“If I had known that, you would never have heard of Michael Jordan”

Before establishing unparalleled dominance over the NBA in the 1990s, Michael Jordan had a turbulent 1980s, in a highly competitive league where many legendary teams stood in his way. If MJ was finally able to pass the course, a former is convinced that the career of number 23 would have been much more insignificant… except for one detail.

The 1980s in the NBA? The war. If Magic Johnson and his Lakers were able to take advantage of a relatively lenient Western Conference at the time, the East was a veritable jungle where Pistons, Sixers, Bulls, Celtics and company were constantly elbowing each other. It is in this context that Michael Jordan landed in the NBA, determined to climb the ladder and lead his Bulls to the roof of the world. But to get there, MJ took time.

If everyone remembers his 63 points against Boston (an unmatched playoff record to date), it is indeed against the Pistons that a massive page in MJ’s career was written. For years, the Bad Boys tortured His Airness and his crew, with a mixture of raw talent with the ball in hand and physical and mental abuse the league had rarely seen before.

A former Pistons throws a punchline on Michael Jordan

Jordan and Chicago took over in the early 1990s… but according to ex-Piston John Salley, this “handover” would never have happened if he and his colleagues had known how obsessed the Bulls were with Isiah Thomas and co:

At that time, there was something I didn’t know about. I discovered while watching the documentary “The Last Dance” how much we had gone into their heads. If we had known that we were so obsessed with them, we would have pressed on it endlessly. You would never have heard of Michael Jordan.

Exaggerated? Most likely, but after all, it’s almost normal that the trash-talking continues between the two camps 30 years later! More realistically, Jordan, who was already considered one of the greatest individual players in history as early as the late 1980s, and his Chicago team simply ended up being better than a Pistons team. then at the end of the cycle. No more no less. And knowing that the Bulls were obsessed with Detroit probably wouldn’t have changed much of the 1991 no-call sweep…

For those nostalgic for this very particular opposition, the video below allows you to (re) immerse yourself in the brilliant Chicago-Detroit series war. Warning: we are very, very far from the current NBA

Even 3 decades later, John Salley has not digested the end of the reign that the Bulls made the Pistons suffer, and he cannot hide it! Michael Jordan, he must have a good laugh seeing his ex-rivals continue to send tackles like this…



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