When you cover a beat, you never really get to experience the sorrow and joy of a team's season. You're too busy writing stories, gathering quotes, hopping on airplanes and going through the daily grind of making deadline. Thursday, I finally felt the emotions of the Bad Boys Pistons years, watching ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary.
The year was 1989, and despite many wonderful things in Detroit sports the Bad Boy Pistons captured our imaginations more than anybody else. They were brash, controversial and won things the Detroit way: a blue-collar work ethic and an in-your-face style that angered others.
Billups learned how to set up a draft room. He learned what executives looked for when evaluating talent. Now, he believes he's ready to move into the front office.
No one wants to see that garbage. They are out of sight and out of mind -- the worst spot you can be in as a professional sports franchise.
Spencer Haywood is a controversial figure. He admitted as much Thursday afternoon, just hours after he learned he had been omitted from consideration for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Teamwork and camaraderie earned them back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. And we saw it one more time before Isiah Thomas addressed the Palace crowd. Call it Jack McCloskey's last ride.
It was the photo op made in heaven. Pistons owner Tom Gores stood in a huddle of legends on the second floor of the Westin Hotel. There was Isiah Thomas, Jalen Rose and Dave Bing swapping stories with Gores as if they were old fraternity brothers.
The Bad Boys were breaking up, and you saw the reflection of the rubble in Rodman, who resented that father figure and coach Chuck Daly resigned and was replaced by former assistant Ron Rothstein.
The Pistons did not enjoy their first NBA championship for long. Within hours of waving brooms during a parade downtown following their 1989 sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, Rick Mahorn sat in his apartment with teammates Vinnie Johnson and James Edwards.
They were the Bad Boys. Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn were a tag team that knocked people down if they drove the lane. Isiah Thomas never backed down from a fight. Dennis Rodman was always in the middle of things. So how did they celebrate their first championship in 1989?
Two of the best shooters on the Pistons' Bad Boys teams came off the bench. James Edwards was a lanky 7-foot center who that shot fadeaway jumpers. Vinnie Johnson was a 6-foot-1 guard who used muscle and brawn to get any shot he wanted.
Pistons owner Bill Davidson bought the 18-year-old British Aerospace Company-111 from former Mavericks owner Donald Carter for $2 million and renovated it to accommodate 24 large players.
One of the most vicious hits in Pistons history didn't come from the Bad Boys. It came from Jazz forward Karl Malone, who elbowed Isiah Thomas in the face during a 1991 game in Salt Lake City.
After the players were introduced, Dantley read Isiah Thomas — he believed Thomas forced the trade for his friend, Aguirre — the riot act on the court. The conversation lasted several awkward moments, but didn't lead to anything physical. Dantley simply wanted to let Thomas know he was better than Aguirre.
The walls at West Bloomfield High School officially came crumbling to the ground midway through the third quarter. That is when Detroit Consortium sophomore ...
They were exact opposites. General manager Jack McCloskey was Trader Jack, a high-energy jock who loved high-risk trades. Chuck Daly was a player's coach who ...
There was actually a thought Detroit was not championship caliber after losing Game 4, 106-103, in Washington. Maybe the concept of having a small point guard ...
Isiah Thomas remembers the phone call from an excited Aguirre like it was yesterday. He advised Thomas to tell the Pistons to give young man named Rodman a ...
Only six points separate the No. 3 seed Canadiens from the out-of-the picture Red Wings (77-71), but including those two, there are 10 teams between 67 and 77 ...
Shareta Brown smiles a lot when she plays basketball for Wayne State's women's team. She smiles when she bulls inside for tough baskets.
Sports writer & Columnist
I was born in Detroit and graduated from Cass Tech and Central Michigan. Before coming to The Detroit News I worked at the Grand Rapids Press and Detroit Free Press. I also co-host an afternoon sports talk radio show on WXYT 1270.
I've seen Detroit from every angle. I walked Woodward with my grandmother when this town thrived and watered down the roof of my house during the 1967 riots. This place is not perfect but it defines me.
I grew up reading Joe Falls and Jerry Green, and they inspired me to write commentary because I wanted to provide a different view of our world here.
This is my town and I invite you to share in my experiences by reading my stories and by daily Web log at detnews.com.
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