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Celtics Hall of Famer Kevin McHale defends Bad Boys while trashing Bulls as complainers


The infamous “Bad Boys” edition of the Detroit Pistons has once again been put into the spotlight thanks to the documentary “The Last Dance” which details Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

Of course, a major portion of the documentary was dedicated to Detroit’s walk-off before the final horn of their 1991 playoff loss to the Bulls. It’s clear that all these years later, the animosity between the two sides still exists.

However, not everyone is taking Jordan’s side in the re-ignited debate.

Boston Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale not only defended Detroit’s hard, physical style of play, but also threw a jab at Jordan and the Bulls.

“First of all, you can see why the Pistons didn’t like the Bulls,” McHale told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “The Bulls complained all the time. That’s one thing that came across (in the documentary). Like, ‘This is not basketball. This is thuggery.’ All that stuff.

“I thought the Bulls really disrespected what the Pistons were able to do. But, hey, when you kill the king, you can talk (expletive).”

Of course, McHale knew the Pistons well, as he and the Celtics battled Detroit in the playoffs five times from 1985–1991. And unlike the NHL, there was never an official post-series handshake.

“I’m going to tell you this: of all the series that I played in all through the ’80s, after a close-out game, unless you were walking with somebody you knew, you almost never said anything. You might congratulate them if you saw them later, but there wasn’t a lot of talk, I mean, congratulatory or (expletive)-talking or anything,” McHale said. “You just kind of went in the locker room. Ninety percent of the series we won, I didn’t talk to anybody. They didn’t come up to me, and I didn’t think they should.”

“I knew Isiah from the Pan-Am Games, and Zeke and I have always been friends,” said McHale. “He said something to me, and I said, ‘Hey, man, look, it feels just as bad to lose in The Finals as it does to lose in the Eastern Conference finals.’ I said, ‘This (expletive)’s not over with. You guys got another series to play, so don’t celebrate too much.’ I said that, then I walked off. That was just my advice to him as a friend.”

– – Quotes via Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald Link – –

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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