Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area.

Founded: 1941 as Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons in National Basketball League; joined Basketball Association of America (forerunner of the NBA) in 1948; relocated to Detroit in 1957.
Formerly known as: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (1941-48), Fort Wayne Pistons (1948-57)
Home Arena: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Owner: Bill Davidson
Uniform colors: Red, white and blue
Logo design: A basketball with "PISTONS" superimposed upon it.
Mascot: Hooper
NBL Championships: 1944, 1945 (in Fort Wayne)
NBA Eastern Division Championships: 1954, 1955 (in Fort Wayne)
NBA Central Division Championships: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005
NBA Eastern Conference Championships: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005
NBA Championships: 1989, 1990, 2004
2004-2005 Record: 54-28


Franchise history

The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Fred Zollner, owner of a General Motors subsidiary that manufactored pistons. It is the oldest existing franchise in the NBA. Led by star forward George Yardley, the Fort Wayne Pistons were a popular franchise and appeared in the NBA Finals in 1954 and 1955, losing both times. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city that did not have an NBA franchise; the Detroit Gems had folded after one season of existence. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling on both the court and the box office. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's owner. Displeased with the team's location in downtown Detroit, Davidson moved it to the suburb of Pontiac in 1978, where it played in the mammoth Silverdome, a structure built for professional football. (The Silverdome was the home of the NFL's 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, it acquired center Bill Laimbeer and guard Vinnie Johnson. The three, along with later aquisitions Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, and Dennis Rodman, formed the core of a team that would rise to the top of the league. With their physical style of play, and intensity with opponents, the Pistons gained the nickname "Bad Boys." Coach Chuck Daly took the team to the NBA Finals three consecutive years (1988-90) and won NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. The team moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988 and remains there today.

The franchise went through a lengthy transitional period as its key players either retired or left. Though Grant Hill emerged as a gifted player, the team was unable to win a playoff series, losing to the Orlando Magic in 1996, the Atlanta Hawks in 1997 and 1999, and the Miami Heat in 2000. In the summer of 2000, Hill indicated his intentions to leave to Orlando, and Dumars – appointed the franchise's president of basketball operations that year – dealt Hill to the Magic in return for a pair of largely unheralded players. One of them, Ben Wallace, would prove to be a cornerstone for the franchise's revamped roster. Under Dumars's leadership, the Pistons have since surrounded Wallace with rising stars Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. Coached by Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown, the Pistons returned to prominence, winning the 2004 NBA championship.

Current season

On November 19, 2004, the Detroit Pistons were involved in a massive brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills during a losing home game against the Indiana Pacers. After fouling Pistons' Ben Wallace, Pacer Ron Artest was hit by a cup while lying down on the scorer's table. This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack some fans. Other Pacers such as Jermaine O'Neal fought with fans who had walked onto the court. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged after being involved in the "basketbrawl."

See also: The Malice at The Palace.

Presently, the Pistons are considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. Seeded second in the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 and then rallied from a 2-1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers 4-2. In the conference finals, the Pistons again fell behind, three games to two, but then won the final two games to defeat the Miami Heat and become Eastern Conference Champions. In the process, the Pistons became the first team to win a game 7 on the road since the L.A. Lakers did so at the Sacramento Kings in 2002.

The Pistons are currently facing the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, the first two games of which were played at the SBC Center in San Antonio. Games 3 and 4 and 5 will be played at The Palace of Auburn Hills, and games 6 and (if necessary) 7 will be in San Antonio. The Spurs have won the first two games, and Detroit the second to, all by margins of 15 to 31 points. Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 9 P.M. Eastern on ABC.

Current Roster

Starters

  • SF - #22 Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky)
  • PF - #36 Rasheed Wallace (North Carolina)
  • C - #3 Ben Wallace (Virginia Union)
  • SG - #32 Richard "Rip" Hamilton (UConn)
  • PG - #1 Chauncey Billups (Colorado)

Reserves

  • G - #30 Carlos Arroyo (Florida Int'l)
  • C - #41 Elden Campbell (Clemson) - free agent
  • G-F - #20 Carlos Delfino (Argentina)
  • F - #12 Ronald Dupree (LSU)
  • F - #8 Darvin Ham (Texas Tech) - free agent
  • G - #10 Lindsey Hunter (Jackson State)
  • G - #5 Horace Jenkins (William Paterson) - restricted free agent
  • F-C - #24 Antonio McDyess (Alabama)
  • C - #31 Darko Miličić (Serbia)

Players of note

Basketball Hall of Fame Members:

  • Dave Bing
  • Bob Lanier
  • Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach)
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Chuck Daly (Inducted as Coach)

Not to be forgotten:

  • Adrian Dantley
  • Grant Hill
  • Rick Mahorn
  • Dennis Rodman
  • John Salley
  • Jerry Stackhouse

