There are 34 days left until the Pistons kick off the 2008-09 season.
A year after posing for Sports Illustrated, Fennis Dembo proudly wore the No. 34 jersey (underneath his warm-up suit, of course) while holding down the end of the Pistons' bench. His NBA career lasted a grand total of 33 games in the regular season and playoffs, and after picking up his championship ring, he rode off into the sunset, never to be heard from again.
Okay, that last part isn't 100% true. Sports Illustrated caught up with Dembo in 1997:
After Detroit won the 1989 NBA title, Dembo was released, and he embarked on a dizzying basketball odyssey. His travels included two stints in the CBA, a stop in Spain, three years in France, a year in Italy and a stretch last year as the designated American ringer on an Argentine team. "One of the hardest things about playing overseas is that clubs don't like the players to have too much personality," he says with a chuckle. "I had to calm it down."
Other No. 34s in Detroit Pistons history: Dale Davis (2005-07), Corliss Williamson (2001-04), Pete Chilcutt (1993-94), Olden Polynice (1992-93), Sidney Lowe (1984-85), Ken Austin (1983-84), Jim Johnstone (1982-83), James Wilkes (1982-83), Jim Zoet (1982-83), Keith Herron (1980-81), and, the real trend-setter, John Shumate (1977-80)