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:. (years and records, minimum 750 games). Reserves. * * First Latin player selected for the All-Star Game. Starters. * First black player signed by the Sox. Eastern on ABC. See also: List of Chicago White Sox people.

Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday, June 19th at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 9 P.M. Since 2000, a heated feud has grown between the White Sox and their Central Division rivals, the Minnesota Twins, fueled in large part by the unchallenged Central Division dominance of the Twins in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Spurs have won the first two games, and Detroit the second to, all by margins of 15 to 31 points. The advent of interleague play has intensified the rivalry. 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. Most White Sox fans take joy in the in failures of their crosstown rival and the same is true for Cubs fans. 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. The Chicago Cubs and the Sox are both in, respectively, the first and second longest championship droughts of any professional baseball teams; as such, a heated Sox-Cubs rivalry has developed.

Lakers did so at the Sacramento Kings in 2002. Finally, to complete the make-over, Williams signed Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi to a contract. In the process, the Pistons became the first team to win a game 7 on the road since the L.A. Pierzynski was signed to fill the catching spot; a spot which has not been adequately filled since the departure of Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk over 10 years earlier. 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. Additionally, former member of the Minnesota Twins A.J. 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. They also signed outfielder Jermaine Dye and former Yankee pitcher Orlando Hernandez to complete a rotation that includes Freddy Garcia and Mark Buehrle.

Presently, the Pistons are considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. They traded outfielder Carlos Lee for center fielder Scott Podsednik. See also: The Malice at The Palace. In late 2004, general manager Ken Williams vowed to change the makeup of the team from one that relies on the home run to one that has good pitching and defense. A month later, five Pacers and seven fans were charged after being involved in the "basketbrawl.". In 2004, the Chicago White Sox hired former White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillén as manager. Other Pacers such as Jermaine O'Neal fought with fans who had walked onto the court. This team, like 1983, also could not carry any success over into the postsesaon, getting swept by the wild-card Seattle Mariners in 3 games in the AL Division Series round.

This caused Artest to rush into the stands and attack some fans. A big key for this team was that they seemed always to get the clutch hit whenever they needed it. 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. Frank Thomas nearly won the AL MVP award with his offensive output; he was helped by good offensive years from Magglio Ordóñez, Paul Konerko, Carlos Lee and Jose Valentin. Coached by Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown, the Pistons returned to prominence, winning the 2004 NBA championship. The team scored runs at a blistering pace, which enabled them to win all of these games despite a mediocre pitching staff led by Mike Sirotka. Under Dumars's leadership, the Pistons have since surrounded Wallace with rising stars Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince. This team, whose slogan was "The Kids can play," won 95 games en route to an AL Central division title.

One of them, Ben Wallace, would prove to be a cornerstone for the franchise's revamped roster. In the year 2000, the White Sox had one of their best teams since the 1983 club. 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. This trade did considerable harm to the already small White Sox fan base. 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. This trade was deemed as the "White Flag Trade" by the Chicago newspapers due to the perception that the White Sox organization essentially surrendered to the Indians without a fight that year. The franchise went through a lengthy transitional period as its key players either retired or left. Many fans saw this as their ownership (led by Jerry Reinsdorf) betraying them and trading away their chance to win the division in exchange for next to nothing.

The team moved into the lavish Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988 and remains there today. On July 31, 1997, with the White Sox only 3.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians for the division lead, they traded veteran pitchers Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernández to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for 6 minor leaguers, most notably Keith Foulke. 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. Under manager Jerry Manuel, the White Sox fielded a talented but chronically under-achieving squad. 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. The team reached the ALCS in 1993 and the American League Division Series in 2000. In early 1982, it acquired center Bill Laimbeer and guard Vinnie Johnson. The 1990s teams also contended well, led by pitcher Jack McDowell and first baseman Frank Thomas.

The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas out of Indiana University. In anticipation of the move to the new ballpark, the White Sox of the 1990s adopted classic pinstriped uniforms and the occasional use of black jerseys, instantly jumping to the top of the league in merchandise sales. (The Silverdome was the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions at the time.). The Renovation plan is a 5-phase plan and it will be complete next year with the 5th and final phase. 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. In addition, the top third of the upper deck was removed in 2004 and an overhang was placed over most of it. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remains the team's owner. Most notable were the moving of the bullpens to be parallel to the field of play, extending the seats further to the field of play, renovating the concourse areas to establish a more friendly feel.

The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling on both the court and the box office. In recent years there have been renovations made in order to make the park more fan friendly. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. It is often criticized for its sterile appearance and nosebleed-inducing upper deck. 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. Cellular Field, opened in 1991 to rave reviews, but was soon outdone by the wave of "nostalgia" ballparks, beginning with Camden Yards. 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 the late 1980s, the franchise was very nearly relocated to Tampa Bay, but frantic lobbying of the state legislature resulted in approval (by one vote) of public funding for a new stadium. New Comiskey Park, now known as U.S.

