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YouTube Gold: Joe Dumars

Not only an all-time great but the NBA’s personification of sportsmanship.

1989 NBA Finals: Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers
 INGLEWOOD, CA - 1989: Joe Dumars #4 of the Detroit Pistons handles the ball during the 1989 NBA Finals at the Great Western Forum in 1989 in Inglewood, California. 
Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

Back in the day, in their glory days, the Detroit Pistons were known as the Bad Boys.

That mostly came because of bruiser Rick Mahorn, his sidekick Bill Laimbeer, who everyone in the league considered (rightly) a dirty player and Dennis Rodman, who, even at the beginning of his career, could cause a major controversy.

Isiah Thomas, the point guard, was an elegant player but he didn’t mind the reputation and so was part of it, if only because of things that he said.

The only starter to escape the Bad Boys tag was Thomas’s backcourt mate, Joe Dumars.

Dumars came to the NBA out of McNeese State and while McNeese State has put more players in the NBA than you might expect, it’s not a hotbed of Hall of Fame talent, which is where you’ll find Dumars - and for good reason.

He was a superb defender and a very solid offensive player as well.

And as we said, he was never part of the whole Bad Boy image. In fact, he was so widely respected that the league named the award given for sportsmanship after him.

He is also the only Detroit Piston (as opposed to a Fort Wayne Piston), where the franchise started) to ever wear #4 and will be the only one who ever will, since the number has been retired.