Detroit Pistons
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Central Division
Founded 1941 in the NBL (Joined the NBA in 1948)
History Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons
Detroit Pistons
Arena The Palace of Auburn Hills
City Auburn Hills, Michigan
Team Colors Red, White and Blue
Head Coach Flip Saunders
Owner William Davidson
Championships NBL: 2 (1944, 1945)
NBA: 3 (1989, 1990, 2004)
Conference Titles 5 (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005)
Division Titles NBL: 4 (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946)

NBA: 9 (1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006)

The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in the Detroit metropolitan area. They play their home games in the The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons are also a little-known motown band based just outside of Detroit, Michigan.

Home arenas編輯

North Side High School Gym (1948-1952)
War Memorial Coliseum (1952-1957)
Olympia Stadium (1957-1961)
Cobo Arena (1961-1978)
Pontiac Silverdome (1978-1988)
The Palace of Auburn Hills (1988-present)
  • Note: On March 12, 1960, the Pistons hosted a playoff game against Minneapolis at Grosse Pointe High School when no other facility was available. On April 27, 1984, the Pistons played Game 5 of their playoff series against New York in Joe Louis Arena due to a scheduling conflict. During the 1984-85 season, the Silverdome's roof collapsed, causing the team to temporarily relocate back to Joe Louis Arena (for 15 home games) and Cobo Arena (for one game).

Franchise history 編輯

From Fort Wayne to Detroit編輯

The franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League (NBL) team, playing in the gym of North Side High School. Owner Fred Zollner's Zollner Corporation was a foundry, manufacturing pistons primarily for car, truck and locomotive engines. In 1948, the team became the Fort Wayne Pistons, competing in the Basketball Association of America. In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table. From that point on, the Fort Wayne Pistons competed in the NBA. Led by star forward George Yardley, the Fort Wayne Pistons were a very popular franchise and appeared in the NBA Finals in 1954 and 1955, losing both times.

Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, their city's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city without an NBA franchise; ten years before this, Detroit's two teams, the Detroit Gems of the NBL (now the Los Angeles Lakers) and the Detroit Falcons of the BAA, had relocated (to Minneapolis) and folded, respectively. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium (home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings at the time) for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling both on the court and at the box office.

In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's principal owner. Displeased with the team's location in downtown Detroit, Davidson moved them to the suburb of Pontiac in 1978, where they played in the mammoth Silverdome, a structure built for professional football (and the home of the Detroit Lions at the time).


The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas out of Indiana University. In early 1982, the Pistons acquired center Bill Laimbeer in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers and guard Vinnie Johnson from the Seattle SuperSonics. The three, along with later acquisitions Joe Dumars (a 1985 Draft pick), Rick Mahorn, Adrian Dantley, and Dennis Rodman, formed the core of a team that would rise to the top of the league.

Initially the Pistons had a tough time moving up the NBA ladder. During the 1984 season, the roof of the Silverdome collapsed during a snowstorm. Because of this, the Pistons played their home games at Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit. In 1984, the Pistons lost a tough five-game series to the underdog New York Knicks, three games to two. In the 1985 semi-finals, Detroit would contest the defending champion Celtics to a six game series. Though Boston would prevail, Detroit's surprise performance promised that a rivalry had begun. After losing in the first round of the 1986 playoffs to the more athletic Atlanta Hawks, Coach Daly and team captain Thomas realized that their only hope to gain Eastern dominance would be to construct a more aggressive game-style. They adopted a very intense and physical style in 1987 that quickly gained them the nickname "Bad Boys." It took them to the Eastern Conference Finals--the farthest the team had advanced since moving from Fort Wayne--against the Celtics. After pushing the defending champions to a 2-2 tie, the Pistons were on the verge of winning Game 5 at the Boston Garden with seconds remaining. After a Celtics' turnover, Isiah Thomas attempted to quickly inbound the ball and missed Coach Daly's timeout signal from the bench. Larry Bird stole the inbound pass and passed it to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup. While the Pistons would win Game 6 in Detroit, they would lose the series in a tough Game 7 back in Boston.

Motivated by their loss to the Celtics, the 1988 Pistons fine-tuned their "bad boy" style and avenged their two previous playoff losses to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, defeating them in six games and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since the franchise moved to Detroit.

