Michael Jordan’s Jumpman logo to be featured on a Detroit Pistons jersey
In other words, the Detroit Pistons will take the court at some point next season wearing jerseys with Michael Jordan’s silhouette on them.
You know, the same Pistons franchise that tried its hardest to make Jordan’s life miserable just as he was coming into his own as the NBA’s best player. The rough tactics of those Pistons, who complemented Thomas with the hard-nosed likes of Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, Joe Dumars and pre-Bulls Dennis Rodman, often paid off, too, as they eliminated Jordan’s Chicago Bulls from the playoffs in 1988, 1989 and 1990. No other NBA team could claim that much postseason success against His Airness.
Little wonder, then, that Jordan claimed in “The Last Dance” that sweeping Detroit out of the 1991 playoffs “was better in some ways than winning a championship.”
“I hated them,” Jordan said of the Pistons at another point in the 10-part documentary series. “That hate carries even to this day. They made it personal. They physically beat the s— out of us.”
The hateful feeling was mutual, to the point where Thomas and other Detroit players refused to shake the hands of Jordan and the Bulls after their 1991 elimination, an act of disrespect that the Jordan of today profanely mocked in the series.
Of course, the Pistons of today, with no series wins in just two trips to the playoffs since 2009, are merely the distant successors of the Bad Boys. It’s not the Detroit players, though, who could be expected to bristle at the sight of the Jumpman logo on their uniforms, but their fans, who already have plenty about which to be unhappy.
Some of those fans took to Twitter on Tuesday go express dismay at the alternate uniform, part of a Statement Edition line meant to be trotted out for particularly juicy matchups. In theory that could mean a Bulls-Pistons game, given the teams’ long-standing rivalry, but one has to wonder if Detroit would want to concede something of a psychological edge before the ball was even tossed for the opening tip.
As noted, though, all 30 NBA franchises are slated to wear the Statement Edition uniforms at various times next season. That led to a slew of reactions Tuesday to the thought of seeing Jordan dunking, in a way, on a number of teams.
In previous years, the Statement Edition uniforms have been emblazoned with Nike’s trademark swoosh logo, except for the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Jordan and have been outfitted by his personal label since 2017.
Nike spent a reported $1 billion in 2015 to oust Adidas as the NBA’s official uniform manufacturer for an eight-year period starting in 2017. Jordan was given a signature line by Nike in 1984, and his immediate burst onto the NBA — and into pop culture — that season was integral to Nike’s rise to dominance in the sports-apparel market.