Finally, Bird, who initially didn't want to talk about the fight, upped the verbal ante: "He thinks he's tough. Let him come at me then. He waits for his teammates to help him, for the officials to protect him. Let everybody get out of the way, and let him come on in."
Who knows whether or not Laimbeer really had malice aforethought. When he says he was only trying to break his fall, though, he is straining credibility. "It was much the same as the Wilkins play in Atlanta, which I thought was a good way to end someone's career," said Jones. Daly had no comment on the fight. But he sized up the charged atmosphere and said of Game 4, "Tomorrow could be as tough a time as we've ever had getting a win."
He couldn't have been more wrong about that. What followed was the Pistons' 26-point laugher, just about as easy a time as they've ever had getting a win. But then, Daly could not have known that it would be Johnson's turn to go off, and Dantley's, and Thomas's, and Laimbeer's, all on the same wonderful, Celtic-concussing Sunday afternoon in the Silverdome.
Anyone got a match?