• Joe Dumars recalls playing against Michael Jordan in his prime
  • Dumars says Jordan had no holes in his game
  • Jordan still dislikes the Pistons' "Bad Boys" squad even to this day

Detroit Pistons legend Joe Dumars candidly spoke about how it was like to guard a prime Michael Jordan.

Throughout his Hall of Fame career, Dumars played only for the Pistons. He was a member of the so-called “Bad Boys” Pistons squad that rivaled Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the late 80s up to early 90s.

Dumars was one of the few NBA stars who can deliver on both ends of the floor – defensively and offensively. During his peak, he often stopped any shooting guard from scoring bunches. However, Jordan was just too much to handle for the 1989 NBA Finals MVP.

“Some guys were competitive but didn’t have his [Jordan’s] gifts,” Dumars recently said of Fox Sports Radio. “Some guys were gifted but didn’t have his competitiveness. He had it all. There were no holes you could attack with him off and on the court. He was a handful all those nights.”

Over time, the NBA has housed an array of multi-talented players, but for Dumars, nobody in the league has the same set of qualities a prime Jordan had.

“It’s his incredible focus and competitive spirit he brought to the court every night,” the six-time NBA All-Star explained of Jordan. “He was super competitive as anyone. But add incredible physical gifts with that type of intensity, focus, and competitive nature. You add those things together, what he was doing physically, just so gifted and special on the court. He had that drive to go along with it. That is what separated him.”

Michael Jordan has pledged $100 million over 10 years to groups fighting for social justice and against racism
Michael Jordan has pledged $100 million over 10 years to groups fighting for social justice and against racism AFP / VINCENT LAFORET

Jordan and the Bulls suffered excruciating defeats at the hands of the Pistons for three consecutive seasons. "The Bad Boys" beat them in five games of the Eastern Conference semi-finals in 1988, in six games of the conference finals in 1989, and in a hard-fought seven-game series of the conference finals in 1990.

At the time, Bulls vs. Pistons games were physical, courtesy of the then-Pistons squad’s “The Jordan Rules.” The idea of the said rule is to simply not let MJ get into the paint and score an easy bucket on them.

As a result, Jordan and the Bulls were physically beaten the entire series.

It was 1991 when the Bulls finally get their revenge and eliminated the Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals.

After the humiliating 4-0 sweep, the Pistons decided to not shake the hands of the Bulls players, something Jordan still doesn’t appreciate to this day.

"Oh, I hated them," Jordan said of the Pistons in Episode 3 of the ESPN docuseries "The Last Dance." "And that hate carries even to this day. They made it personal. They physically beat the s--- out of us."

"But they didn't have to shake our hands," he added. "We knew we whipped their ass already, we'd gotten past them, and that, to me, that was better in some ways than winning a championship."