The criticism with the NBA the past five years was too many hugs and sleepovers between players on opposing teams.
Whether it was Clippers guard Chris Paul having out-of-town players staying at his pad or LeBron James having Kevin Durant as a workout partner last summer, the days of the "Bad Boys'' mauling Michael Jordan and the Bulls seemed long gone. Reggie Miller and the Knicks? A distant memory.
That was until Tuesday night, when the Celtics and Heat displayed a complete disdain for one another in the Miami win. And Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau loved every minute of it.
"I love competition,'' Thibodeau said. "Like fierce competitors. To me, I'll watch those games all day.
"When you get two quality opponents going at each other, there's nothing better than that. Whether it's low scoring, high scoring, medium scoring, you love to see fierce competitors.''
Thibodeau was an assistant coach for the Celtics in their 2008 championship run, and was asked about Heat guard Ray Allen getting the cold shoulder from Kevin Garnett before Tuesday's game, when Allen tried to offer up some pleasantries to his former team.
"Interesting, not surprising,'' Thibodeau said. "Those guys have a long history. They won a championship together, knew each other since high school. I'm sure they'll work things out.''