Archive for the ‘Detroit Pistons’ Category

real-tmac-thanks-posters

Tracy McGrady tweeted those posters you see up there, thanking the most notable stops of his NBA career. It was a very nice thing to do. But he also forgot the other four teams he played for, which is too bad for those cities since they were a part of the Tracy McGrady experience too.

So to make things fair, I whipped up a few Tracy McGrady posters in Photoshop, thanking each of the cities where T-Mac showed up for a season before moving somewhere else for a season. I think you’ll agree that these cover all the non-Chinese Basketball Association bases.

tmac-thank-you-new-york

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rasheed-wallace-laugh

It’s been more than five years since Rasheed Wallace went to an NBA All-Star Game, mostly because he’s retired and the last few seasons of his career weren’t exactly a numbers fest, but also a little bit because he so detested the exhibition contest and the free time of his that it wasted that he would just spend the whole weekend trying to make lefthanded threes and other various trick shots. Little did we know, he was simply preparing for a life of coaching once his playing days were done.

From Pistons.com:

Andre Drummond soaks up a little knowledge from Rasheed Wallace every day they spend together. One of the most searing lessons so far: Don’t engage him in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

“I played with him the other day – it wasn’t fun,” Drummond grinned after a Monday workout. What did coach Wallace throw at his prodigy?

“Everything. The little side corner shot with his feet against the out-of-bounds line. The shot from the track line (that runs behind the basket), over the hoop, made it in. And then the two-ball thing. He’s a natural. I don’t know why I did it to myself. I have no idea why I did it.”

This is what happens when you spend your entire life in a gym — you just end up figuring out how to make all those silly shots you shoot at the end of practice. Beating Andre “37 Percent from the Line” Drummond in a game of H-O-R-S-E might not be the greatest accomplishment, but it’s still pretty great to hear that Rasheed Wallace is passing down his most important secrets to a kid who was two years old when Sheed played his first NBA game. This is probably the exact reason why the Pistons hired him as an assistant coach, for his trick shot acumen.

And while it might not be surprising that Rasheed Wallace would still be really good at H-O-R-S-E less than a season after having played in actual games for the Knicks, it’s equally as not surprising as this hilarious fact that Drummond also shared.

Rasheed didn’t pitch a shutout, though.

“I got him with a couple of things. He can’t dunk still, so I had to do some things he couldn’t do.”

Sounds about right. Rasheed Wallace is very good at silly trick shots but can’t dunk, despite the fact that he doesn’t seem to have shrunk since his playing days — which were last season, remember, which means the 2012-13 Knicks employed two separate players who were so old that they were able to immediately enter the coaching ranks the second their playing careers were through — when he was listed at 6-foot-10. For as Sheed-y as it seems that Rasheed Wallace would still have the H-O-R-S-E gift, it’s exactly as Sheed-y that he already can’t dunk.

I’m sure the broken foot had something to do with it, but still. Less than a year ago, Sheed threw one down against the best defense in basketball, and now he’s outwitting a 20-year-old with dad shots because he can’t dunk. Nothing has ever made more sense to me in my life.

(via Beyond the Buzzer)

Just when Brandon Knight thought it was safe to lay low and let things blow over, someone has to get DeAndre Jordan to gleefully recreate his dunk over a fake Brandon Knight. Worst year ever.

tony-snell-showing-off-uniform

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Central Division: the Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Pacers and Bucks.

CHICAGO BULLS

Most Interesting New Player: Tony Snell

Not a ton to choose from here, obviously — it’s Snell, fellow rookie Erik Murphy, and reserve sharp-shooter Mike Dunleavy, now about a team away from officially reaching journeyman status. Murphy seems unlikely to make a huge impact, Dunleavy’s impact will be decent but predictable, but Snell intrigues me. From his play in Summer League, he looks a lot like budding Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, and I of course mean that in the most literal sense — with his dreads, tall but slight build, and expressionless demeanor, there’s probably not a better physical comp in the league for Leonard than Snell. But he also looks like he could maybe provide a good poor man’s facsimile of Leonard’s skills: solid three-point stroke (39 percent his final season at UNM), long and athletic wing defender (6-foot-7 for a nominal shooting guard), toughness to spare. We’ll see if it actually pans out as such, but from the little I saw, I was impressed.

In general, I was also impressed with the way the Bulls basically oriented their entire offseason around one simple strategy: improving their outside shooting. Maybe not all of Snell, Murphy and Dunleavy will end up being legit contributors to the team, but if two of them do, that’s a simple dimension added to the Bulls’ attack that simply wasn’t there last season, when Jimmy Butler and the departed Nate Robinson were the only outside threats of any consistency. Nothing too sexy, but you never know when an outside shot or two could make the critical difference in an Eastern Conference playoff game, even a whole series. Definitely better to have than not have.

Most Interesting Returning Player: Derrick Rose

Would’ve loved to say Jimmy Butler here, since I’m fascinated to see if he can continue the improvement of his breakout season and become the near-All-Star contributor I feel he might could be, but c’mon. There’ll be no bigger story the first month of the season — with the possible exception of Dwight’s first games in Houston, but I can certainly tell you which of the two I’m more excited for — than D-Rose’s return to the Bulls lineup after a full year’s absence. I practically had heart palpitations when they announced that the first TNT game this year was going be the Rose-led Bulls against the two-time-defending Heat — there might not be a better opening night matchup possible than those two old foes squaring off with both sides finally back at full strength.

