Pistons introduce Jodie Meeks, who comes to Detroit looking to start

Jodie Meeks met the Detroit media for the first time as a member of the Pistons on Tuesday. Meeks agreed to a three-year, $19.5 million contract early in free agency, giving the Pistons an up-and-coming scorer who expects to push Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for a starting job.

The Detroit Pistons officially introduced Jodie Meeks on Tuesday, and even though the press conference wasn't broadcast on the radio or an online live stream, videos are starting to surface thanks to Dave Pemberton (@drpemberton) of the Oakland Press.

One of the biggest questions fans have about the addition of Meeks -- especially after seeing second-year shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope light it up in Orlando Pro Summer League -- is whether he'll be starting or coming off the bench. Meeks admitted that, yes, the chance to compete for a starting job was one of the factors he took into account when considering Detroit.

"Yeah, definitely looking for that kind of fit," he said. "Like I said, they were very aggressive from Day 1. That's what I was looking for, coming in and competing for a starting job. I know they need shooting, so that's what I bring to the table -- and hard work -- so I look forward to it.

Meeks was asked specifically about competing with Caldwell-Pope:

"For me, I like competition," said Meeks. "And that kind of stuff just makes me play well. But we're on the same team, it's not like we're enemies. Regardless of the situation, I'm going to root for him, and hopefully he roots for me.

"This is a family environment, and coach explained that it's going to be a loving and caring environment. He's going to get on us but at the same time he wants us to succeed and play well."

Meeks also takes exception to the idea that he's simply merely an offensive weapon, saying his defense is underrated:

"For whatever reason I haven't been given credit I deserve defensively," said Meeks. "But I don't really worry about that, I just go out and compete. When I play against a guy that's, quote-unquote a superstar, I get excited. Trying to compete with the Kobe Bryants of the world, Carmelo Anthonys, Kevin Durants, I try to go in with the mindset of I have nothing to lose. I go in and play hard and try to win."

Meeks was considered a 3-point specialist for much of his career -- and for good reason: a full 64.5 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2012-13 came from beyond the arc. But after Kobe Bryant went down early last season, he relished the opportunity to showcase the rest of his game.

"That was a big thing for me. Coming into the season I was pretty much known as just a spot-up shooter," Meeks said. "It was unfortunate for Kobe but fortunate for me I got to expand my game, got the chance to run some point guard and really show people what I can do.

"I'm not just a spot-up shooter, I'm a scorer. I'm a pretty underrated defender, in my opinion. Like I said, I play hard every night and try to do whatever I can to help the team win."

The Pistons' complete press release announcing Meeks' arrival can be seen below:

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy announced today that the club has signed free agent guard Jodie Meeks to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We’re pleased to welcome Jodie Meeks to the Pistons organization," said Jeff Bower, General Manager for the Detroit Pistons. "Jodie’s approach to the game fits the style of basketball we want to play and his ability to shoot the ball from the outside is a skill that will help our team moving forward."

The 6-4, 208-pound guard has career averages of 9.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 24.3 minutes in 355 games (194 starts) with the L.A. Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. He joins the Pistons after spending the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers where he averaged 11.8 points (.435 FG%, .381 3FG%, .867 FT%), 2.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 27.2 minutes.

The 26-year-old native of Nashville, TN, had a career-year with the Lakers last season, averaging career-highs in points (15.7 ppg), field goal percentage (.463 FG), 3-point field goal percentage (.401 3FG), rebounds (2.5 rpg), assists (1.8 apg) and minutes (33.2 mpg) in 77 games (70 starts). Meeks connected on a career-high 162 3-point field goals last season (T-17th in the NBA) and was one of 21 NBA players to shoot over 40% from 3-point range (40.1% - T-19th in the NBA). He scored a career-high 42 points (11-18 FG, 14-14 FT) in a 114-110 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder (3/9).

Meeks, a second round draft selection of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009, spent three years at the University of Kentucky where he averaged 15.4 points (.368 3FG), 3.0 rebounds and set a single-season school record for 3-point field goals made (117). He averaged 23.7 points and 40.6% from 3-point range as a junior while setting Wildcat records for most points in a single-game (career-high 54) and most 3-pointers made in a single-game (10) during a 90-72 win over Tennessee (1/13/09). Meeks recorded the nation’s top three college regular-season scoring efforts during the 2008-09 season (54, 46 and 45 points, respectively).

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