Blaha: Jordan Said Pistons Were Undeserving Champs

Longtime Pistons play-by-play man George Blaha explains why Detroit didn't shake hands with the Bulls in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals

The DA Show
May 07, 2020 - 11:15 am

As seen in The Last Dance, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls did not like Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons – for many reasons. But it’s clear the Bulls haven’t forgiven the Pistons for refusing to shake hands after the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.

As Pistons play-by-play voice George Blaha explained, however, there was more to the non-handshake than meets the eye.

“Well, they weren’t really mad about it, but they had talked about it over a couple of years, when they finally beat Boston, the Celtics got out of there in a hurry,” Blaha said on the DA Show. “Larry Bird headed for the locker room before the game ended. Adrian Dantley was still at the free-throw line. So it’s not like you were obliged to do what you had to do after the game.”

According to Blaha, Jordan taking shots at the Pistons didn’t help matters.

“The odd thing was, to me, and I know that he had gone through years of getting beat up, but Michael said some tough things about the Pistons in a one-on-one interview on the off day between Game 3 and Game 4,” Blaha said. “If he had it to do over again, he might not have said all the things that he said, and maybe if the Pistons had it to do over again, they might not have walked. But the point is he kind of set the table for that with what he said – the Pistons are bad for basketball, they’re undeserving champions, and on and on.”

After winning back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990, the Pistons had peaked. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 1991, but were no match for the ascending Bulls. After going up 3-0 in the series, Jordan apparently didn’t have many nice things to say about Detroit.

“I saw it,” Blaha said. “I couldn’t believe my ears or my eyes when I was watching. I saw it live. They asked him, ‘Hey, what do you think now that it looks like the end of an era? The Pistons have been dominant.’ And he went ahead and said what he said.”

Blaha believes the Pistons didn’t shake hands with the Bulls after Game 4 precisely because of those comments. Click below to listen to Blaha’s interview in its entirety.