The hated Bill Laimbeer was fired by Larry Bird with a basketball in the…

The hated Bill Laimbeer was fired by Larry Bird with a basketball in the…

The Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird, had to overcome the Detroit Pistons, another formidable opponent, before taking on the vengeful Los Angeles Lakers in the 1987 NBA Finals. It seemed as though the Eastern Conference’s power dynamics were changing. The Celtics, who had advanced to the previous three NBA Finals, were overworking their aging veterans by forcing them to play more minutes than they ought to.

The Pistons were a more physically fit group and somewhat younger. During their intense 1987 Eastern Conference Finals match, things got ugly. Naturally, in the center of it all was Bill Laimbeer, the man who most opposing players despised. After Bird and Laimbeer were ejected in the series’ third game, things got worse.

According to The Chicago Tribune, even Michael Jordan referred to Laimbeer as the “dirtiest player in the league.” The center for the Pistons carried that reputation with him when he was a part of Detroit’s “Bad Boys.” When the Pistons visit town during the playoffs, things usually get heated. In 1987, the NBA Finals berth was awarded to the team that won the series between the Pistons and the Celtics.

Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn joined Laimbeer to form a physical frontcourt that frequently pushed the envelope on dirty play. Things took a bad turn in the third game of the series thanks to Laimbeer.

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