Bill Laimbeer does not regret handshake snub of ‘whiner’ Bulls
Bill Laimbeer is doubling down on his team’s notorious handshake snub of the Chicago Bulls some three decades later.
Appearing Monday on ESPN’s “The Jump,” the retired Detroit Pistons star spoke on his team’s rivalry with Michael Jordan’s Bulls, which was spotlighted this past weekend in the latest installment of the documentary “The Last Dance.” One particular focus of the film was how the Pistons walked off the court without shaking hands with the Bulls after losing in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, a move said to be orchestrated by Laimbeer himself.
“They whined and cried for a year-and-a-half about how bad we were for the game, but more importantly they were bad people,” said Laimbeer on “The Jump.” “We weren’t bad people. We were just basketball players, winning. And that stuck with me because they didn’t really know who we were and what we were about as individuals in our family life. So all that whining they did, why shake their hands? They were just whiners. They won the series, give them credit, we got old, they got past us. But OK, move on.
“No,” added Laimbeer when asked if he now regretted refusing to shake hands with the Bulls. “Why would I regret now, today? I don’t care what the media says about them. I never did. If I did, I would be a basket case, especially back then. I was about winning basketball games and winning championships and did whatever I had to do to get the most out of my ability and our team, and we did. At the end of the day, we’re called ‘World Champions.'”
Laimbeer’s “Bad Boys” Pistons were the primary roadblock for Jordan’s Bulls in the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning back-to-back NBA titles with their physical style of play and their notorious “Jordan Rules” defensive strategy. Jordan himself stated in the documentary that his hatred for those Pistons teams continues “to this day.”
Isiah Thomas, another core member of the Bad Boys, also offered some interesting thoughts on the handshake snub this week, and it seems that neither side is backing down from each other, even nearly 30 years later.