NBA legend Michael Jordan is considered the GOAT of basketball by many. Even when his team lost, Jordan always fought hard. However, that does not mean the Chicago Bulls legend did not struggle. Notably, MJ had a torrid time playing against the Detroit Pistons. The Bad Boys showed the world that Jordan was a human being after all and he could be contained. But the Pistons were not the fan favorites, and the fans made it clear once again now even after decades.
Jordan hit the ground running after entering the league. However, he was initially not able to lead his team to the NBA Finals for years. One of the biggest roadblocks for MJ was the Pistons.
Michael Jordan’s struggle against the Detroit Pistons
Michael Jordan struggled to make buckets against the physical defense of the Detroit Pistons. The era was known for its hard-nosed basketball, where no easy layups or dunks were allowed in the playoffs. However, many still felt the Pistons were extremely physical, which earned them their nickname Bad Boys. The Pistons eliminated Jordan and the Bulls for three straight years in the playoffs.
The conference rivals made sure Jordan did not have any easy looks. He was mauled by multiple Pistons stars whenever he took off for a layup or a dunk. At the time, there was no defensive 3-second rule. This meant a big could wait in the paint for MJ to make a move and contest. And in some cases, punish him. Jordan once said that he was “tired of getting beat up” and started working hard.