Let me clear up on of the all-time Detroit sports myths, that Isiah Thomas had Adrian Dantley traded before the Pistons won their first NBA title in 1989.
It was Pistons coach Chuck Daly who demanded change. On Jan. 22, 1989 the Pistons dropped a sluggish 112-99 decision to the struggling Boston Celtics at Boston Garden.
Daly wanted more of a free flowing offense and had grown tired of Dantley’s slow motion post up moves. He also wanted Dennis Rodman in the starting lineup. Daly went off on Dantley during a timeout in the game during one of the most horrific profanity laced arguments I’ve seen in sports.
Later that night I bumped into Daly at the team hotel because the team plane was not allowed to fly out of Logan Airport that night.
Daly was still fuming about the incident and said “We’ve got to get that (bleep) the (bleep) out of here.”
He was talking about AD.
Twenty one days later Dantley was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Aguirre following a road victory against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Thomas always gets blamed for pushing the trade and I know he gave his blessings. But Daddy Rich was the one who said “let’s stop talking about the trade and make it happen.