We'll deal with last night's schizophrenic win over the Milwaukee Bucks later, but at the moment we can't think of anything more important to Piston fans than Joe Dumars being named to the Basketball Hall of Fame. The good news was reported yesterday in the Detroit News and reiterated by George Blaha and Bill Laimbeer during the Pistons broadcast last night. Joe D's playing resume, per the News:
Dumars, who spent his entire 14-year career with the Pistons, was a six-time All-Star guard and a member of Detroit's championship teams in 1989 and 1990, earning Finals MVP honors in '89. He was a first-round pick out of McNeese State in 1985, and is one of only eight players to play more than 1,000 games with his first NBA team. Dumars retired after the 1998-99 season as the Pistons' all-time leader in games played (1,018) and three-pointers (990). He is second on the franchise's career lists in scoring (16,401), assists (4,612) and steals (902).
With numbers alone, Joe D is probably not assured of a spot in the Hall. But when you consider his contributions to the Metro Detroit community; that he carried himself with such dignity and class that the NBA's sportsmanship award is named after him; and that he's probably an even better team President and General Manager than he was a player,[Edit: According to Joe D's interview on Stoney and Wojo (WDFN) from Monday, he was inducted this time as a player only. But while he can still be inducted as a front office type later in his career (Jerry West is mentioned as having pulled this off), it is hard to imagine that his success in building the current team didn't affect the outcome of this year's voting. Interview courtesy of MLive.] it becomes rather obvious that Joe D belongs with the greats of the game.
His jumpshot was sweet; his smile is infectious; and in an era where style began to trump substance, Joe D was and always is so much more the latter. No athelete in our generation has had a greater impact on the City of Detroit or the State of Michigan.
(And it's definitely going to get a little dusty during his Hall acceptance speech.)
Dumars elected to Basketball Hall of Fame [Detroit News]