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Thursday's Layup Drill: Pistons For Sale edition

Considering the enormity of the news, we haven't really spent too much time talking about the potential sale of the Pistons, in part, I think, because there's not much to really say. Even after Karen Davidson confirmed the rumors during Wednesday's game, it's hard to believe that anything might actually happen sometime soon. As Vince Ellis put it in the Free Press:

Isn’t the market already flooded with NBA teams for sale? The Charlotte Bobcats are looking for a new owner, according to HoopsWorld. The Contra Costa Times reports that Golden State Warriors owner Chris Cohan is shopping the franchise around. The Memphis Grizzlies reportedly have been on the market for several years, but owner Michael Heisley can’t find a buyer.

The Washington Wizards, whose owner died in November, are in the process of being sold to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Appraisers will determine the value of the sale. The New Jersey Nets are in the final stages of being sold to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Not only that, but who's in a rush to invest nearly half a billion dollars into an industry wholly dependent on discretionary income in a region that sports the nation's highest unemployment rate? An owner intent on moving the team, perhaps, but I can't imagine that actually happening considering much of the franchise's value is driven by the fact it includes a privately owned, debt-free arena.

(For what it's worth, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert (through a spokeman) has denied interest, but you have to imagine the guy has at least pondered the possibility this week.)

There's been chatter about a joint arena being built in downtown Detroit that the Pistons would share with the Red Wings, a move I'd endorse 110%, but that adds yet another layer of complexity to an already uncertain situation. All we really know at the moment is that we don't much. So let's leave it at that for now and get on with the morning links, re-hashing and re-living what was easily the Pistons' signature win of the season.

Vince Ellis / Detroit Free Press: Rasheed Wallace on the fans' reaction to his return:

"It was cool and definitely wonderful," Wallace said after the Pistons' 92-86 victory. "It let me know that the fans here still love me as a player.

"It was pretty cool."

Chris Iott / MLive: Charlie Villanueva on Detroit's energy:

"We were playing a tough team in the Eastern Conference," Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva said. "If you can't get fired up for that, you don't deserve to be in the league."

John Kuester praises Ben Wallace's 'all-star' play

Rob Otto / MLive on Joe Dumars' decision to re-sign Rasheed after the '04 title:

But his big failing was getting swept up in the emotion after upsetting the Lakers for the 2004 Championship. Dumars knew they would not have won the trophy without Wallace, and he wanted to keep a good thing going, so he re-signed Rasheed. It was a move that I and many other Piston fans applauded at the time. But Rasheed coming back meant that there was not room for Mehmet Okur. And in hindsight, this team would be much better off today if Memo was still here.

[...] We'll never know if the team would have been as successful the last four season had Dumars kept Okur instead of Wallace, but I certainly believe they wouldn't be as bad as they are now if Memo were still wearing Piston red, white and blue.

This line of thinking kind of baffles me -- the Pistons came within minutes of a back-to-back title in '05, and within games of being a Finalist for years after. Bringing Rasheed back was not a mistake. More importantly, re-signing Memo was never an option: a loophole in the salary cap (since fixed) prevented teams from going over the cap to re-sign second-round picks -- it's the same reason why Golden State never had a chance at keeping Gilbert Arenas. (Hah, funny how that worked out, too.) Dumars deserves to be second-guessed for a lot of things the last few years; this is not one of them. But I digress ... back to the links!

Keith Langlois / Role Playing:

"(Wallace) wanted to show the fans what they were missing," Villanueva grinned after the game, "but Charlie V is here."

Villanueva played hard at both ends, blocking two shots and doing a reasonable impersonation of Wallace’s two-way play.

"He had an outstanding game on both sides of the court," John Kuester said. "Getting him to buy into how we want to defend, we’ve got a heck of a basketball player there."

Dave Pemberton / Oakland Press: Win could be turning point of season

Gary Washburn and Julian Benbow / Boston Globe: This "Baby" talk not cute or cuddly:

Perhaps if you were watching last night’s Celtics-Pistons game on television or listening on the radio, you heard an expletive yelled out. That was Boston’s Glen “Big Baby’’ Davis shouting at a Detroit fan who kept calling him “fat boy’’ during the first half.

Davis’s graphic remark stunned fans sitting behind the Celtics’ bench. The fan, Scott Zack, was warned by arena security about his heckling but was determined to press the issue about Davis’s remark. Zack said he filed a complaint with NBA security.

Two thoughts: 1) Is that really the first time Davis has heard that insult? Dude needs a thicker skin on that soft belly. 2) Heckling can be fun, and getting a reaction out of an athlete makes it 100 times more enjoyable ...

... but feigning shock and pretending to take offense when the athlete curses is incredibly lame. Get off your high horse, Mr. Zack -- you got in his head and you likely got him fined, so quit pretending that making him scream in frustration wasn't the exact outcome you were hoping might happen, or that the language he used was something worse than what most adults use a dozen times a day.

ESPN's Marc Stein with trade rumors:

The Pistons are suddenly 5-1 since their 13-game losing streak, including Wednesday night’s home win over Boston, but don't expect them to abandon their efforts to find a big man who can score by offering up old reliables Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton.

Last but not least ... PistonsNation: Block Don't Lie:

Did we miss anything? Let us know with a comment or a FanPost. And until we meet again, consider this your open thread for the day.