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The 30 for 30 on the Pistons debut Thursday including a one hour "remix" show.  You know a 30 for 30 is going to be great when they have about 60 minutes of extra footage.

 

I didn't think I was going to watch the 30 for 30 Soccer Series but damn this one on the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium tragedy is so damn intense.  

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"I brought him into the world. I needed to see him out." Heartbreaking.

 

My heart goes out to that poor cop in the "morgue" who is still seeing things he can't un-see 25 years later. We may "hate" other clubs and lord knows there's some epic stick here at times, but I like to think we can all agree that at the end of the day, no one deserves to die for the sake of following their teams.

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The Hillsborough documentary is really great. I do wonder, why, though they didn't mention Heysel in the build-up. They mentioned the Spurs game a few years earlier where people were getting hurt. Not they Heysel attributed to Hillsborough, but it did certainly add to the reputation of Liverpool fans as awful hooligans, which helped perpetuate the lie afterwards.

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I didn't think the Pistons one was anything special.  Nothing I really haven't seen or heard before.  Those NBA produced doc's from the 80's are just as worth watching.

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I didn't think the Pistons one was anything special.  Nothing I really haven't seen or heard before.  Those NBA produced doc's from the 80's are just as worth watching.

I really liked it, but the basketball parts were really basic stuff that if you watched enough NBA TV or ESPN Classic you've probably seen.  The thing that really struck me was how much that team absolutely loved each other.  When Mahorn broke down and cried when he talked about going to Minnesota in the expansion draft, I realized that those guys really looked at that team as a family.  That team gets overlooked, but if you thik about it that is the least selfish great team of all time.  We listen to the media talk about teams that win the right way, and players that are selfesh and entitled, but they also ignore the team that embodied those principles the most.

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I'm almost through watching the Hillsborough doc.  It's awesome.  My mind is blown that, in 1989, the setup used in that stadium was even allowed.  Caging people in with no assigned seats and nowhere to go - yep, that seems like a great idea.  95 people killed without any actual violence.  That's just unbelievable.  The incompetence at every level is just stupefying.

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 We listen to the media talk about teams that win the right way, and players that are selfesh and entitled, but they also ignore the team that embodied those principles the most.

 

The one guy on those teams who was really selfish was Adrian Dantley.  And we see where that got him - traded in the midst of a championship season.

 

It all comes from the - Isiah was an unselfish player.  He could have gone out and gotten 25 & 7 every night without any trouble at all.  But he knew to be great, the team needed him to get 18 & 11.  So that's what he did. 

 

I think those Pistons teams are generally underappreciated for how great they were.  They won two titles, had a third stolen from them in 88, and had an Eastern Conference title stolen from them the year before that.  They're viewed by a lot of people as similar to the Knicks of the mid-90s - all defense, no offense, slowing the game to a crawl; but that ain't what they were at all.  They averaged 105 a game and had a bunch of guys who could score.  Hell, Joe D once scored 21 in a quarter in the Finals, like Isiah scored 25 one year.

 

And I would still take the 88/89 Pistons over any Jordan-era Bulls team in a 7-game series.

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I think the Pistons get a lot of love.  I don't see them being ignored.  They're always one of the first examples given when people talk about teams beating your superstar led teams.

 

The early 80's Sixers get more ignored than the Pistons, IMO.  If the Pistons aren't glorified as much as they should be, you can thank Isiah Thomas for that.  He's likeable, I think people would like to give him credit but every so often he does something really stupid that can't be ignored.

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I wanted to throw something at Laimbeer throughout that 30-for-30. I still hate that guy.

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I want to watch the Hillsborough one, because I trust 30 For 30 to do that right, but at the same time there's no way it isn't going to be a mess for me to get through.

 

Someday.

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I wanted to throw something at Laimbeer throughout that 30-for-30. I still hate that guy.

I still remember an issue of National Lampoon from 1988 that had "an ad" for "ground laimbeer" shoes.

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I wanted to throw something at Laimbeer throughout that 30-for-30. I still hate that guy.

I'm almost certain he is the first athlete I hated, I was about nine years old when they were winning those titles, and I absolutely wanted to punch him in the face.  He could have been a great heel wrestler.

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If the Pistons aren't glorified as much as they should be, you can thank Isiah Thomas for that.  He's likeable, I think people would like to give him credit but every so often he does something really stupid that can't be ignored.

Ya know, if they don't walk off the court against the Bulls - something I completely understand but still wish they hadn't done - which led to Isiah's (wrongful) banishment from the Dream Team, followed by Isiah tanking as an NBA executive, I think you'd see the Pistons get more credit.  They get a lot, no doubt about it, but there's been an awful lot of backlash against Isiah over the years that's hurt the perception of him and his team.

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I wanted to throw something at Laimbeer throughout that 30-for-30. I still hate that guy.

I get it.  But man, we loved having him on our team.  Was he dirty?  Sure.  But he was also tough and was willing to take whatever retribution came his way.  And if you were Isiah, or Joe D, or Vinnie, you knew damn sure that Laimbeer and Mahorn had your back if anybody decided to take a cheap shot on you.

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I want to watch the Hillsborough one, because I trust 30 For 30 to do that right, but at the same time there's no way it isn't going to be a mess for me to get through.

 

Someday.

