Detroit's easiest team to love by Detroiters at the time, was ranked as the second most hated sports team of all-time by Sports Illustrated today. Damon Hack explains:â†µ
Between the joy of Magic and the majesty of Michael was the dark and frightening rise of the Bad Boys. They threw hip checks like the Red Wings and were as mean as any boxer in Kronk Gym. Outside the state of Michigan, you wanted these guys in handcuffs. Never has an NBA team been so easy to detest, what with Rick Mahorn throwing forearms, Dennis Rodman elbows and Bill Laimbeer (pictured, left, with Mahorn) fits. (Somewhere, Laimbeer is probably still whining to the refs). Worst thing about them? They were a great basketball team. For all their roughhousing, the Pistons could light up the scoreboard with anyone -- Isiah Thomas flashing that sneaky grin as he beat you off the dribble, Joe Dumars locking up opponents and knocking down threes, Vinnie (Microwave) Johnson throwing in jumpers from everywhere. Fact is, the Pistons helped end two dynasties (Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics) and delayed the start of a third (Michael Jordan's Bulls). They were bullies in basketball togs, but they could play.â†µ
Maybe Sports Illustrated wanted to minimize listing the same franchise twice, but the 1988-89 Bad Boys repeated the following year with virtually the same roster (only Rick Mahorn of all the aforementioned players wasn't on the roster). Personally, a team with a championship already under their belt, going for a second in a row, is much easier to hate, so it's surprising that the 1989-1990 Pistons didn't get listed, as well (or at least lumped).â†µ
The Pistons weren't the only Detroit team listed, though. The 1909 Detroit Tigers were ranked as the 24th most hated sports team of all-time, mostly due to the hated, and tabbed racist, Ty Cobb. If they would've won the World Series that year, I imagine they would be listed higher on the list.