The 1988-89 Detroit Pistons finished with a 63-19 record before stampeding through the playoffs and winning their first of two consecutive NBA titles. In the process, they also became one of the most hated teams in sports history. Here are photos of the original Bad Boys.
2 of 17Getty Images
The Pistons squad was led by Thomas, a 6-foot-1 point guard. The 12-time All-Star led the team in scoring at 18 points per game while dishing out eight assists.
3 of 17Getty Images
Dumars, 25, established himself as one of the NBA's top guards in 1988-89, averaging 17 points and six assists per game while providing tough perimeter defense.
4 of 17Getty Images
No player epitomized the Pistons' style of play more than Laimbeer. The Notre Dame grad averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game while providing a tough defensive presence in the paint.
5 of 17Getty Images
Adrian Dantley and Mark Aguirre
Adrian Dantley, who was the team's highest paid player ($1.25 million/year), was traded to Dallas midseason in exchange for Mark Aguirre. The move bolstered the Pistons offense as Aguirre added 14 points per game.
6 of 17Manny Millan/SI
Vinnie Johnson provided an offensive spark off the bench as "The Microwave" averaged 14 points in 25 minutes per game.
7 of 17Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Edwards, nicknamed "Buddha" for his appearance, was a key member of the Pistons' second unit.
8 of 17AP
Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn
Detroit celebrated its reputation as the NBA's "Bad Boys," including with this poster of Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn.
9 of 17 Jonathan Daniel/NBAE/Getty Images
Rick Mahorn, Mark Aguirre and Dennis Rodman
Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman sandwich Mark Aguirre as the Pistons close out Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Aguirre, who was selected No. 1 ahead of Isiah Thomas in the 1981 draft, gave the Pistons another offensive weapon when he was acquired midway through the season.
10 of 17Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
James Edwards, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Michael Jordan
Though Michael Jordan averaged 35 points per game in the playoffs, the Pistons swarmed the Bulls guard as Detroit beat Chicago in six game to claim the Eastern Conference crown.
11 of 17Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson
Longtime friends Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas embrace prior to the start of the NBA Finals.
12 of 17V.J. Lovero/SI
Isiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman averaged 10 rebounds in 24 minutes per game during the playoffs. He would go on to win three more titles with Michael Jordan's Bulls of the late '90s.
13 of 17Richard Mackson /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Though Isiah Thomas was the face of the Pistons, Dumars earned Finals MVP honors after his strong performance on offense and defense.
14 of 17Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Thomas celebrates with the Larry O'Brien trophy.
15 of 17Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Pistons owner Bill Davidson celebrates with Isiah Thomas during the NBA Championship Trophy presentation.
16 of 17AP
Dennis Rodman and James Edwards
Rodman and Edwards unwind on the team plane as the Pistons returned to Detroit following their Finals victory over the Lakers.
17 of 17Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Thomas chats with David Letterman after the Pistons won the title.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!