approach to defending him.

Detroit would go out of their way toward making it as physical as possible for the Hall of Famer as he drove to the basket. That drained him physically, making it more difficult to overcome in the playoff series. It also created a strong sense of resentment toward the Pistons from Jordan due to the way they approached defending him.

As it turns out, that’s hatred that Jordan still has to this day.

Michael Jordan still hates the Pistons

The years of physical wear and tear and heated tension between the Pistons created an intense hatred from Jordan toward the team.

That irked him for years as Detroit went out of their way to make it a nightmare physically each time he played them. It’s still something that he carries against Detroit to this day, according to Adam Graham of The Detroit News.

A big part of that Bulls dynasty was the team’s struggle to overcome the Detroit Pistons, and no punches are pulled when discussing the Bad Boys teams of the late ’80s and early ’90s. “I hated ’em,” Jordan says of the back-to-back championship-winning Pistons. “And the hate carries even to this day.” 

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that is part of Jordan’s DNA as the person he is. The Hall of Famer used intense passion and hatred as part of what pushed him to success on the court.

That played a significant part in leading him to make changes in his training to better prepare physically for playing the Pistons. It created a strong negative feeling toward Detroit, which has remained well past his playing days. Jordan is a competitor, and that won’t ever change even after his illustrious NBA career.

Will Michael Jordan ever drop his hate for the Pistons?

That same question can go for his standing for Thomas as the relationship between them is still rough.

Jordan is nearly two decades since his third retirement, and there doesn’t look to be any change in that mentality from him. It’s just who he is as a person and what made him take his game to the next level.

It’s that competitive spirit that will always be there, and has he continued to show that. There isn’t any spite against them, but plenty of strong feelings toward how that rivalry played out on the court. Jordan may very well carry that hatred for the rest of his life.