Retired numbers:

  • 2 Chuck Daly (never played in the NBA; represents the two NBA championship teams he coached)
  • 4 Joe Dumars
  • 11 Isiah Thomas
  • 15 Vinnie Johnson
  • 16 Bob Lanier
  • 21 Dave Bing
  • 40 Bill Laimbeer

Coaches and others

Basketball Hall of Fame Members:

  • Larry Brown
  • Chuck Daly
  • Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach)
  • Gregory Johnson

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Basketball Hall of Fame Members:. 1974-03 1321 -1107. Reserves. 1988- Jerry Sloan 823 - 440. Starters. 1981-88 Frank Layden 277 - 294. Eastern on ABC. 1979-81 Tom Nissalke 60 - 124.

Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 9 P.M. 1977-79 Elgin Baylor 86 - 134. The Spurs have won the first two games, and Detroit the second to, all by margins of 15 to 31 points. 1974-77 Bill Van Breda Koff 74 - 100. Games 3 and 4 and 5 will be played at The Palace of Auburn Hills, and games 6 and (if necessary) 7 will be in San Antonio. 1974-75 Elgin Baylor 0 - 1. The Pistons are currently facing the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, the first two games of which were played at the SBC Center in San Antonio. 1974-75 Scotty Robertson 1 - 14.

Lakers did so at the Sacramento Kings in 2002. Years Coach Record. In the process, the Pistons became the first team to win a game 7 on the road since the L.A. Injured Reserve (as of April 21, 2005)
. In the conference finals, the Pistons again fell behind, three games to two, but then won the final two games to defeat the Miami Heat and become Eastern Conference Champions. Bench
. Seeded second in the Eastern Conference in the playoffs, they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1 and then rallied from a 2-1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers 4-2. Starters
.

Presently, the Pistons are considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. While the season proved disappointing on the whole, the team has seen promising performances in some of its young players, especially Bell, Giricek, Keith McLeod, and Okur. See also: The Malice at The Palace. However, a series of injuries caused the team's performance to sharply decline. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged after being involved in the "basketbrawl.". The 2004-05 season began well for the Jazz, as it won six of its first seven games behind strong performances from Boozer and Kirilenko. Other Pacers such as Jermaine O'Neal fought with fans who had walked onto the court. Under a realignment plan that went into effect in 2004, the Jazz were transferred to the new Northwest Division with the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Seattle SuperSonics.

This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack some fans. In the 2004 offseason, with the free agent signings of Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, the franchise was expected to again contend in the West. On November 19, 2004, the Detroit Pistons were involved in a massive brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills during a losing home game against the Indiana Pacers. After fouling Pistons' Ben Wallace, Pacer Ron Artest was hit by a cup while lying down on the scorer's table. Jerry Sloan finished second in the voting for the NBA Coach of the Year Award, losing to Hubie Brown of the Memphis Grizzlies. Coached by Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown, the Pistons returned to prominence, winning the 2004 NBA championship. Led by Kirilenko, the team remained in the playoff race to the end of the season, missing out by just one game to the Denver Nuggets. Under Dumars's leadership, the Pistons have since surrounded Wallace with rising stars Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. In particular, Andrei Kirilenko demonstrated tremendous versatility on both offense and defense, and earned a spot in the all-star game.

One of them, Ben Wallace, would prove to be a cornerstone for the franchise's revamped roster. The team featured several unheralded players who emerged into key contributors, including Andrei Kirilenko, Raja Bell, Matt Harpring, Gordan Giricek, Carlos Arroyo and Raúl López. In the summer of 2000, Hill indicated his intentions to leave to Orlando, and Dumars – appointed the franchise's president of basketball operations that year – dealt Hill to the Magic in return for a pair of largely unheralded players. Instead they greatly exceeded most analysts' expectations. Though Grant Hill emerged as a gifted player, the team was unable to win a playoff series, losing to the Orlando Magic in 1996, the Atlanta Hawks in 1997 and 1999, and the Miami Heat in 2000. In the 2003–04 season, the Jazz were expected to be one of the weakest teams in the league. The franchise went through a lengthy transitional period as its key players either retired or left. After that, the team declined in the standings, although they continued to make the playoffs until 2003, after which Stockton retired and Malone moved to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The team moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988 and remains there today. The Jazz won Western Conference titles in 1997 and 1998, but were defeated by the Chicago Bulls both times, each in six games. With their physical style of play, and intensity with opponents, the Pistons gained the nickname "Bad Boys." Coach Chuck Daly took the team to the NBA Finals three consecutive years (1988-90) and won NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. Though the Jazz were consistently strong in the league's regular season, earning 19 consecutive playoff appearances (1984–2003), the franchise failed to win a league championship over that time while. The three, along with later aquisitions Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, and Dennis Rodman, formed the core of a team that would rise to the top of the league. He retired in 2000. In early 1982, it acquired center Bill Laimbeer and guard Vinnie Johnson. Hornacek was one of the best three-point and free throw shooters in the league.

