The "Jordan Rules
" were a defensive strategy employed by the Detroit Pistons
against Michael Jordan
in order to contain Jordan. Devised by head coach Chuck Daly
in 1988, the Piston's strategy was "to play him tough, to physically challenge him and to vary its defenses so as to try to throw him off balance. Sometimes the Pistons would overplay Jordan to keep the ball from him. Sometimes they would play him straight up, more often they would run a double-team at him as soon as he touched the ball to try to force him to give it up. And whenever he went to the basket, they made sure his path was contested". This strategy has also sometimes been employed against other prolific scoring guards. The "Jordan Rules" were an instrumental aspect of the rivalry
between the "Bad Boys" Pistons and Jordan's Chicago Bulls
in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This strategy was later used by New York Knicks from 1992 until 1998.
In an interview with SportsIllustrated/CNN, Daly described the Jordan Rules as :
If Michael was at the point, we forced him left and doubled him. If he was on the left wing, we went immediately to a double team from the top. If he was on the right wing, we went to a slow double team. He could hurt you equally from either wing -- hell, he could hurt you from the hot-dog stand -- but we just wanted to vary the look. And if he was on the box, we doubled with a big guy.
The other rule was, any time he went by you, you had to nail him. If he was coming off a screen, nail him. We didn't want to be dirty -- I know some people thought we were -- but we had to make contact and be very physical.