I for one am hoping this truly is the beginning of a new era in Detroit Pistons basketball. After more than a decade in basketball purgatory it is time for a new beginning. I am excited about the hiring of Troy Weaver and at least an acknowledgement that a rebuild is in order even if the franchise still shies away from the term.
Of course, if something is ending that begs the question of when it actually began. To me, the Detroit Pistons as we knew them were killed on the night of May 31, 2007. That date might seem earlier than people expect — the Pistons were still good after all.
But that was the night LeBron James single-handedly destroyed Pistons basketball, and to this day it hasn’t recovered. Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals with the series tied 2-2, LeBron scored 29 of Cleveland’s final 30 points across the fourth quarter and two overtimes. That is the night I saw all my favorite Pistons (sans Ben Wallace) from the Going to Work era look confused, dejected and clueless. After seven seasons of imposing their will on opponents, Detroit had run out of answers and run out of gas.
It was over.
Three years later, of course, LeBron James infamously left those Cavaliers to take his talents to South Beach in a largely panned television special that just celebrated its 10-year anniversary Wednesday.
LeBron James’ Decision (tm) was a good one. He went to the Heat and won two championships will going to four consecutive NBA Finals. And all the hard feelings in Cleveland vanished when he returned home and brought a championship back home to Ohio.
One franchise who have made plenty of really awful decisions in the past 10 years is your Detroit Pistons. That got me wondering what the 10 worst decisions the Pistons have made in the past decade. There are certainly plenty to choose from.
The plan is for the Detroit Bad Boys staff to evaluate a list of entries and vote on the absolute 10 worst decisions the franchise has made and evaluate them in excruciating detail. For younger fans, you will learn just why this franchise has been so inept. For older fans, this is hopefully the final opening of old wounds. The kind of self-flagellation needed to usher in a new, better era of Pistons basketball.
There is no specific format on what constitutes a Decision (tm), and sometimes bad decisions lead to additional bad decisions down the road so the same name might pop up in several entries. The Decision was July 8, 2010, and some egregious Pistons moves happened before then and would not qualify.
Specifically, trading Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, giving Richard Hamilton a three-year extension and signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in free agency. Those are certainly huge contenders for any franchise’s worst decisions list, but we’ve litigated those ones to death already anyway.
If there are things you think should certainly make the top 10 worst decisions the Detroit Pistons have made since THE Decision, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be accepting entries for as long as good ones keep coming in. Then the staff will vote. Then we start writing. A little pain while everyone else gets to play basketball and we go 10 months between Pistons games.