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:. Not to be forgotten:. Reserves. The Spurs have advanced to the NBA Finals for the third time in franchise history, and currently are tied 2-2 in the series against the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons. Starters. In the postseason thus far, the Spurs have defeated the Denver Nuggets 4-1, the Seattle Supersonics 4-2 and the Phoenix Suns 4-1. Eastern on ABC. With the acquisitions of Brent Barry from Seattle, Nazr Mohammed from New York, and veteran Glenn Robinson from free agency, alongside defensive specialist Bruce Bowen, international phenom Manu Ginobili, lightning quick Tony Parker, clutch shooter Robert Horry, and MVP candidate Tim Duncan, the Spurs finished the 2004-2005 season ranked number two in the Western Conference with a 59-23 record, finishing with the best record in the Southwest division.

Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 9 P.M. Duncan was named both the NBA Regular Season and Finals MVP for the season. The Spurs have won the first two games, and Detroit the second to, all by margins of 15 to 31 points. The Spurs won the series 4-2, giving them their second NBA Championship in franchise history. 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 series against the Nets marked the first time two former ABA teams would play each other for the NBA Championship. 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. In the playoffs, the Spurs defeated the Suns, Lakers and Dallas Mavericks en route to facing the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals.

Lakers did so at the Sacramento Kings in 2002. Mixing the inside presences of Duncan and Robinson with the newer outside threats, the Spurs earned a 60-22 record. In the process, the Pistons became the first team to win a game 7 on the road since the L.A. Second-year French star Tony Parker was now the starting point guard for the Spurs and the squad featured a variety of three-point shooters including Stephen Jackson, Danny Ferry, Bruce Bowen and Argentina product Manu Ginobili. 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. The Spurs had remade their team in an attempt to dethrone the three-time defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. 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. This version of the Spurs was very different from the team that had won the title a few years earlier.

Presently, the Pistons are considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. Entering the 2002-2003 season, the team knew it would be memorable for at least two reasons, as David Robinson announced that it would be his last in the NBA and the Spurs would begin play at their new arena (approved in 1999 by County voters), the SBC Center, named after telecommunications giant SBC whose corporate headquarters were located in San Antonio. See also: The Malice at The Palace. The Spurs finished with 58-24 records for both the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons but found themselves suffering playoff ousters in both seasons from the eventual NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged after being involved in the "basketbrawl.". The longterm viability of the Spurs franchise in San Antonio was however achieved during the 1999-2000 season, as Bexar County voters approved increases on car rental and hotel taxes which would allow for the construction of a new arena to be constructed near Freeman Coliseum. Other Pacers such as Jermaine O'Neal fought with fans who had walked onto the court. The Spurs were not able to capitalize on their success during the 1999-2000 season. Although they finished with an overall record of 53-29, the Spurs lost in the first round to the Suns primarily due to an injury to Duncan which kept him out of the playoff series.

This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack some fans. The victory by the Spurs was not only the first NBA title to be won by a former ABA team, but also was the first Finals appearance by a team from the ABA. 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. Duncan was named the Finals MVP. Coached by Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown, the Pistons returned to prominence, winning the 2004 NBA championship. They faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals and won the series and the franchise's first World Title four games to one on the Knicks' home court of Madison Square Garden. Under Dumars's leadership, the Pistons have since surrounded Wallace with rising stars Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. The team was just as dominant in the playoffs, rolling through the Western Conference with a record of 11-1.

One of them, Ben Wallace, would prove to be a cornerstone for the franchise's revamped roster. Playing a shortened 50-game season, the Spurs ended up with a 37-13 record. 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. The season was delayed over three months until resolution on a new labor agreement was reached in January 1999. 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. Prior to the beginning of training camps however, the NBA owners led by commissioner David Stern locked out the players in order to force a new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA Players Association (NBAPA). The franchise went through a lengthy transitional period as its key players either retired or left. With a healthy Robinson and Duncan and the additions of playoff veterans such as Mario Elie and Jerome Kersey, the Spurs looked forward to the 1998-1999 season.

The team moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988 and remains there today. While both Duncan and Robinson played low-post roles, the two seamlessly meshed on the court. 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. He was named First Team All-NBA while winning Rookie of the Year honors. The team ended up at 56-26 but once again lost to the Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals. 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. Duncan quickly emerged as a force in the NBA during the 1997-1998 season, averaging 21.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game as a power forward. In early 1982, it acquired center Bill Laimbeer and guard Vinnie Johnson. The Spurs used their pick to select Wake Forest University product and consensus All-American Tim Duncan.

