On a set, one day, Someone punches me hard in the kidneys. I turn and Jordan is standing there.
“What was that for?”
“ You play, right.”
“Well, that’s how the Knicks are playing ‘D’.”
“They punch you like that?”
Michael told me the Knicks were playing a form of Thug Ball, coached by Pat Riley, the ex Lakers coach. Riley was a classy guy with the Lakers, great hair, Armani suits, but now with the Knicks he was resorting to what the great writer, Rick Reilly, no relation, (I know, the names are spelled differently but I’m not sure someone is reading this to you) called ‘a branch office of Assault, Mayhem, and Thuggery.
Then, I watched a few games (we never missed Bulls games) carefully (the Knicks) and sho’ ‘nuf, MJ was getting pounded and pounded and pounded, but it didn’t matter, he still kicked Knick ass.
I later read that Magic said that Riley had similar ‘codes’ with the Showtime Lakers and that anyone that didn’t give a hard foul on a layup was fined.