Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace to have jerseys retired
The 2004 Pistons will be remembered for so much more than just winning the NBA championship. They embodied Detroit's blue collar work ethic and tenacious character, and were one of the franchise's biggest success stories.
Joe Dumars put together a team of misunderstood and underrated journeymen and created one of the most distinctive and recognizable teams in NBA history. When you review their achievements, it only makes sense that two of the players who were the most integral to that team are to be honored by having their jerseys retired in two separate ceremonies over the course of the season. Detroit's 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace will finally see their names and numbers in the rafters alongside those of some of the franchise's all-time greats.
Billups' iconic No. 1 and Wallace's No. 3, which are currently being worn by Reggie Jackson and Stanley Johnson, will be retired, but both players will be able to retain those numbers until they leave the team or change it -- much like how Greg Monroe was able to continue wearing Dennis Rodman's No. 10 after it was retired in 2013. Chauncey and Ben's career paths are well known to Pistons fans, as are their accomplishments on and off the court. They were lynchpins to the Going to Work Pistons, and led the team to multiple deep playoff runs.
Despite being traded away in 2008, Billups retired with the Pistons in 2014 following a short stint that saw Andre Drummond surrender the No. 1 jersey back to the Motown legend in favor for number 0. Through 17 seasons in the NBA, Chauncey averaged 15.2 points, 5.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds, appearing in 1,043 career games for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Apart from the 2004 NBA finals MVP and championship, the Colorado native earned five All-Star berths, and appeared in five separate All NBA Teams.
Defensive anchor and juggernaut Wallace retired with the Pistons in 2012, the soft-spoken Alabama big man is now spending time in his hometown living life. Arguably one of the best defensive centers of his generation, Wallace earned four DPOYs on top of numerous NBA All-Defensive Teams positions and four All-Star appearances and, of course, the 2004 NBA championship.
Both players have certainly earned this prestigious honor, and Pistons fans will be happy to see the iconic names hanging from the Palace's rafters, the door is certainly open for other members of that squad to have their numbers retired, who would you like to see honored? Tell us in the comments below.
Markieff Morris not surprised about brother's emergence
If I told you prior to the offseason that the Pistons would trade a second-round pick for three players, two of which would become rotational pieces, including a starter currently putting up 19 points and eight boards, would you believe me? What if I told you that it was Marcus Morris?
If there was any lingering doubt about the forward's ability and the team's decision to add the troubled player to the team, they have been quashed. The former Sun is putting in work on both sides of the ball and helping the Pistons to three big wins to open the season. His twin brother Markieff isn't surprised about Marcus' emergence as a two-way player, as Arizona Central's Paul Coro relays:
It is what it is, honestly," Markieff said. "I knew he was going to do well wherever he was at. Anywhere is a good fit for him. I would expect him to get that anywhere he goes. He's an up-and-coming player in the league and he's good. I understand that. He should play that much."
Marcus Morris has been a huge steal for the Pistons, especially when you consider that Stan Van Gundy picked him and pre-season standout Reggie Bullock for a 2020 second-round selection in the NBA Draft. Phoenix was fleeced during the trade and was rocked in its' aftermath after Marcus' twin brother Markieff demanded to be sent elsewhere following the move. While tempers have simmered down, Detroit has been keeping an eye on the embattled forward's situation in Arizona, and the League seems to be taking notice of th195e Morris brother currently breaking out in the Motor City.
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