I watched the Pistons 30 for 30 after not paying attention to the series in a while. It was pretty entertaining, even though I’ve seen 95% of the footage before and knew the story well, but also a complete whitewash. I get that it’s an NBA production and that it relies on interviews with the former players. And it’s actually pretty forthcoming about its mission to celebrate the team. But the lack of punches on screen is kind of weird. I’m not recommending sensationalizing violence but I thought this “film” was supposed to be about the team’s identity, which was about actual fighting and not just a hip check here and a hard foul there. Obviously there’s no shortage of the missing footage on youtube, but for young people or non-basketball fans, the episode paints an extremely incomplete and misleading picture. There’s two seconds of a Kevin McHale interview but that’s the only time we hear from the other side. Laimbeer does not comment on his tactic of trying to injure airborne opponents.
But the thing that irked me most about Bad Boys was the repeated, prominent use of “Fight the Power”, not just because it’s a total cliche but because it’s indelibly tied to New York, or if you’re really stretching it, Michael Jordan, but not Detroit. The ridiculous Kid Rock narration, however, was a brilliant move.