I completely understand Laker fans despising Rick Mahorn and his style of play. I don't think anyone actually likes the way he plays. But too bad. It's not as if the rest of the NBA players are angels.
The Pistons had a tough decision to make and I think they made the right one, but I can assure you that it had nothing to do with Mahorn's rough style. He was a defensive asset, and although not a big scorer, he was always effective.
I'm sure most fans and players would like Mahorn to stop the cheap shots, but you can't always get what you want (three-peat?), right?