Players were always getting smashed, tackled, and hit. Any player that drove to the basket was bound to get hurt or at least feel a lot of pain. The best player in the league hated this team. The best player was always frustrated of getting hit. He wasn't mentally tough enough. This story is the story of the 1990 Detroit Pistons and Michael Jordan.
Back in the 1990's, the Pistons were a physically and mentally tough team. They weren't afraid to tackle players like Larry Bird. They dominated the boards with ferocious attack and determination. Best of all, they were rivals with the greatest player of all time. Michael Jordan and the Pistons hated each other.
Hate might not even be a strong enough word.
Jordan was the unstoppable force in the league, and no one could stop him. Or at least everyone, but the Detroit Pistons. They stopped Jordan by tackling, punching, trash talking, and double teaming Jordan. Jordan didn't know how to break the Pistons because he wasn't mentally tough enough yet.
Does this story sound like a story that we here today? A player that is the best player in the league being beaten up by a physical team. We saw the reenactment of the Pistons and Bulls last night when the Heat faced the Bulls.
Lebron, the unstoppable force, was beaten up by a physical team. Not only was he beaten up physically, he was also beaten up mentally. At one point in the game, Lebron is extremely frustrated. He has a buildup of anger and he is ready to hit someone. In this case, he wanted to hit Carlos Boozer. Here is the video of Lebron elbowing Boozer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFnmJgxft_s
Notice his face filled with frustration and anger?
This is not being mentally tough. Lebron will be like Jordan, however, and find a way to beat the Bulls.
Now let's look at the Bulls and Pistons similarities.
- Physical team
- Rebounding team
- Defensive team
- Facing the best player in the league and frustrating him
- Having a great coach
Also look at their lineup! Joakim Noah is Dennis Rodman/Bill Laimbeer, Carlos Boozer is James Edwards, Derrick Rose is your Isiah Thomas, Luol Deng/Kirk Hinrich is your Joe Dumars, Nate Robinson is your Vinnie Johnson, and Richard Hamilton is your Mark Aguirre! Those players play almost the exact same.
They are the exact same team, except for two things. One is the referees. A referee in the 1980's used to let teams play. You could smash a guy on the ground and it would be a shooting foul. Now, a small elbow is a flagrant (Relating the Lebron elbow to Boozer)! Number two is the result. The Pistons won two back-to-back championships, while the Bulls have yet to make the Finals.
Although the two differences are extremely important, I am still willing to say the 2013 Bulls are almost a replica of the 1990 Pistons (Notice that a replica is never as good as the real thing).