Would Michael Jordan have more rings in today’s NBA? Some NBA fans reading this from the title are assuming that I’m referring to if M.J played today. I am not.
I’m referring to if Jordan played when he did with today’s rules. Could Michael Jordan have 7-8 rings?
Today’s NBA is different
Today’s NBA is different. I know that younger fans out there accept this. Do the majority really understand the difference of the changes and the increased scoring it has created?
The photo to the right is of Maurice Lucas squaring up with Darryl Dawkins in game 2 of the 1977 NBA Finals.
In case some fans looking at this are thinking it looks like 2 boxers squaring up but its probably just the writer trying to make it look worse than it is.
What I’m going to do is provide the video of this, so you know what this looks like is exactly what it is. BTW there weren’t any ejections made or suspensions handed down.
Marcus Morris’ Flagrant 2 on Luka
If you didn’t watch it live or hear about it on SportsCenter later that Sunday night, then you knew about it because every sports outlet in every arena of journalism talked about it incessantly for 3 days.
This play wouldn’t even be considered a hard foul back in the day, let alone bringing about cause for a player to be ejected.
What was a hard Foul?
This was a hard foul back in the day
No ejections. No suspensions. This type of thing happened more than you think. You’ll see more examples soon.
Bulls Vs Pistons: NBA East Finals
The Detroit Pistons defeated the Chicago Bulls in the 1989 & 1990 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
In 1989 Detroit was down 2-1 to Chicago before advancing to the NBA Finals in 6 games. In the Finals, the Pistons swept the Lakers. This was revenge for the Bad Boy Pistons as they had lost in seven games the year prior to Los Angeles.
The Pistons went up 2-0 vs. the Bulls in the 1990 East Finals. The Bulls would lose again but after falling behind the defending NBA champions, Chicago stretched the series, losing in 7 games.
The Pistons went on to defeat Portland in 5 games to claim back-to-back championships.
These were series’ of players squaring up, clotheslining the opposition, and every thing in between and beyond.
To give you a good grasp of the climate of these games check out the video of the most physical plays this series delivered from 1988-1991 below.
What’s it all mean
I believe Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls would have reached the NBA Finals in 1989 and/or 1990. Basically the Bulls boasted the same roster that won the NBA championship in 1991.
Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen weren’t as refined offensively in 1989, as they would be in 1990 & 1991.
Defensively and athletically both future champions were who they were in the three championship seasons of 1991-93, back in 1989.
Bill Cartwright probably was quite better in the seasons before 1991.
In 1989 Magic Johnson got injured in game 2 of the Finals. He would miss the final 9 quarters of the Pistons 4 game sweep.
It would be unknowledgeable for me to say Magic would still get injured against Chicago.
I can however make an educated opinion that Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan would give Magic more trouble than he faced ever before defensively.
The Chicago wings would have done in 1989 what they wound up doing in 1991, when nearly every expert thought the Lakers were going to defeat the Bulls in the same fashion that the Bulls did them.
In 1990 it took Detroit 7 games to dispose of the Bulls. They turned around and soundly beat the Blazers in 5 games the same lineup for the most part that Chicago beat for their second title in 1992.
What makes You think they could get past the Pistons?
If the game was played back then and called by the referees how it is today, the Pistons wouldn’t be able to use their physicality how they did.
Do you want to know what would happen if they tried?
The Bulls would have been on a power play. A 5-on-3 advantage. I don’t know how else to explain it. It would be most of Chicago facing off against Isiah Thomas, Vinny Johnson and Mark Aguirre because the rest of the Pistons would have been hit with flagrant 2’s. Most of them probably facing suspensions to boot.
This isn’t a joke, I’m not playin
Bill Laimbeer would be suspended more than he would be playing. Dennis Rodman, John Salley, and Rick Mahorn would get hit with a flagrant 2 ejection almost every game. James Edwards and Joe Dumars would miss some time too. Isiah Thomas would lose his cool from time to time too.
I’m Not saying the Bulls would beat the Pistons
I’m not saying the Bulls would beat the Pistons. Not necessarily.
I believe under the rules of today’s NBA that the Detroit Pistons wouldn’t make the Eastern Conference Finals at all.
I was going to say the Bulls who barely lost in 1989 & 1990 would have defeated the Pistons.
As I’ve thought deeper on it, since starting this article, I really don’t think Detroit would make it to face Chicago.
Watching Isiah face off against Bernard King in 1984 they weren’t too tough.
If they decided to play the way they did, they would never have there players able to play.
If they changed then the things that made Laimbeer, Mahorn, Edwards, and Rodman so effective would not be as effective on either end of the court.
Jordan atleast 7
Michael Jordan gets atleast 7 rings. Atleast. Its not insane to think he wins 8 titles. I feel strongly that in both 1989 & 1990, Michael would have been playing in the NBA Finals.
Maybe Jordan doesn’t win the championship in 1989 or 1990. The Lakers were about Magic and Worthy in 1989 just like they were in 1991 and the Blazers were almost the same team in 1990 as they were in1992. I find it unlikely he doesn’t snatch one. Michael Jordan is getting one of those rings, in my opinion.
Mike would definitely be playing for those titles though. He was nearly in the Finals facing the Pistons bully ball. These games from the late 80’s played with 2020 referees and rules means the Bulls dominance starts sooner than it did.