The Pistons' first trip to the Finals saw them face the Los Angeles Lakers, who were led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After taking a 3-2 series lead back to Los Angeles, Detroit appeared poised to win their first NBA title in Game 6. In that game, Isiah Thomas scored an NBA Finals record 25 points in the third quarter while playing on a severely sprained ankle. However, the Lakers won the game, 103-102, on a pair of last-minute free throws by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar following a questionable foul called on Bill Laimbeer, referred to by many Piston supporters, and Laimbeer himself, as a "phantom foul". With Isiah Thomas unable to compete at full strength, the Pistons narrowly fell in Game 7, 108-105.

Prior to the 1988-89 season, the Pistons moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills. The 1989 Pistons completed the building of their roster by trading Dantley for Mark Aguirre, a trade that Piston fans would criticize heavily initially, but later praise. The team won a then-franchise-record 63 games, and steamrolled through the playoffs and into a NBA Finals rematch with the Lakers. This time the Pistons came out victorious in a four-game sweep to win their first NBA championship. Joe Dumars was named NBA Finals MVP.


The Pistons successfully defended their title in 1990. After cruising through the regular season and through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the team played a tough Eastern Conference Finals series against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls before winning in seven games. Advancing to their third consecutive NBA Finals, the Pistons faced the Portland Trail Blazers. After splitting the first two games at the Palace, the Pistons went to Portland, where they had not won since 1974, to play Games 3, 4 and 5. The Pistons summarily won all three games in Portland, clinching the title in Game 5 when Vinnie Johnson sank an 18 foot jumper with 00.7 seconds left in the game (this shot earned Johnson a new nickname in Detroit, 007, along with his original moniker, The Microwave). Isiah Thomas was named NBA Finals MVP.

The Pistons' championship run came to an end in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, when the team was defeated by the Chicago Bulls. After this, the franchise went through a lengthy transitional period, as key players either retired (Laimbeer in 1993 and Thomas in 1994) or were traded (Edwards, Johnson, Salley, and Rodman among others). The team quickly declined, bottoming out in the 1993-94 season when they finished 20-62.

The team's fortunes improved after that season, but the rebuilding process soon sputtered. This period saw the team make numerous questionable personnel decisions, such as the 1994 trade of Dennis Rodman to the San Antonio Spurs for Sean Elliott, the loss of free agent Allan Houston to the New York Knicks after the 54-win 1997 season; the signing of free agent wash-outs Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught, Cedric Ceballos, and the late Bison Dele; and head coaching changes from Ron Rothstein to Don Chaney to Doug Collins to Alvin Gentry to George Irvine in an eight-year span. Of those coaches, only Collins had any sort of success with the Pistons, winning 54 games in the 1996-97 season. The franchise even changed its team colors from red, white, and blue to teal, maroon, and white in 1996 in what proved to be a highly unpopular move with fans, known derisively as the "teal era".

Grant Hill, who was drafted by the team in 1994, emerged as a gifted player and a perennial All-Star. However, the team was unable to win a playoff series under his leadership, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Orlando Magic in 1996, and the Atlanta Hawks in 1997 and 1999.


After losing to the Miami Heat in the 2000 Playoffs, Joe Dumars (who had retired following the 1999 season) was hired as President of Basketball Operations. This would prove to be a turning point in the franchise's history. The Pistons even changed their colors back to red, white and blue.

After Hill indicated his intentions to leave for Orlando, Dumars dealt him to the Magic in a sign-and-trade deal in return for a pair of largely unheralded players, Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. Initially, many Detroit fans were saddened and angered by the loss of Hill, easily the team's best player at the time. In the end, however, the Grant Hill trade turned out to be a tremendous success for the Pistons.

The Pistons suffered through another tough season, going 32-50 in 2000-01 season. Following this season, Dumars fired head coach George Irvine and gave Rick Carlisle, widely considered one of the top assistants in the league, his first head coaching job. Carlisle subsequently guided the Pistons to their first 50-win season since 1997, earning NBA Coach of the Year honors in the process. The Pistons defeated the Toronto Raptors 3-2 in the playoffs, their first playoff series victory since 1991. Wallace was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and led the league in both rebounding and blocked shots. He would receive that honor in four out of the next five seasons. Reserve forward Corliss Williamson won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award that season as well. Meanwhile, Hill missed much of the next four seasons in Orlando with an ankle injury.

