Memorial Day in this country is special. It is the unofficial start of summer and a sole reason to barbeque in the back-yard and jump in that pool (warning, might be cold though). It is reflecting on what makes this country so great. Remembering and paying homage to all of our veterans. Their class, dignity, courage and character does and should never go ignored.
As we reflect on what Memorial Day means, the exact opposite sentiment can be said for the Detroit Pistons walk-off against the Chicago Bulls just after Memorial Day in 1991.
In perhaps the worst display of sportsmanship in sports history, Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons walked off the court with just over seven seconds left in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, according to ThePostGame. It ended an era for the “Bad Boys” in the most classless of ways.
The Bulls wound up sweeping the Pistons in four games and went on to capture their first of six NBA Championships. Those Detroit teams captivated the country. While the way they played earned respect from many (rough and without regard for human well-being), the way it ended was a perfect description of who they were.
Isiah Thomas, the ring-leader, had his team walk off directly in front of the Chicago bench. With Michael Jordan standing with his arms crossed, Thomas ducked his head in absolute “12 year old style” as he zoomed past him. Only Joe Dumars and John Salley stayed to shake hands with the Bulls after defeat.
Now, Isiah claims he regrets this decision, according to NBA.SI, but the damage has been done. Michael Jordan is the type that does not forget, and a major punishment for Thomas was famously being left off the NBA’s original Dream Team.
When looking at a man’s character, the smallest of acts tend to rise in importance. Look at Isiah’s history: it is not pretty when it comes to getting along with others, including his falling out with Magic Johnson of all people.
Enjoy Memorial Day today, and remember those who fight for us with the highest of character. Respect and cherish them. Like all of us know, it is a special thing to surround yourself with people with the highest of dignity and remember those who truly understand the right way to live.