Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons will run petty counter programming to The Last Dance

Sunday night’s episodes of The Last Dance are set to have a Detroit Pistons’ flavor, but the Pistons are running a counter program.

The teasers for Sunday night’s episodes of the Chicago Bulls-Michael documentary The Last Dance promise a good helping of Detroit Pistons’ flavor.

From Jordan and the Bulls battling and ultimately getting past the Pistons (spoiler alert?), to noted “Bad Boy” Dennis Rodman ultimately joining the other side in Chicago for the second three-peat, it will be interesting with some high on-screen drama as prominent players from both sides of the rivalry are shown in interviews.

Isaiah Thomas’ quote from the ads for Episode 3 and 4 about crashing the Bulls’ party informs the tension that still seems to exist for the prominent players on both sides. The Pistons’ decision to not shake hands with the Bulls after losing to them in the 1991 playoffs stands as a notable diss move to this day

It’s easy to forget about, but at their peak the “Bad Boys” era Pistons won back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.

The nationwide quarantine driven by coronavirus is pushing sports networks to air classic games. Even with that in mind, the Pistons and their regional network partner are offering a timely reminder of when they won their first title.

Game 4 of the 1989 NBA Finals on Fox Sports Detroit, when the Pistons completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, will have an hour head start on Episode 3 of The Last Dance. But it’s still a nicely calculated bit of counter programming, albeit with a far narrower reach than ESPN has with The Last Dance.

The choice of that particular game, beyond it being the christening of the first of the back-to-back titles for the Pistons, does not feel accidental. Jordan and the Bulls beat the Lakers themselves for their first title, two years later.

Next: Rodman didn’t care, that’s what made him special

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