Well, the media wasn't nearly as prevalent back then, and we don't necessarily know what fans outside of Chicago felt. MJ is adored now, but back when MJ's Bulls were destroying teams, [b]I very much doubt that the opposing teams fans were rooting for MJ. Michael also faced more physicality than LeBron (or anyone) does today. You ever watch those Bulls/Pistons games?[/quote]
I have the Detroit Pistons Born To Be Bad 89 DVD. And I can tell you the "physicality" Jordan saw in that series was NOTHING like it is hyped. The only "physical" game was the elimination game. Prior to that 1, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Now the year prior, the Pistons roughed him up good, but outside of that, people greatly exegerrate how tough people were allowed to play MJ. NO PLAYER IN NBA HISTORY RECEIVED MORE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT CALLS OR PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT FROM REFS THAN MICHAEL JORDAN. Most of the Pistons series they attacked Pippen and roughed him up. And when MJ faced the Knicks in the 90s, his friends Oakley and Ewing NEVER roughed him up. I remember seeing Greg Anthony tossed from a game in 93 just for giving MJ a hard foul on a drive. MJ never had to wear a faceshield because someone busted up his face (LeBron has). I never see people posting clips or youtube footage of Jordan getting beat up, because it never happened. In MJs first playoff series as a rookie he averaged 15 FTs a game. 15 a game!!! The Bulls lost the series in 4 games anyway.
Jordan was also regularly cheered in opposing arenas, including the playoffs. He got cheers in New York when his team would face the Knicks, and in the later part of his career he got cheers in EVERYONE's arena. Point being MJ was a "good guy" who is the greatest pitchman for "corporate sponsors". The league nor the media would never condone people physically beating up MJ the way they did Shaq and the way they do LeBron now. You were not allowed to go WWF on Jordan, and anyone who says that was the case is lying.