(I realize that most of this is old news)
Well, it finally happened. A local team has surpassed the Lions as the laughing-stock of the Detroit Sports landscape. So congrats, Pistons. You have made the Lions (and most other professional sports teams) look like the Pats/Yankees/Steelers/Lakers/et al. A team with so much recent success, and an NBA championship as recently as 2003-2004, now looks like any team from any sports movie until the 1 hour mark. They are the Cleveland Indians before they found out about Rachel Phelps. They are the Texas State Fighting Armadillos before the bar fight.
So what caused them to go down faster than a cheerleader on a Friday night? There are many reasons:
- Joe Dumars
- Charlie Villanueva
- Ben Gordon
- Rip Hamilton
- Joe Dumars
I think the blame is mainly on Joe Dumars, if I didn't make that clear above. He signed the other people on the list to insane contracts. Like Charlie Sheen insane. This we know. Despite being overpaid, this roster has talent. But not elite talent. And seeing teams like Boston, Miami, Chicago, New York, Orlando, OKC, Dallas, and to a lesser extent San Antonio atop the standings is not surprising due to them all having at least one Superstar. I exclude the Spurs because I fucking hate the Spurs. Tim Duncan with his George Mikan bank shots. Tony Parker is French. Manu Ginobli looks like cousin Balki. But everyone else has player/s that could be the star on any team. Detroit has a few nice 3/4/5 options on decent teams. Does anyone think Ben Gordon would ever get the ball in Miami? Would Tayshaun average 10 minutes per game in Boston? Hell, they barely do here, and we're terrible.
Ben Gordon was signed to a 5 year 58 Million dollar contract prior to last season. He has started 41 of his 125 games as a Piston. Villanueva makes 7 Million per year. He has started 27 of his 138 games in two years. So obviously, there were problems coming into the year. Then the last few weeks happened....
The trade deadline was the one chance for optimism. The chance to unload guys like Rip and Tay. To pick up expiring contracts/younger players/draft picks. It's the one time I was actively searching for Pistons news all year. And the rumors were flying. Tayshaun to Dallas for Caron Butler's expiring contract and a first round pick? Pistons decline. Rip to Cleveland for 12.6 Mil and a 2nd? Rip declines (although the Pistons were to give up a lottery protected 1st in 2012(which would have been protected) so it isn't as bad) even though he thinks Kuester is a career assistant coach? Jebus, if that doesn't scream bitter, I'm not sure what does. Oh, maybe this, He also turned down a buyout and the ability to go play with Derrick Rose in Chicago.
|Have another, Rip!|
But at least the veteran players are committed to finishing strong. Yeah, about that.... What a shambles. I have seen better organizational control at USC. The Lohan family thinks the Pistons are dysfunctional.
I would venture to say that leaves Detroit as a lottery team come draft time. They are currently in line for the 8th spot based on record. That leaves them out of the running for guys like Jared Sullinger, Enes Kanter, etc.
There really is no silver lining to be seen. They are saddled with disgruntled, overpaid players. No chemistry. A coach who has lost control of his team. No owner. A GM that rewards mediocre players like they have incriminating photos of him. I guess the only thing worth watching is the freak show. Does Rip go all Sprewell on Kuester? Does CV31 steal a teammates eyebrows? The opportunities are endless!