The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas out of Indiana University. With the third-worst record in the league, the Spurs won the NBA's draft lottery which gave them the top pick in the 1997 draft. (The Silverdome was the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions at the time.). Although the 1996-1997 season was not successful on the court for the Spurs, the offseason proved to be the opposite. 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. Hill only lasted 18 games that season, eventually being replaced by Gregg Popovich, who had once been an assistant for the Spurs during Larry Brown's coaching turn. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's owner. After an injury that limited Robinson to six games during the season, the Spurs wound up with a 20-62 record, the worst in franchise history.

The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling on both the court and the box office. Few observers could have predicted how far the Spurs would fall during the 1996-1997 season. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. The Spurs finished the next season (1995-1996) under Hill at 59-23 and lost in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Jazz. 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. Throughout the season and particularly in the playoffs there appeared to be friction developing between Rodman and several Spurs' teammates, most notably Robinson, and Rodman was traded after the season to the Chicago Bulls. 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. The Spurs reached the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets.

It is the oldest existing franchise in the NBA. Elliott returned to the team after an uneventful season with the Pistons and the team finished with the best record at 62-20 while David Robinson was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player. The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Fred Zollner, owner of a General Motors subsidiary that manufactored pistons. Lucas was replaced by former Pacers coach Bob Hill for the 1994-1995 season which would turn out to be the Spurs' most successful season to date.
. Prior to the season the Spurs traded fan-favorite Elliott to the Detroit Pistons in return for rebounding star Dennis Rodman. The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. The following season, the Spurs first in the newly built Alamodome, Lucas led the Spurs to a 55-27 record but the team suffered a loss in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz which led to the immediate firing of Lucas as head coach.

Gregory Johnson. The 1992-1993 season also marked the last that the Spurs would play in Hemisfair Arena. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). His coaching propelled the team to a 39-22 finish over the rest of the regular season and the team reached the Western Conference semifinals, losing to the Phoenix Suns. Chuck Daly. The Lucas era started out successfully. Larry Brown. It was Lucas' first NBA coaching assignment although he had gained recognition in league circles for his success in helping NBA players rehab from drug abuse.

40 Bill Laimbeer. After Rex Hughes filled the coaching shoes for one game, NBA veteran John Lucas was named head coach. 21 Dave Bing. The Tarkanian experiment proved a flop, as the coach was fired 20 games into the 1992-1993 season with the Spurs record at 9-11. 16 Bob Lanier. McCombs made national headlines during the summer of 1992 with the hiring of former UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian. 15 Vinnie Johnson. The team became a perennial playoff presence although were never able to advance further then the second round of the NBA Playoffs under Brown's tutelage. Late in the 1991-1992 season, McCombs fired Brown and replaced him with Bob Bass who finished the season as interim head coach.

11 Isiah Thomas. The Spurs began the 1990's with great optimism. 4 Joe Dumars. Robinson had one of the most successful rookie seasons for a center in NBA history, finishing the season as Rookie of the Year while averaging 24.3 points and 12.0 rebounds. 2 Chuck Daly (never played in the NBA; represents the two NBA championship teams he coached). The Spurs eventually lost in the Western Conference semifinals after losing a seven-game series to the eventual Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers. Jerry Stackhouse. Led by Robinson along with the newly added Terry Cummings and 1989 draftee Sean Elliott, the Spurs achieved the biggest one-season turnaround in NBA History, finishing with a record of 56-26.

John Salley. As the 1980's ended, the 1989-1990 season proved to be the rebirth of the Spurs franchise. Dennis Rodman. Additionally, the 1988-1989 season featured the debut of Larry Brown as the Spurs head coach who moved to San Antonio after winning the NCAA National Championship with the University of Kansas in 1988. Rick Mahorn. It was the first season of full ownership for Red McCombs, who was an original investor in the team and helped solidify local ownership for the team. Grant Hill. Although the 1988-1989 season was the worst in Spurs history at 21-61, it was notable for several reasons.

Adrian Dantley. Although drafted in 1987, the Spurs would have to wait until the 1989-1990 season to see Robinson actually play due to a two-year commitment he had to serve with the United States Navy. Chuck Daly (Inducted as Coach). The Spurs used this selection on United States Naval Academy standout David Robinson. Isiah Thomas. The lone bright spot during this period was the Spurs' being awarded the top pick in the 1987 NBA draft through NBA Draft Lottery. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). The next four seasons were a dark time in Spurs' history, with the team having a combined record of 115-215 from 1985-1986 till 1988-1989. The losing seasons and dwindling attendance caused the Spurs to often be mentioned as a potential candidate for relocation to another city.