It is the oldest existing franchise in the NBA. While they had a great run in the regular season, they were not able to carry that over into the postseason as they lost to Baltimore 3 games to one in the AL Championship Series. The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Fred Zollner, owner of a General Motors subsidiary that manufactored pistons. A catchphrase of the team was "Winning Ugly" for the style of play, which reflected a tendency to win games through scrappy play rather than consistently strong hitting or pitching.
. Manager Tony La Russa also won the Manager of the Year award. The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. This team was led by catcher Carlton Fisk, outfielder Harold Baines, eventual Rookie of the Year outfielder Ron Kittle, designated hitter Greg Luzinski, and pitchers LaMarr Hoyt (who won the Cy Young that year), Floyd Bannister and Richard Dotson.

Gregory Johnson. They started the season very poorly, but still went on to win 99 games and the AL West title. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). In 1983, the Chicago White Sox had a fantastic run. Chuck Daly. In 1967, the White Sox remained in contention for the American League pennant until the final weekend of the regular season. Larry Brown. In 1959, the team won its next (and, as of Spring 2005, last) pennant, thanks to the efforts of several eventual Hall of Famers -- manager Lopez, shortstop Luis Aparicio, second baseman Nellie Fox, and pitcher Early Wynn.

40 Bill Laimbeer. The franchise would not win another American League pennant until 1959; in the meantime, the White Sox finished in the second division (fifth place or lower) 22 times, until the team rebuilt under managers Paul Richards, Marty Marion, and Al Lopez. 21 Dave Bing. The next four decades saw the White Sox lapse into mediocrity, particularly as the Yankees rose to become the American League's dominant team. 16 Bob Lanier. The phrase has become famous. 15 Vinnie Johnson. As the players were leaving a hearing, a boy fan (said by some to have been a newsboy) is claimed to have yelled out to Shoeless Joe, "Say it ain't so, Joe!".

11 Isiah Thomas. Judge Landis, Commissioner of Baseball, banned all the accused nonetheless. 4 Joe Dumars. The official evidence relating to participation in the 'fix' by the various accused players vanished mysteriously and none were ever tried. 2 Chuck Daly (never played in the NBA; represents the two NBA championship teams he coached). The White Sox have never entirely overcome the stigma of being the only team to take a dive in the Fall Classic. Jerry Stackhouse. However, this was the year of the infamous Black Sox scandal, in which eight White Sox players, including Cicotte and Jackson, were barred from organized baseball for life for taking part in a plot by gamblers to "fix" the World Series.

John Salley. After an off-year in the war-shortened season of 1918, the club bounced back to win the pennant in 1919 and entered the World Series heavily favored to defeat the Cincinnati Reds. Dennis Rodman. Led by second baseman Eddie Collins and outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, the White Sox now had offense to go with the pitching of Eddie Cicotte and Red Faber. Rick Mahorn. The White Sox contended over the next decade, but did not bring home a pennant until 1917. Grant Hill. The Sox, dubbed the "Hitless Wonders" for having the lowest team batting average in the American League that year, nevertheless took the Series, and intercity bragging rights, in six games.

Adrian Dantley. Walsh, Doc White and Nick Altrock paced the White Sox to their 1906 pennant and their first World Series victory, a stunning upset over the Cubs who had won a record 116 regular-season games. Chuck Daly (Inducted as Coach). The White Sox would continue to be built on pitching and defense in the following years, led by pitching workhorse Ed Walsh, who routinely pitched over 400 innings each season in his prime. Isiah Thomas. The club adopted the name "White Stockings", the original name of the Chicago Cubs, and acquired a number of stars from the National League, including pitcher and manager Clark Griffith, who paced the White Sox to the AL's first pennant in 1901. Earl Lloyd (inducted as a contributor, not as a player or coach). Paul franchise was relocated to Chicago, to compete directly with the National League club in that city.

Bob Lanier. When the Western League changed its name to the American League in 1900, a year before claiming major league status, the St. Dave Bing. Paul, Minnesota. C - #31 Darko Miličić (Serbia). The Cornhuskers won the league pennant in 1894, then moved to St. F-C - #24 Antonio McDyess (Alabama). Comiskey originally founded the team in Sioux City, Iowa, as part of a minor league called the Western League.

G - #5 Horace Jenkins (William Paterson) - restricted free agent. Louis Browns in the 1880s. G - #10 Lindsey Hunter (Jackson State). The team was founded by Charles Comiskey, a former major-league ballplayer who starred with the St. F - #8 Darvin Ham (Texas Tech) - free agent. They are in the Central Division of the American League. F - #12 Ronald Dupree (LSU). The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois.

G-F - #20 Carlos Delfino (Argentina). Bristol White Sox
Great Falls White Sox. C - #41 Elden Campbell (Clemson) - free agent. Winston-Salem Warthogs
Kannapolis Intimidators. G - #30 Carlos Arroyo (Florida Int'l). Birmingham Barons. PG - #1 Chauncey Billups (Colorado). Charlotte Knights.