Can a fully healthy Derrick Rose lead the Bulls past the Heat in the East playoffs? For now, I’m still pretty skeptical, but to have one more legitimate challengers to the throne — in a season where there are already one or two other credible contenders on the far side of the map as well — should certainly make things more interesting (and less depressing), for the regular season and beyond. I can’t wait.

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First and foremost, shoutout to you if you remember Terrico White, who once ruled the basketball internet by doing these dunk moves at a rookie photo shoot:

Second and actually probably foremost, here’s a quick rundown of similarities between White’s dunk fest and the one the NBA Vined of a new Pistons rookie doing the exact same thing at this year’s rookie photo shoot:

  • Both players are second round draft picks of the Detroit Pistons (White was 36th overall, Mitchell 37th).
  • Both players come from non-basketball powerhouse colleges (White from University of Mississippi, Mitchell from University of North Texas).
  • Both players were born on the seventh day of their birth month (White was born March 7, 1990, Mitchell was born April 7, 1992).
  • Both players’ first names start with the same letter (White with T, Mitchell also with T).
  • Both players wowed their draftmates with their dunking prowess at the rookie photo shoot (White in the second video, Mitchell in the first).
  • Mitchell is wearing No. 9 for the Pistons, White wore No. 23. Three (3) squared (2) equals nine (9).

As you can see, these two guys are basically the same person, despite a two-year age difference, different positions and different body types. Considering White has yet to play a single non-preseason minute in the NBA, we might be witnessing the pinnacle of Tony Mitchell’s basketball career. Maybe not, but the dunk writing is on the dunk wall.

malice-cup

Here is a fun and possibly fake internet story, via Redditor “salmon10″:

It was 3 days before my 20th birthday. What better a gift than a Pistons game that was bound to be a tug of war rematch of the previous year’s titanic Eastern Conference Finals. Myself, my girlfriend, and my best friend from college had scored amazing seats, in section 115, row CC. Three rows behind the Detroit bench. It was heaven (In a twist of fate, I’ve sat in that exact row now 4 times since then..). The game itself was a slight disappointment, for a victory wouldve been an excellent early present. I remember Rasheed and Darvin Ham had a particular great game. I despised the Pacers, but respected them utmost. Hell, I was and to this day an enormous Artest/World Peace fan. I think he would’ve made one hell of a Piston in fact.

Fast forward to the moments after The Shove. The Detroit bench was surprisingly hostile, and I remember clearly Elden Campbell heightening the situation by making crying sounds, trying to entice Artest or whomever. It was strange, considering I always thought of him as a gentle giant. Anyways, Artest starts to calm down and decides to lay upon the scorers table, about 25 feet from myself and my company. Both benches are standing and shouting at one another. It was getting pretty damn grim. My girlfriend and I were panning the audience, the little that had remained, and everyone’s look was that of worry and clairvoyance, as if we all knew that things were going to come to a head. As I was looking to the left of me, one section over and maybe 6 rows back, I witness very obviously a man in blue Pistons garb throw his drink toward the court.(This man has since been identified as John Green). The timing, and aim, couldn’t have been more devastating. My girlfriend had seen him toss the cup the exact same time I did. What happens next is one giant cacophony of regret and shame on the part of the mob-mentality fans and players. When Artest started to lunge upon the fans, I recall Rick Mahorn, who was doing the local TV play by play, leap out of his seat and go after Artest and pulled fans away. Mind you this was all occurring no more than 30 feet from us. All the meanwhile the security had hardly any control of the situation, and fans were already entering the court. The entire time, I never took my eyes off the Cup. It was repeatedly kicked and swatted, with no one as much thinking to jump upon it. At one time, when Jermaine ONeal had just slide-punched one fan, he was being restrained by Johnathan Bender and other teammates. During this melee, one of them had managed to kick it (along with many other things that were thrown upon the court) clear across the court and right in front of Larry Brown, who at this time was trying to comfort his son whom was the ball boy.

Fast forward to about 4 minutes after the players had left for the locker rooms. Mason, the announcer, and other police/security guards were demanding we all leave in a calm fashion as quickly as possible. I had to retrieve that Cup. I had in my mind the idea that if I myself were to get it, I would be pepper sprayed or some sort of force would be taken upon me. So, being the kind hearted gentleman I am, I asked my girlfriend to lunge for it. She obliged immediately, and simply walked down to the court and picked it up. At this point, security was not within 100 feet of us, and the Cup itself was still laying where it had been for a good 10 minutes. She picks it up, still with traces of liquid in it, which was not alcohol but definitely a soda of some sort. She hands it to me, I tell her to place it in her purse. The three of us leave with gusto.

Now it resides at my father’s home. No markings of the chaos, no real authenticity of the event. Just the story that can be vouched by other people, and just maybe video somewhere out there. To this day I refuse to watch footage of the Malice. Just thinking about it makes my eyes well up, I get a lump in my throat and I am overcome with remorse. A lot of things changed that night, most for the better, but the images and stories I ponder from that night will live with me forever, as will this mundane yet infamous article of NBA history.

Well, even though Darvin Ham threw up a pretty Darvin Ham-ish zero points and one rebound in 11 minutes, Rasheed Wallace did have a nice 19-10 outing, so I guess this story which is impossible to verify holds up. I mean, Rick Mahorn is definitely in the mix once things get crazy, plus this cup certainly does look exactly like the Ron Artest chest cup.

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Everybody in this video is right about everything. The Pistons did draft Darko, they did go to the Finals that next year and Darko definitely did suck. This must have been filmed at a psychic’s convention.

(via Reddit)