Rick Mahorn, a ‘Bad Boy’ Piston, admits that he wouldn’t shake hands with the Bulls or Michael Jordan even today, after losing in 1991.
Michael Jordan had quite the storybook beginning to his postseason successes. His career up until 1991 was marred with Playoff shortcomings and from 1998-1990, three years straight, the Chicago Bulls would run into the Detroit Pistons in the postseason, and lose all three times.
Isiah Thomas was the engine that fueled the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons on the offensive end of the floor while guys like Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman played the role of bruisers on the defensive end. They were known to beat up on guys in the league with an extremely high level of physical play, leading Michael Jordan to seek out Tim Grover in ‘89 to help him bulk up.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls would finally get over the Pistons humped in 1991 as they swept the aging two-time champions in the Eastern Conference Finals. This loss would mark the end of the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons’ potential dynasty, leading to one of the more infamous moments in NBA history.
Rick Mahorn emphatically denies wanting to shake hands with the Bulls and Michael Jordan.
Sportsmanship was something the Detroit Pistons at the time lacked on several occasions. The biggest instance of this was when they walked off the court in the waning minutes of a hopeless Game 4 in the 1991 ECF, without shaking any of the Bulls players’ hands.
Guys like Michael Jordan and other Bulls have come out and said that they felt a certain type of way about this decision made by them. Rick Mahorn however, a crucial piece to those Pistons teams, has recently come out and explicitly stated that he doesn’t care and still wouldn’t shake hands with them to this day.
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) July 1, 2021
In all fairness, losing a chance to win a 3rd straight championship is a decent enough reason not be walk off the floor. NBA fans can’t expect the utmost level of sportsmanship from every single team that walks onto NBA hardwood.