On Friday night the Pistons' faithful witnessed Will Bynum (aka MFWB) shatter his career assists record and accomplish something (20 assists) another Pistons player hasn't done in nearly 25 years. If you're not quite 25-years-old yet, like me, it's the first time in your life that you saw a Piston rack up at least 20 assists -- the last being Hall-of-Famer Isiah Thomas' 21 on April 12, 1985. Bynum's 20th assist came after Ben Gordon knocked down a long two with a little less than three seconds remaining in the game -- a game that was all but already won by Detroit.
Normally, teams with a 12-point lead run out the final seconds, but Bynum took a Charlie Villanueva pass after a missed free throw, dribbled past half court, and made a 20 foot, or so, pass to Ben Gordon in the corner. When Gordon made the jumper, it gave Bynum his 20th assist.
It also opened Bynum up to criticism to those who felt like the Pistons should have followed an unwritten rule and simply run out the final seconds rather than try to help Bynum reach a statistical milestone. Justin Rogers of MLIVE wrote that it reminded him of a couple of schmucks:
It was March 9, 1996 and the Orlando Magic were soundly beating the Pistons. [Anthony] Bowie was having a particularly big night starting in place of injured Nick Anderson. He had 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists when he grabbed his tenth rebound in the final seconds of the game.Despite his team having a 20 point lead, Bowie called a timeout wanting to rack up one final assist and net his first career double. Orlando's head coach, and current Pistons assistant, Brian Hill, refused to draw up a play for the stat-padding stunt. Possibly even more disgusted, Pistons coach Doug Collins told his players to not defend the play.Bowie ended up with getting the assist and the triple double, but ended up looking like a schmuck.In 2003, Cleveland's Ricky Davis shot at his own basket trying to get the final rebound necessary for his own triple double. Again, schmuck.
The shot infuriated Wizards assistant coach Randy Wittman, who shouted toward the Pistons' bench.
Asked afterward if he was upset, [Andray] Blatche said: "You can be, but you can't be. Guys in this league, they got their own accomplishments that they're trying to meet. It's our job to stop them. If they make a play at the end of the game like that, that's our fault. We can't criticize them because of it. It's part of the game."