Pardon our quiet spell over the weekend. We were busy basking in the baseball hotbed that is Detroit, and our voice is still recovering.
News in our absense:
- Those of you who read the following quote in Friday's Detroit News were probably preparing for the worst this season.
A highlight in recent scrimmages has been the play of 37-year-old Dale Davis. He was dominating Nazr Mohammed, scoring five straight baskets during one stretch Thursday.
But, as Chris McCoskey was quick to remind us, Mohammed is in the midst of fasting for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, to which he acredits his slow starts throughout his career. Let's hope that's the only reason Nazr was being "dominated" by Dale Davis, or else there's going to be a lot of 116-115 games this season.
- By now, I hope everyone has had the opportunity to read Chris Sheridan's article on ESPN regarding Big Ben's departure from the D. In the article, Ben exposes the sniping insecurity that made it so difficult for me to cheer for him during his final season in Piston Blue. To list all of Big Ben's petty rants would be to plagarize Sheridan's entire article, so I'll leave you all with this nugget and encourage you to click through:
Did he like playing for Flip?
"No. I just didn't like the way we handled things," Wallace said. "We got away from our bread and butter, and that's on the defensive end. I hear him saying now that I'm gone he can open up his playbook. I laugh at it. Everyone's looking for something, and for him to say that, he's fishing for getting a reaction out of me. It's funny to me, real comical. I never thought you could win when you've got five guys on the floor looking for the ball and no one out there doing the little things. So that's on him. If he feels like that, go ahead."
Ben Wallace gave his heart and soul to the Pistons franchise for most of the time he was here, but increased sensitivity towards the deficiencies in his game had made him less the model citizen he was perceived to be when the Pistons' "goin' to work" slogan was coined. Wallace's problems with Flip and his offensive-oriented system sound like the frustrations of a player who knew he couldn't provide his piece to that puzzle; there is no doubt that his trading in his Blue and Reds was the best for both parties going forward.
- Finally, you may have noticed that local news coverage of the Pistons preseason is down from years' past. No, the Pistons have not fallen out of favor with the people of Detroit. The real reason is that -- for the first time since I was 9 years old -- the city has a baseball team to root for in October. After attending Friday night's game 3 of the Tigers' American League Divisional Series against the Yankees, you can safely assume that the Pistons will be parked on page 2 for next few weeks (and rightly so). The Tigers, having dispatched of the Yankees, should now be favored to win their upcoming series against the Oakland A's, and -- should they make the World Series -- they would likely be favored as well.
The turnaround from 119 losses three years ago, the addition of Jim Leyland as manager (a perfect match for our gritty, tough city), and the collection of self-effacing stars assembled by Dave Dombrowski has some fans questioning whether the Tigs are a team of destiny. We'll soon find out. (Special thanks to the folks at the Detroit Tigers Forum on Worldcrossing for the below graphic.)
Davis highlights sloppy afternoon [Detroit News]
Big Ben's dislike for Flip helped fuel his departure [ESPN]