Very quickly, Stanley Johnson is winning over the Detroit fan base. He just recently changed his number out of respect for Ben Wallace having his number retired. His fight on the court is encouraging for the future of the franchise. And he just looks like he's always having fun.
Johnson added another shiny object to that treasure chest with a reflection piece on his rookie year in The Players' Tribune.
Here's an excerpt:
During my rookie season, I started games and I also got a few DNPs. I also learned that if you talk a big game (particularly during the playoffs), the media will pick you apart if you can't back it up. (I'll explain what I mean in a bit.) What I'm trying to say is, I didn't have the same experience that most of my fellow rookies had this season.
Not by a long shot.
I experienced almost everything a rookie can last season, and found out that the NBA is a grown man's game. If you want to play in this league, you need to have the ability to make strong plays, especially going to the bucket. It's funny — when I entered the NBA I knew I wouldn't be able to use the same moves I had in college, but I figured that if all else failed, I could always go to my "bread and butter."
The entire article titled 'Bread & Butter' is a must read. From seeing how Stan Van Gundy makes his players think introspectively about themselves and their game, to the maturity Andre Drummond shows in the locker room as a leader (though he always seems to be goofing off in front of the camera).
If Johnson continues to work on his game, listen to Van Gundy, while surrounded by a great group of teammates, the future of the Pistons small forward spot looks bright. Combine that with their bright spots at almost every other position, and the fans of Detroit Basketball could be in for a wonderful ride for some years to come.