Bob Lanier. After the 1984-1985 season, Gervin, who arguably had been the Spurs' biggest star, was traded to the Chicago Bulls in what effectively signaled the end of the era that began when the Spurs first moved to San Antonio. Dave Bing. Despite their regular season success, the Spurs were unable to win any NBA championships, losing in the Western Conference playoffs to the Houston Rockets in 1981 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1982 and 1983. C - #31 Darko Miličić (Serbia). For the first few seasons of the decade, the Spurs continued their success of the 1970's with records of 52-30 in 1980-1981, 48-34 in 1981-1982, and 53-29 in 1982-1983. F-C - #24 Antonio McDyess (Alabama). The decade of the 1980's marked both highs, then lows, and an eventual high.

G - #5 Horace Jenkins (William Paterson) - restricted free agent. The Spurs would go on to capture 5 division titles in their first 7 years in the NBA and became a perennial playoff participant. G - #10 Lindsey Hunter (Jackson State). Although there was some initial skepticism in league circles regarding the potential success and talent levels of the incoming ABA teams, the Spurs would prove worthy of NBA inclusion during the 1975-1976 season with a record of 44-38, good for a tie for fourth place overall in the Eastern Conference. F - #8 Darvin Ham (Texas Tech) - free agent. The NBA however decided to admit four ABA teams into the league, with the Spurs being one of them along with the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and the New York Nets. F - #12 Ronald Dupree (LSU). Even though playoff success would elude the team in the ABA, the Spurs had suddenly found themselves among the top teams in the ABA. In 1976, the ABA folded, threatening the future of San Antonio's sole professional sports franchise.

G-F - #20 Carlos Delfino (Argentina). The early Spurs were led by ABA veteran James Silas and bolstered by the acquisition in early-1974 of future NBA Hall-of-Famer George Gervin from the Virginia Squires. C - #41 Elden Campbell (Clemson) - free agent. The team quickly made themselves at home at San Antonio's HemisFair Arena playing to increasingly large and raucous crowds. G - #30 Carlos Arroyo (Florida Int'l). The team's primary colors were changed from the red, white, and blue of the Chapparrals to the now familiar silver and black motif of the Spurs. PG - #1 Chauncey Billups (Colorado). The team was acquired by a group of 36 San Antonio businessmen, led by Angelo Drossos and Red McCombs who actually leased the team from the original Dallas ownership group, relocated the team to San Antonio, Texas and renamed them the Spurs.

SG - #32 Richard "Rip" Hamilton (UConn). After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in 1972-1973, the team was put up for sale. C - #3 Ben Wallace (Virginia Union). In fact, during the 1970-1971 season, the name "Dallas" was dropped in favor of "Texas" and an attempt was made to make the team a regional one, playing games in Fort Worth, Texas as well as Lubbock, Texas but this proved a failure and the team returned full-time to Dallas in time for the 1971-1972 season. PF - #36 Rasheed Wallace (North Carolina). The team suffered from poor attendance and general disinterest in Dallas. SF - #22 Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky). The San Antonio Spurs started out as the Dallas Chaparrals of the original version of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.

The San Antonio Spurs are a National Basketball Association team based in San Antonio, Texas. 50 - David Robinson. 44 - George Gervin. 32 - Sean Elliott.

13 - James Silas. 00 - Johnny Moore. Chuck "The Rifleman" Person. Malik Rose.

Terry Cummings. Steve Kerr. Avery "The Little General" Johnson. Sean "Ninja" Elliott.

Willie Anderson. Alvin Robertson. Johnny Moore. Artis "The A-Train" Gilmore.

James "Captain Late" Silas. David "The Admiral" Robinson. Moses Malone - 2001. George "The Iceman" Gervin - 1996.

G-#11 Mike Wilks (Rice). G-#14 Beno Udrih (Slovenia). F-#3 Glenn Robinson (Purdue). C-#8 Radoslav "Rasho" Nesterovic (Slovenia).

F/C-#34 Tony Massenburg (Maryland). F/C-#4 Sean Marks (California). F-#43 Linton Johnson III (Tulane). F/C-#5 Robert Horry (Alabama).

G-#23 Devin Brown (Texas-San Antonio). G-#17 Brent Barry (Oregon State). PG-#9 Tony Parker (France). SG-#20 Emanuel "Manu" Ginobili (Argentina).

C-#2 Nazr Mohammed (Kentucky). SF-#12 Bruce Bowen (Cal State-Fullerton). PF-#21 Tim Duncan (Wake Forest).

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