Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons

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Detroit Pistons Team History

One of the oldest franchises in the NBA, the Detroit Pistons have had their share of success over the years. The franchise was founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons as a member of the National Basketball League. In 1948, the team would join the Basketball Association of America, where it would become the Fort Wayne Pistons. The Pistons would then become a part of the NBA after the NBL-BAA merger. The franchise would move in 1957 to Detroit, where it has remained ever since.

Detroit Pistons Championships

During its early days playing in the NBL, the Pistons were very successful, winning two NBL Championships in 1944 and 1945. It would be more than 40 years later until the Pistons would win another championship, winning their first NBA title in 1989 with the group known as the “Bad Boy” Pistons led by Isiah Thomas. The Pistons would repeat as champions in 1990. The Pistons would once again reach the top in 2004 when the Chauncey Billups-led squad would defeat the favored Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

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Detroit Pistons Famous Players and Hall of Famers

One of the “Bad Boys,” Isiah Thomas was the face of the Pistons, where he spent his entire career. Thomas brought toughness and grit to the team, leading Detroit to its first two championships, winning the Finals MVP award in 1990, and establishing the Pistons as a force to be reckoned with during an era otherwise dominated by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Thomas leads the Pistons in all-time scoring with 18,822 points and also holds several other team records, including most assists with 9,061, most steals with 1,861, and most minutes played with 35,516. Thomas was named to the NBA All-Star team 12 times and won the All-Star Game MVP Award twice. Thomas would stay in the game of basketball following his retirement as a player, serving as a coach and executive, but would never attain the same level of success he had while on the hardwood with the Pistons.

Another member of the “Bad Boys,” Joe Dumars, was a feared defender for the Pistons. Like Thomas, Dumars would spend his entire career with the Pistons, playing an essential role in taking them to two championships and winning the Finals MVP award in 1989. Dumars ranks second behind Thomas on the franchise’s scoring list with 16,401 points and ranks second in assists (4,613), minutes played (35,139), and third in steals (902). Dumars is also the franchise leader in three-point baskets made, draining 990 three-balls in his career.

Known as “Mr. Big Shot” during his time in Detroit, Chauncey Billups lived up to his nickname by coming in clutch several times for the Pistons and leading Detroit to its third NBA title in 2004, winning NBA Finals MVP honors. During his 17 seasons in the league, seven spent with the Pistons, Billups was named to five NBA All-Star teams and was known around the league was one of the best teammates.

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