When people look into the history of the NBA’s most successful teams and dynasties, Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons aren’t often mentioned in that conversation.
Maybe it’s because they didn’t win as many titles as some of the other teams did in their history. It’s something Thomas has grown to accept over time, but he doesn’t want people to forget what they did accomplish in terms of style and culture.
During an appearance on the All the Smoke podcast with former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson (documented on Bleacher Report), Isiah Thomas said he and his Pistons teammates deserve another title in the league’s history.
“We’re not a dynasty because technically we didn’t win three.” Thomas said. “… What I would say, who’s been the most impactful team on the NBA—it’s the Detroit Pistons. When you look at our style of play, pick-and-roll basketball, stretch 5 in [Bill] Laimbeer, small guards, you know, shooting from the perimeter. We didn’t have a post-up player. The way we influenced the game, little guys like myself, we weren’t supposed to win championships.”
“… The most impactful and the most influential team that’s played is the Detroit Pistons.”
Thomas is right about the ring count. Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls (six), Magic Johnson’s “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers (five) and even Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors (four) win that argument all day long. Having said that, rules had to be looked at because of the Pistons’ physical style of play. It also doesn’t help Detroit won their two titles between the reigns of Johnson’s Lakers and Jordan’s Bulls.
At any rate, Thomas is okay being the most impactful and influential.
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