ESPN’s newest 30 for 30 film, “Bad Boys,” is flat out awesome.
The Celtics/Pistons rivalry is a big chunk of the film. You get to relive the epic games and fierce battles through the eyes of Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn, John Salley and Bill Laimbeer.
To this day, my greatest Celtics memory is Larry Bird’s steal in Game 5 of the 1987 conference finals. The goosebumps are enhanced when you hear the Pistons talk about the heartbreak from losing that game. It’s glorious. Isiah admits he panicked and still appears hurt.
Thomas and his teammates express much respect for the Celtics. Isiah said they were scared to death of Bird and that his mother-in-law nicknamed Legend’s jumper, “Silent Death.” The film also dissects Dennis Rodman’s racist comments about Legend that had the backing of Thomas. 25 years later and Isiah still refuses to admit regret over the comment. Stunning.
I will say this about Isiah, he was a phenomenal baller. The man dropped 25 points in the 3rd quarter of an NBA Finals game on severely sprained ankle. He’s underrated today for one reason; his skills are overshadowed by his a-hole personality.
Speaking of a-holes, Bill Laimbeer is still a smug prick. Knowing that he grew up a spoiled rich kid only enhances my disdain for the man.
The physicality of the game in this era is staggering. The Pistons literally beat up Michael Jordan. Imagine if LeBron James had to deal with that type of play?
Check out Bad Boys, you’ll love it.