Isiah Thomas criticized Michael Jordan for complaining about rough fouls and was very direct when he described how the basketball star from the Chicago Bulls would respond to these calls.
“Jordan, every time you hit him, he was crying,” Isiah said to Boston Celtics’ Cedric Maxwell on the Cedric Maxwell Podcast.
“I was going to David Stern’s office, going to the commissioner’s office, having a meeting about getting hit and getting fouled, and then changing the rules,” he added,
Isiah Thomas criticizes Michael Jordan
“I’m like, wait a minute, I watched Dr. J get beat up. I watched Magic get beat up. I watched Max get beat up. I done got beat up. Now we gotta change the rules because he gets beat up?” he said.
In the 1980s and 1990s, basketball was characterized by a playing style that aimed to intimidate opponents. The Detroit Pistons, who were famously known as the “Bad Boys” of the league, were particularly aggressive and unrelenting in their efforts to physically challenge their opponents. Michael Jordan was no stranger to their tactics.
Detroit Pistons tried to physically hurt the Bulls
The games between the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls were extremely physical, almost resembling a slugfest. As the 1980s drew to a close, the era of flashy basketball came to an end, and the 1990s ushered in a more macho style of play, largely due to the Pistons’ determination to physically harm Jordan and his team. The Pistons had a well-planned strategy in place to deal with Jordan, known as the “Jordan Rules,” which was uncomplicated, ruthless, and successful. A former Pistons guard had accurately described the approach they took to stop Jordan.
“We had to do everything from a physicality standpoint to stop him. When he was in the air, we had no shot,” Isiah said.
According to former Pistons coach Brandon Malone, the “Jordan Rules” consisted of a four-step approach. The first step was to prevent Jordan from driving to the baseline, and instead push him towards the elbow. The second step involved tagging him on the left side as he was about to jump. The third step was to trap him from the top. The fourth and most crucial step was to knock him to the ground, which was seen as the ultimate move in stopping Jordan.
Jordan faced significant challenges when playing against the Detroit Pistons. Not only were his scoring opportunities limited, but he was also physically beaten down by them. Despite this, Jordan persevered and demonstrated his greatness. In a manner reminiscent of a “Rocky”-like underdog story, Jordan trained hard, built up his strength, and overcame the Pistons’ dominance after losing to them in three consecutive playoffs from 1988 to 1990. By 1991, Jordan was no longer willing to be pummeled by the Pistons, and the Bulls took the fight to them, ultimately defeating them. In the end, Jordan’s skill and determination proved to be the “rules” that prevailed.
Read More: ”Why do you need to say it?” – Scottie Pippen hits at LeBron James for calling himself the GOAT, Praises Michael Jordan