To complement Wallace, Dumars revamped the Pistons' roster by signing free agent Chauncey Billups, acquiring Richard "Rip" Hamilton in a trade with the Washington Wizards for Jerry Stackhouse, and drafting Tayshaun Prince. Under Carlisle, the Pistons posted consecutive 50-win seasons and advanced to the 2003 Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1991, where they were swept in four games by the New Jersey Nets.

Surprisingly, after such a successful season, coach Rick Carlisle was fired that offseason. This was partly because the players had grown tired of his coaching style and partly because Hall of Famer Larry Brown had become available. He accepted the job a short time later.

The Pistons' transformation into a championship caliber team was completed with the February 2004 acquistion of Rasheed Wallace in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks (the trade also involved the Boston Celtics, from whom the Pistons also received guard Mike James). The Pistons won 54 games, tying for the most wins since 1997. In the playoffs, after easily defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in five games, they defeated the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets in seven games, coming back from a 3-2 deficit in the process. Detroit then defeated the Indiana Pacers, coached by Rick Carlisle, in six tough games to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1990. The Pistons won the 2004 NBA Championship in dominating fashion over the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers in five games. They posted double digit wins in three of their four victories, including holding the Lakers to a franchise low 68 points in Game 3. Chauncey Billups was named NBA Finals MVP.

Despite losing key members of their bench during the offseason (including Mehmet Okur, Mike James and Corliss Williamson), the Pistons were considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. They won 54 games during the regular season, their fifth consecutive season of 50 or more wins, despite fighting through numerous distractions during the season. As the second seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, they easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 and then rallied from a 2-1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers, 4-2. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons faced the Miami Heat. Once again Detroit fell behind, this time 3-2. However, the Pistons handily won Game 6 in Detroit and picked up a stunning 88-82 win in Game 7 in Miami to take the series 4-3 and become Eastern Conference Champions for the fifth time. This win made them the first Eastern Conference team to to win a seventh game on the road since Philadelphia accomplished that feat in Boston in 1983.

In the NBA Finals the Pistons faced the San Antonio Spurs. After splitting the first four games, with the home teams blowing out their opponents in each game, the Spurs got a shocking overtime win on a Robert Horry three-pointer with just seconds to go in Game 5 at the Palace. Detroit answered by pulling off an equally shocking win in Game 6 in San Antonio, their first win in San Antonio since April 1997. In the first NBA Finals Game 7 since 1994, however, the Pistons lost a hard-fought game to the Spurs, who clinched their third NBA championship.

Many believed that the Pistons were affected by off-court distractions during their attempt to defend their title during the 2004-05 season. These included the Palace brawl, as well as a number of issues involving head coach Larry Brown.

The Palace Brawl 編輯

模板:Main On November 19, 2004, the Pistons were involved in a massive brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills during an early-season home loss to the Indiana Pacers. After committing an aggressive foul on Ben Wallace late in the 4th quarter, then-Pacers forward Ron Artest was shoved in the face by Wallace. While the two teams argued at mid-court, Artest laid on the scorer's table. Artest was then hit by a cup of beer that was thrown from the stands. This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack a fan, which turned out to be the wrong one. Fellow Pacer Stephen Jackson followed Artest into the seats to defend his teammate. Ron Artest was sucker-punched by a fan from behind. Artest exited the stands and was approached by two other fans, one of which appeared to threaten Artest. Artest punched the fan in the face. Jermaine O'Neal sucker-punched a fan who entered the court and was subdued by security. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged with being involved in what became known as the "basketbrawl", and was one of the largest fan-player incidents in the history of American Sports.

The Larry Brown Saga 編輯

Head coach Larry Brown missed several games during the regular season while recovering from hip surgery. His health became a concern for Pistons' management, who were concerned that he would not be healthy enough to coach the following season. In addition, Brown began to fall out of favor for publicly discussing--and even pursuing--other job openings during the season.

