It seems that my masterplan of encouraging unrest and downright nastiness from the Pistons is coming to fruition. Gone are the newspaper puff pieces from the days of yore discussing youth camps in Coatesville, P-A or decrepit weight rooms at Virginia Union University. It seems that lately, the Boys in Blue are a bit grumpy. Witness:
- Rasheed Wallace hates the zone defense (and, presumably, the fact that Flip Saunders is pushing for more zone in '06-07). Here's Rasheed's take on the zone (from today's Detroit News):
"Zone is a get-by defense, if you ask me," Wallace said. "To me, man-to-man instills pride. If my man is sitting up there scoring 30 points, then I'm like, 'All right, hold up.' You take pride into it when you get scored on two or three times in a row, and you say, 'He ain't going to do this again.'
"But in that zone, you can blame other people. You can say, 'Oh, you didn't get to that spot. I was out here, but you weren't over there.' With the man defense, ain't nobody to blame but yourself."
- Oh yeah, like many high-profile players around the league, 'Sheed also hates the new official NBA ball. From MLive:
Wallace is among those who don't like it. He didn't realize so many others felt the same until he shot a Nike commercial in Los Angeles recently with other NBA players, including Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and two-time league MVP Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns.
"Everyone agreed, that new ball is terrible," Wallace said. "I don't see how they can just go ahead and change that, without asking the players. It's crazy, man. It's crazy."
- Nazr Mohammad wants you to know that he is not Big Ben. From the Free Press:
"My mind-set is to do the things that I do well -- don't try to come in and be Ben Wallace," Mohammed said.
"I'm going to contest shots, I'm going to play good team defense, I'm going to rebound the ball," Mohammed said, "and I'm going to score when given the opportunity."
- Chauncey Billups would really rather prefer we not talk about his impending free agency all season long (sorta like we did with Big Ben last season). From the Detroit News:
"I am just trying to duplicate what we did last year and get better at the end -- team-wise As far as that (his next contract), I will not talk about that all year. At the end of the year, we can sit down and have a conversation."
"There's going to be no dialogue," he said. "It's a non-issue."
(Note: just to show how defiant we (Detroit Bad Boys) are, I have a feeling that we'll end up discussing Chauncey's contract situation once or twice this season.)
- Even Jason Maxiell is a little surly, and he's taking his frustrations out on his, my, and your favorite beverage:
Maxiell, who lost about 20 pounds since the end of last season, said the biggest change he made this summer was in the types of foods he ate. He also cut back on certain, uh, beverages, too.
"No more beer; just red wine," said Maxiell, who now weighs about 240 pounds. "And no red meat, just chicken and fish. You have to do what you have to do."
For shame, Jason.
- And, finally, as you can see from the below picture, Rip Hamilton was clearly irritated with his old barber/hairstyle.
Wallace hates zone defense [Detroit News]
Pistons notebook: Mohammed: I'm not Big Ben, but I can fit here [Detroit Free Press]
Billups: Contract can wait [Detroit News]
Maxiell loses weight, gains quickness [MLive]