I'm pretty sure Garrett Elliott is the Antonio McDyess of DetroitBadBoys. He's a genuinely good fellow, doesn't lose his cool and stays dedicated to this jersey we all wear. In terms of DBB, he's a vet, too. He's been an active part of DetroitBadBoys since its infancy, and he's been an addict since. But what is he up to when he's not liking slam dunk shots or teaching his son his favorite Blaha-isms? More in a second. (photos by Garrett Elliot himself)
My two earliest memories are Vinnie Johnson hitting the 00.7 shot and champagne being sprayed around the locker room while the Pistons celebrated. My dad was a big Detroit sports fan and I just sort of got hooked on Pistons basketball for some reason. He followed the Tigers, Wings, and Lions but I never really paid much attention to the other sports. We went to a few Pistons games and then I started playing basketball a lot and really got into them when they were probably at their worst (early 90's). So I've gone full circle from teal to championship to today's near-teal. I love the team, I love the players, I love the history of the franchise, I love that we've been one of the few teams to win multiple championships besides the bigger market teams. There's no way I'll be a bandwagon ass cat for another franchise.
Noting your distance from the Palace and Detroit in general, in what ways do you entertain your fanhood from afar?
The interwebs for sure. There's no way I could be a fan without it. I'm about 2.5 hours north east of Toronto and we get hockey, hockey, and more hockey with the occasional Raptors game mixed in. Without the net I'd never even know there was an NBA happening let alone continue to follow and support the Pistons. I watch a lot of streaming games and refresh DBB way more often than I probably should. I don't venture out very far into the NBA blogosphere so DBB is pretty much my online basketball home.
What first brought you to DetroitBadBoys, and what is your earliest memory of the community?
I wish I could remember how I found it but it was more than likely a Google search for "Detroit Pistons blog" or something like that. The thing I remember most about the old community is.....the old community. The fact that everyone seemed so cool and had such similar personalities, likes, senses of humour, etc, and we all happened to be fans of the same team made it seem like we would probably all be buddies in real life if states, countries, and (sometimes) hemispheres didn't separate us. There was a real camaraderie. And even though some people have gone and new people have taken their place, that sense of community still exists with the new site, which is awesome. Group hugs!
Oh, and the flaming banner on the old DBB was pretty awesome.
Beyond the Pistons, tell us about yourself-- your work, your town, your story-- what drives Garrett beyond the Pistons alone?
Everyone probably knows everything about me already! I'm kind of transparent online, I guess. I just turned 32 on the 3rd. I'm a full-time photographer who works from home and hangs is a stay-at-home-dad (our son is almost 4 and our daughter is almost 6-months). My wife is a teacher. I live in Canada. I'm originally from a small farm town near Windsor, which is how I got hooked on the Pistons, but everyone in my town played hockey except me. I still can't skate but I have a pretty sweet jump shot. I played drums in various bands throughout high school and I'm a movie/music/TV nerd. Running my own business has been infinitely rewarding and I guess that success keeps me going and wanting more. It's nice to have such a flexible lifestyle where I can enjoy time with my family and still do something fun and (hopefully) meaningful for my clients.
If you could change any one thing about the Pistons now, what would it be? If you could keep one thing constant, what would it be?
I'd change the uniforms. We need more equine imagery! Nah, I'm copying Boney but I'd change the ownership situation. We need some stability and it needs to start at the top. We also need more head tilting in our players' profile photos. I'm just saying.
This might not be a popular answer, but I think I'd keep Joe Dumars constant. He's made a lot of bone-headed mistakes but he knows the game and, more importantly, he knows NBA players. With the right team around him and the ability to do things he wants (just buy the team already and give JoD carte blanche with all of your monies, Tom Gores!), I think he could bring us back to playing winning basketball.
As a photographer, have you ever dabbled (or dreamed) about sports photography? If you could photograph any one Pistons team for a season, which one would it be... and why?
I've done a bit of sports photography for our local newspaper but I've always wanted to do a personal project where I follow around our university basketball team and document the season. I wish I would have done this a few years ago when they were actually pretty good and made it deep into the playoffs. I'd love to put together a book or something of photojournalism showing locker-room stuff, huddle stuff, game action, etc. Maybe I'll make it a goal of mine to get this done in the next 5 years.
If I could shoot any Pistons team, it would definitely be the 2004 team. Their rise to dominance sort of coincided with my basketball fandom so it would be great just being a fan and capturing all those little moments that helped the guys gel. Especially with all the characters on the team -- there probably would have been some awesome candid moments. Not to mention the emotion of big pressure situations and victories. That would have been an amazing journey to document. Andy Bernstein, one of the NBA's spectacular photographers, recently put together a book called "Journey To The Ring" where he followed the 2010 championship Lakers around and it looks pretty amazing. I hate the Lakers but I'm tempted to pick it up just for the inspiration. He had amazing access and it looks like some pretty fantastic work. I'd love to be able to try to do something like that for a full season.
Thanks MFGE!! Now your thoughts.