SG - #32 Richard "Rip" Hamilton (UConn). American League
. C - #3 Ben Wallace (Virginia Union). Pitching saves: Bobby Thigpen, 57 (1990, MLB record). PF - #36 Rasheed Wallace (North Carolina). Pitching strikeouts: Ed Walsh, 269 (1908). SF - #22 Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky). Pitching wins: Ed Walsh, 40 (1908).

Walks: Frank Thomas, 138 (1991). Strikeouts: Dave Nicholson, 175 (1963). Hitting streak: Luke Appling and Albert Belle, 27 games (1936 and 1997). Stolen bases: Rudy Law, 77 (1983).

Triples: Shoeless Joe Jackson, 21 (1916). Doubles: Albert Belle, 48 (1998). Hits: Eddie Collins, 222 (1920). Runs: Johnny Mostil, 135 (1925).

Runs batted In: Albert Belle, 152 (1998). Home runs: Albert Belle, 49 (1998). Batting average: Luke Appling, .388 (1936). Jerry Reinsdorf (1981-present).

John Allyn (1969-1975). Arthur Allyn, Jr. (1961-1969). Bill Veeck (1959-1961, 1975-1981). Dorothy Comiskey Rigney (1956-1959).

Grace Comiskey (1940-1956). Louis Comiskey (1931-1939). J. Charles Comiskey (1900-1931).

Jerry Manuel (1998-2003) (500-471). Tony La Russa (1979-1986) (522-510). Al Lopez (1957-1965, 1968-1969) (840-650). Paul Richards (1951-1954, 1976) (406-392).

Jimmy Dykes (1935-1946) (899-940). Kid Gleason (1919-1923) (392-364). 72 Carlton Fisk. 42 Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball).

19 Billy Pierce. 16 Ted Lyons. 11 Luis Aparicio.   9 Minnie Miñoso.

  4 Luke Appling.   3 Harold Baines.   2 Nellie Fox. Magglio Ordóñez (2002).

Albert Belle (1998). Outfielders

    . none. Shortstop
      .

      none. Third baseman

        . none. Second baseman
          .

          Frank Thomas [2] (1993-94). First baseman

            . Carlton Fisk [3] (1981, 1985, 1988). Catcher
              .

              Julio Franco (1994). Harold Baines (1989). Frank Thomas [2] (1991, 2000). DH

                .

                Minnie Miñoso (1957). Ken Berry (1970). Tommie Agee (1966). Jim Landis [5] (1960-64).

                Outfield

                  . Ozzie Guillén (1990). Luis Aparicio [7] (1958-62, 1968, 1970). Shortstop
                    .

                    Robin Ventura [5] (1991-93, 1996, 1998). Third base

                      . Nellie Fox [3] (1957, 1959-60). Second base
                        .

                        Mike Squires (1981). Jim Spencer (1977). First base

                          . Sherm Lollar [3] (1957-59).

                          Catcher

                            . Jim Kaat [3] (1983, Twins-White Sox, 1984-85, White Sox). Pitcher
                              . 2000 - Jerry Manuel.

                              1993 - Gene Lamont. 1990 - Jeff Torborg. 1983 - Tony La Russa. 1985 - Ozzie Guillén.

                              1983 - Ron Kittle. 1966 - Tommie Agee. 1963 - Gary Peters. 1956 - Luis Aparicio.

                              1993 - Jack McDowell (AL). 1983 - LaMarr Hoyt (AL). 1959 - Early Wynn (MLB). 1994 - Frank Thomas.

                              1993 - Frank Thomas. 1972 - Dick Allen. 1959 - Nellie Fox. 59 KOR Man Soo Lee (bullpen catcher}.

                              28 PRI Joey Cora (third base). 30 USA Tim Raines (first base). 53 USA Art Kusnyer (bullpen pitching).   3 USA Harold Baines (bench).

                              29 USA Greg Walker (hitting). 21 USA Don Cooper (pitching). Coaches

                                . 13 VEN Ozzie Guillén.

                                Manager

                                  . Early Wynn 1958-62. Hoyt Wilhelm 1963-68. Ed Walsh 1904-16.

                                  Al Simmons 1933-35. Tom Seaver 1984-86. Ray Schalk 1912-28. Red Ruffing 1947.

                                  Edd Roush 1913. Ted Lyons 1923-42, 1946. George Kell 1954-56. Harry Hooper 1921-25.

                                  Clark Griffith 1901-02. Nellie Fox 1950-63. Carlton Fisk 1981-93. Red Faber 1914-33.

                                  Johnny Evers 1922. Larry Doby 1956-57, 1959. George Davis 1902, 1904-09. Eddie Collins 1915-26.

                                  Steve Carlton 1986. Chief Bender 1925. Luke Appling 1930-43, 1945-50. Luis Aparicio 1956-62, 1968-70.

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