 

Yeah - as a Liverpool supporter - I'm not watching this for a while 

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I didn't think the Pistons one was anything special.  Nothing I really haven't seen or heard before.  Those NBA produced doc's from the 80's are just as worth watching.

 

Agree.  A lot of great moments, but I didn't think it was in the top tier of 30 for 30 docs.

 

 

Hasn't it been revealed that Magic was the one who had Thomas banned?

 

The stories I've heard/read claim it was Jordan.

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Hasn't it been revealed that Magic was the one who had Thomas banned?

 

The problem is that Isiah didn't have one friend on the team.  It was a collective decision, on some level. Bird hated him, Ewing was buddies with Bird and would go along with him on the topic.  Jordan clearly wasn't fond of Isiah, and Barkley was friends with MJ.  Pippen couldn't stand Isiah, neither could Malone.  Stockton wasn't going to say squat, his being on the team could have been seen as part to no Isiah around. I believe Magic and Isiah had a falling out.  So Magic wasn't going to push for his inclusion.  That's 8 out of 10 original DT members who either hated Isiah or just didn't care.

 

Also, Pistons GM Jack McCloskey.was on the selection committee for the Dream Team and was on record as saying Isiah wasn't concerned about being picked.  McCloskey grossly misjudged the situation and resigned from the committee in faux protest of the Isiah snub, but he didn't help his player when he could.  McCloskey was grandstanding because Isiah was furious over the snub.

 

Chuck Daly didn't make much noise about Isiah not being on the team, either.

 

Isiah had pissed off too many people and even those who had no dog in the fight were indifferent.  He never had a chance.

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I think the Dream Team was committed to having one collegiate player.  So the question would be how different the team would have looked with Shaq.  But Laettner was clearly the better college star, so his being on the team made sense.

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Looking back at the 91-92 season, Thomas didn't make an All-NBA team and the Pistons lost in the first round.  Outside of the name value, are we sure it was such a slight based on who the best players were in 1992?

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I didn't think the Pistons one was anything special.  Nothing I really haven't seen or heard before.  Those NBA produced doc's from the 80's are just as worth watching.

 

Agree.  A lot of great moments, but I didn't think it was in the top tier of 30 for 30 docs.

 

 

Hasn't it been revealed that Magic was the one who had Thomas banned?

 

The stories I've heard/read claim it was Jordan.

 

The Dream Team book went into some depth about how Jordan would refuse to play if Thomas was on it. . . 

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I think the Dream Team was committed to having one collegiate player.  So the question would be how different the team would have looked with Shaq.  But Laettner was clearly the better college star, so his being on the team made sense.

Originally USA basketball wanted it to be six and six. . . as if it was going to happen. Then it went to 10 and 2, then finally, 11 and 1. . . 

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MJ was the driving force behind it, but iirc, that recent Dream Team book/ESPN special had Magic finally admit that he backed Jordan's "if Isiah is there, I won't be" play.

 

And, as great as Isiah was, and as much as he deserved it, only an idiot would take him over Magic and Michael (and maybe Bird.)

 

 

Anyway, that 30 for 30 forces me to dig up my all-time favorite basketball related quote, ever, from NBA.com's NBA's Greatest Moments feature from god knows how many years ago:

 

"Despite a severely sprained ankle, Thomas returned 35 seconds later and continued the offensive assault. By the end of the quarter, he had hit 11 of 13 shots from the floor for 25 points, setting an NBA Finals record for points in a quarter. Better yet, he had single-handedly given his team an 81-79 lead.

The Pistons ultimately lost Game 6 to the Lakers, but it was no fault of the battle-weary Thomas. He finished the night with a jammed left pinkie, a poked eye, a scratched face, a ballooned ankle, 43 points, 8 assists, 6 steals, and enough respect to last a lifetime."

 

They definitely get lost in the shuffle, with Magic getting the last of his 5 titles the year before, and Michael the first of his six the year after (and you'll never find a more impressive last two rounds of the NBA playoffs than that Bulls team, who beat the two teams that had combined to win the last 4 titles, and did so in just 9 games) and of course Bird's Celtics being right there as well.  Isiah gets lost with them, partially because he burnt every bridge, partially because how badly his post-playing career has went, and partially because, as great as he was, again, he bridges the gap between Magic and Larry before him and MJ after him.  Being the 4th best guy is nothing to sneeze at, but it will also always get a bit over looked.

 

The fact that Rick STILL can't talk about the expansion draft stung.  I get they didn't have time, but it's a shame they didn't go into him refusing to go to Minnesota, negotiating to play ball in Europe, and getting traded ultimately to Philly where him and Barkley became one of the most bad-ass front courts in the NBA. 

 

I know why everyone hates Bill, but that clip of him trying to decapitate Bird is still the best NBA highlight I've ever seen.  Of course, I grew up with a mother who passionately hated Larry Bird, who considers Joe Dumars hands down the greatest player in NBA history, and in highschool I had a mini-replica of Laimbeer's retired number banner hanging on my bedroom wall.

 

I did find it interesting they never really touched on Joey D being the "nice guy" of the Bad Boys. 

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Hasn't it been revealed that Magic was the one who had Thomas banned?

Nope, it was all MJ.

As for Isiah not being good enough at the time - he was better than Magic, Bird and Stockton at that moment in time, so let's not go there. It was all about getting Jordan to show up. If he was OK with Thomas, the other guys would have fallen in line.

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