We all love(d) them with a healthy passion, but I don't think it comes as a surprise that non-Pistons fans were not too fond of our beloved Bad Boys. Sports Illustrated ranked the 25 most hated teams of all-time today and put the 88-89 Pistons at No. 2. Damon Hack explains:
Between the joy of Magic and the majesty of Michael was the dark and frightening rise of the Bad Boys. They threw hip checks like the Red Wings and were as mean as any boxer in Kronk Gym. Outside the state of Michigan, you wanted these guys in handcuffs. Never has an NBA team been so easy to detest, what with Rick Mahorn throwing forearms, Dennis Rodman elbows and Bill Laimbeer (pictured, left, with Mahorn) fits. (Somewhere, Laimbeer is probably still whining to the refs). Worst thing about them? They were a great basketball team. For all their roughhousing, the Pistons could light up the scoreboard with anyone -- Isiah Thomas flashing that sneaky grin as he beat you off the dribble, Joe Dumars locking up opponents and knocking down threes, Vinnie (Microwave) Johnson throwing in jumpers from everywhere. Fact is, the Pistons helped end two dynasties (Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics) and delayed the start of a third (Michael Jordan's Bulls). They were bullies in basketball togs, but they could play.
I'm surprised the 89-90 Bad Boys did not get lumped in somehow -- an FBI investigation was launched because Chuck Daly was getting death threats! -- but there's probably not much arguing with this particular ranking from an unbiased standpoint. Take a look at SI's list (it's all on one page in the Detroit News) and share where you think SI went wrong, right, or both.
Something else to consider: what's your list of most loved (and hated) Detroit teams? You can do just Pistons or all major Detroit sports teams. Have at it, if you want.