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The well-publicized rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons is not something that fans can easily forget. Both teams were looking to dethrone each other and every Pistons vs Bulls game would turn rough on the court. The late 80s and early 90s were the highlight for NBA fans as both teams were out for each other’s throat at the time. The infamous Bad Boys Pistons were arguably the only team who managed to get on NBA legend Michael Jordan‘s nerves and defeat the mighty Bulls to win two consecutive championships. This was why MJ was so determined to defeat the Pistons that his antics surprised just about everyone during the 1991 NBA Finals.

After the Detroit Pistons won the 1989 and 1990 championships, Michael Jordan was adamant on defeating Isiah Thomas’ Pistons. Eventually, His Airness succeeded when the Bulls defeated the Pistons in Eastern Finals and went on to win their first-ever championship. However, MJ’s reactions at the time didn’t go unnoticed by anyone.

Michael Jordan warns the Bad Boys Pistons


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While it was apparent that the animosity between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons was strong, Michael Jordan’s behavior and response still came as a surprise. The Bulls had defeated the Pistons during the Eastern Conference Finals by 4-0. In a post-game media conference, Jordan stated that the credit for the win belonged to his teammates who he referred to as his ‘supporting cast’. Apparently, Jordan had started calling his teammates by that name only several weeks before the game.

“You have to give credit to my supporting cast. I basically had a bad game today. Maybe I had a headache,” MJ told the press.

While Jordan later felt he shouldn’t have said what he said, he dismissed it by saying that everyone already thought that way. The game against the Piston was no less surprising. His Airness was usually a quiet player and would not communicate with his teammates unless he is taunting them. However, during this particular game, MJ’s emotions were all over the place. There was a flagrant foul when Jordan elbowed one of his opponents and then in the second quarter, the Bulls shooting guard was locking horns with Dennis Rodman.

Jordan told Rodman, “We’re gonna kick your b*tts. I’m comin’ after you.”

READ MORE – After Eating Punches and Knees From Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan “Pi**ed Him Off” by “Doing the Same S**t He Would Do”

The six-time NBA champion was surprised by his own reactions but he was determined to defeat the Pistons. On the other hand, MJ’s teammates had never seen him having such lose his emotional control in fury but the coaches believed that it was to strengthen his teammates and make them braver.

Detroit Pistons come up with the Jordan Rules

One of the reasons why Michael Jordan was furious was probably because in the past years he had struggled in the court against the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons were the one stubborn obstacle that MJ had to jump over and over again. Jordan’s rival Isiah Thomas had led the Pistons six times to victory over the Bulls in the 1989 Eastern Finals and five times in 1988 playoffs.


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Jordan was one of the best players in the league and the Pistons knew that but they had also cracked the code to defeating His Airness. Thomas and then-coach Chuck Daly had come up with the Jordan Rules – a set of tactics to defeat MJ.

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Their tactics worked and brought them two Championship trophies before Jordan eventually figured out their game style and pushed back harder during the 1991 season.