I am the product of a thousand Michael Curry fuelled nightmares. I am the bastard child of Allen Iverson and Joe Dumars. I raged at every Tony Delk miss and Delfino turnover. I am Rasheed Wallace's righteous anger during a referee-driven Cavs playoffs series. I am the stench of a million Palace urinal cakes after being washed in overpriced beer and Charlie V DNPs.
But I am more furious now than ever.
I have moved 1500 miles from my homeland for work. I have struggled in the modern economy to afford NBA League Pass, an Internet connection that is strong enough to handle its bloat, and a television worthy of Deeeee-Troiiiit Basssss-keeeet-ballll. I finally achieve these giddy heights, and I finally tuned in, across rosters, across continental divides, across a land wider than Boban's wingspan.
And you, Detroit?
You have turned your backs on this team. Or rather, you never even showed your backs.
Where are you?
Tonight's Pelican's game broadcast (Brought to you by Belle Tire!) featured a low camera angle, following a Stanley Johnson, wide-open 3 point shot. My elation at seeing that young Piston score a 3 while Special K analyzed the hell out of it was deflated. I wish they never showed that angle. For all I saw was a sea of empty seats.
Another sea of empty seats.
Sure, we traded a place called the Palace for a place named for cardboard. Where the seats cost 100 times a Hot n' Ready(TM) pepperoni pizza. And in a time when the screens in our homes are bigger than those at center court.
But where are you, Detroit? For whom do you root in the cold reaches of the night? Who will claim all the Michigan Lottery scratch-offs the Pistons Dancers so desperately seek to give away?
No one, it seems.
For a brief period, I was told winning might fill the seats. The Pistons rise to 2nd place in the East and exposed this lie.
For a time, I was told Fee-Free January would surely put butts where they belong. Lies!
For a brief period, I was told Blake Griffin could fill the seats. More lies.
What more lies will I take?
Why do I have the feeling I am watching the new Detroit Shock?
You all know what I mean.
How long will this team remain in Detroit?
I know, the poetry's gone. It's all stats now. Advanced analytics. Maybe all of Detroit is doing the statistically-sound thing, checking the numbers and seeing no hope: no playoffs, no salary cap flexibility in 3 years, no lottery picks.In the meantime, the entire city of Seattle salivates.
Maybe Detroit is worse off than I recall when I lived there. Maybe my living out of Michigan is a sign of the times... we all have to leave to get ahead.
But I still believe in Detroit Basketball.
And this I vow. Someday, I will return, Michigan. And even if I am the lone Pistons fan in the LCA, the only one in a tattered Wallace jersey still soaked in the blood of Shaq blocks, I will cheer.
Even if I am at a Red Wings game and I have no idea what's happened to the hardwood.