The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas out of Indiana University. Malone went on to score the second most points in NBA history (behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and received MVP awards in 1997 and 1999. (The Silverdome was the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions at the time.). Stockton and Malone developed a remarkable rapport with each other, running pick-and-roll plays with great success. "Stockton to Malone" was a common refrain, as Stockton regularly found ways to pass the ball to Malone in good scoring position. Other good players of the era included Mark Eaton, Adrian Dantley, Jeff Malone, and later Jeff Hornacek and Bryon Russell. Displeased with the team's location in downtown Detroit, Davidson moved it to the suburb of Pontiac in 1978, where it played in the mammoth Silverdome, a structure built for professional football. Malone finished his career second in the record books for career points scored and would be recognized as one of the top power forwards in league history. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's owner. The Jazz became one of the most successful teams throughout the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's. Stockton eventually set NBA records for the most career steals and assists, and would be recognized as one of the top point guards in league history.

The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling on both the court and the box office. However, the pair flourished under the guidance of Frank Layden and later Jerry Sloan. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. In 1985 the team drafted Karl Malone from Louisiana Tech. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city that did not have an NBA franchise; the Detroit Gems had folded after one season of existence. That spring, the Jazz drafted John Stockton from Gonzaga. Led by star forward George Yardley, the Fort Wayne Pistons were a popular franchise and appeared in the NBA Finals in 1954 and 1955, losing both times. In Utah, the team continued to languish toward the bottom of the standings until the 1983-1984 season, when it won the Midwest Division title and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

It is the oldest existing franchise in the NBA. Although the team nickname was not fitting for Salt Lake City – known more as a center for Mormon culture than as a mecca for jazz music; the franchise decided to keep it. The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Fred Zollner, owner of a General Motors subsidiary that manufactored pistons. After five losing seasons in New Orleans, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1979.
. Though Maravich was viewed as one of the NBA's most entertaining and talented players, the Jazz were continually a losing team. The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. The franchise proved unsuccessful, both on the court and financially, even after the addition of "Pistol" Pete Maravich as the star player.

Gregory Johnson. In 1974 the Jazz franchise began in New Orleans. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach).
. Chuck Daly. The Utah Jazz are a National Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Larry Brown. PG - #24 Raúl López (Spain).

40 Bill Laimbeer. F - #47 Andrei Kirilenko (Андрей Кириленко) (Russia). 21 Dave Bing. PF - #5 Carlos Boozer (Duke). 16 Bob Lanier. SG - #3 Kirk Snyder (Nevada). 15 Vinnie Johnson. PG - #2 Randy Livingston (LSU).

11 Isiah Thomas. PF - #44 Ben Handgloten (Western Michigan). 4 Joe Dumars. PG - #6 Howard Eisley (Boston College). 2 Chuck Daly (never played in the NBA; represents the two NBA championship teams he coached). C - #22 Curtis Borchard (Stanford). Jerry Stackhouse. SG - #19 Raja Bell (FIU).

John Salley. PF - #43 Kris Humphries (Minnesota). Dennis Rodman. C - #13 Mehmet Okur (Turkey). Rick Mahorn. SG - #10 Gordan Girićek (Croatia). Grant Hill. PG - #25 Keith McLeod (Bowling Green).

Adrian Dantley. C - #31 Jarron Collins (Stanford). Chuck Daly (Inducted as Coach). SF - #15 Matt Harpring (Georgia Tech). Isiah Thomas. 53 Mark Eaton. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). 35 Darrell Griffith.

Bob Lanier. 14 Jeff Hornacek. Dave Bing. 12 John Stockton. C - #31 Darko Miličić (Serbia). 7 Pete Maravich. F-C - #24 Antonio McDyess (Alabama). 1 Frank Layden.

G - #5 Horace Jenkins (William Paterson) - restricted free agent. Thurl Bailey. G - #10 Lindsey Hunter (Jackson State). Darrell Griffith. F - #8 Darvin Ham (Texas Tech) - free agent. John Stockton. F - #12 Ronald Dupree (LSU). Mark Eaton.

G-F - #20 Carlos Delfino (Argentina). Jeff Hornacek. C - #41 Elden Campbell (Clemson) - free agent. Karl Malone. G - #30 Carlos Arroyo (Florida Int'l). Jeff Malone. PG - #1 Chauncey Billups (Colorado). Adrian Dantley.

SG - #32 Richard "Rip" Hamilton (UConn). Walt Bellamy - only played one game with the Jazz. C - #3 Ben Wallace (Virginia Union). Pete Maravich. PF - #36 Rasheed Wallace (North Carolina). SF - #22 Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky).

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