Leach’s List: What’s The Greatest Championship Team In Motor City History?
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By Dan Leach
On the heels of the spine tingling announcement from The Pistons organization that they are going to have a blow out-knock down festival to honor 25th Anniversary of the Pistons Bad Boys World Championship team at the Palace on March 28 when the 2-time defending champion Miami Heat come to town.
It got me thinking, what is the greatest championship team in Motor City History. Here are my top three , what is your #1? No matter who you think is the greatest Detroit title team of all-time, it is going to be quite a special evening when all the Bad Boys get back together and will help raise a lot of money for six wonderful charities.
HONORABLE MENTION- 1968 DETROIT TIGERS – A 30 game winner, a team that brought a city that had been in shambles back together, my dad’s hero Al Kaline. It goes on and on when you talk about the stature and relevance of the 68′s Tigers
3-1997 DETROIT RED WINGS STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM- Most people had not been alive the last time the Wings had hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1995, but the Wings led by Stevie Y, Sergei, Mike Vernon’s head standing in net, and Scotty B’s brilliant coaching, brought the city to its knees in passion and excitement. You could feel the energy and anticipation throughout the whole playoff run, but then when they faced the Flyers in the Cup Finals it was almost like a countdown from the opening puck drop of game 1 into history. When Darren McCarty effectively sealed it in the second period of game 4, the entire city rose as one knowing the party about to take place.
2-DETROIT TIGERS 84 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS- The 35-5 start, one of the greatest in MLB history, showed how good this team truly was. Sparky, Tram and Lou, Gibson, Morris. the talent on this team was something to behold. Their run to the title and how they did it with complete balance and domination will leave the ’84 Tigers place in history as a shining beacon of what a title team is all about. One of the best championship teams in all four major sports in the past 40 years. I still have the epic Coke Can collection with all the Tigers gracing the sides of the cans. For me this is one of the earliest memories I have of where I truly fell in love with sports.
1-DETROIT PISTONS “BAD BOYS” TEAM OF 1989- What can’t you say about this squad? They did it from all angles, truly as a team, and played some of the best defense in NBA history en route to their sweep of the Lakers. This team embodied the heart and soul of a city and region and showed that glitz and glamour doesn’t get you a World Title, completely taking over a game from the opening tip with defense and energy does. Dennis Rodman had one of the best defensive seasons in NBA history in 88-89, Joe D and Zeke were like watching poetry in motion ,and whether it was Bill Laimbeer snagging a monster rebound or shooting a clutch three, the Pistons were as balanced as any NBA title team since or before. Easily one of the most underrated championship teams in sport over the past 50 years. I think when all is said and done they will and should go down as one of the greatest title teams in the modern sports era.