For weeks leading up to July 2005, rumors swirled around the future of Larry Brown in Detroit. Finally, a buyout of Brown's contract was negotiated which significantly reduced the amount of money Brown would receive but freed Brown to pursue any coaching job for the following season. Shortly thereafter, he was named head coach of the Knicks. The Pistons countered by signing Flip Saunders as their new head coach.

2005-06 season 編輯

The Pistons started off the 2005-06 season with the NBA's best overall record. Their 37-5 start exceeded the best start for any Detroit sports franchise (the Detroit Tigers started the 1984 Major League Baseball season 35-5, eventually winning 104 games and the World Series). They also tied for the second-best 40 game start in NBA history (three teams have started 37-3, most recently the 1996 Chicago Bulls). This amazing performance has been attributed by some to their loss in Game 7 of the NBA Finals the previous year, which the Pistons might not have lost if they had earned home-court advantage. This gave them motivation to win every game possible in 2006. In addition, the Pistons embraced coach Flip Saunders' wide-open offensive style while continuing to play the stifling, physical defense for which they have become known.

On February 9, 2006, the NBA announced that four of the five Pistons starters, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace, were voted in as reserves to the NBA All-Star Game on February 19, 2006. Only Tayshaun Prince was not selected as an All-Star. The only other teams with four All-Stars were the 1953, 1962 and 1975 Celtics, the 1962 and 1998 Lakers, and the 1983 76ers. Flip Saunders also served as the All-Star Eastern Confrence team coach.

The Pistons ended the regular season with a record of 64-18, the best overall record in the NBA. This eclipsed the franchise record of 63 set during the Pistons' first championship season in 1989. The Pistons also set a team record with 27 road victories. This has earned the Pistons home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. In addition, the team set an NBA record by starting the same lineup in 73 consecutive games from the start of the season, a streak that ended due to an automatic one-game suspension given to Rasheed Wallace after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season.

Many feel that the 2005-06 Pistons are also better equipped for a playoff run than last year's team. Players such as Antonio McDyess, Maurice Evans, Dale Davis, the return of Lindsey Hunter, the improving play of forward Carlos Delfino, and the addition of guard Tony Delk, promise to give Detroit a deeper and more reliable bench then they had in the 2005 playoffs.

The Pistons defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 4-1 in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs and eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round 4-3, overcoming a 3-2 deficit. The Pistons currently face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat lead the series 3-1, thus the Pistons face elimination.

Radio and television personalities 編輯

George Blaha, who became the team's play-by-play announcer during the 1976-77 NBA season, remains their main play-by-play voice on both local television and radio. When Blaha works on television, Mark Champion, once the voice of the Detroit Lions, handles play-by-play duties on the radio. Former Pistons forward Rick Mahorn is the radio color analyst. In situations when Mahorn is not available, former Piston John Long serves as radio color commentator. Former Pistons center Bill Laimbeer is the television color analyst. John Mason, a popular Detroit radio personality, has been the Palace's public address announcer since 2001. He is most known for coining the phrase "Deee-troit Basket-ball!"

Fan support編輯

As the franchise has returned to the league's elite, the local support of the Pistons has correspondingly increased. From the mid-1990s until 2001, Pistons home games were rarely sold out, even during the postseason. Now, despite playing in the league's largest arena, the Pistons have sold out 135 consecutive home games. The Pistons have led the league in fan attendance since the 2002-2003 season, and the raucous Palace crowd is one of the most formidable for opposing teams to play before in the NBA.

There are a number of noteworthy celebrities who can regularly be spotted among the fans attending home Pistons games. They include: 模板:Col-begin 模板:Col-break




The Pistons have also developed a large fan following during road games. It is not uncommon to see large groups of Pistons fans, hear pro-Pistons chants (such as the popular "Deee-troit Basket-ball!"), and cheers when Pistons players score during many road games. This is similar to the fan following the Detroit Red Wings developed during the 1990s and continue to enjoy to this day on the road.

Players of note 編輯

Basketball Hall of Fame members:編輯

Retired numbers:編輯

Bing, Daly, Davidson, DeBusschere, Dumars, Johnson, Laimbeer, Lanier, Thomas, Yardley, and team founder/owner Fred Zollner have also been inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Not to be forgotten:編輯

模板:Col-begin 模板:Col-break



Current roster編輯

模板:Detroit Pistons

Franchise leaders 編輯

External links編輯