One of the things I love about spring in Michigan – even in a very windy spring like 2017 – are those days when the water is smooth as glass.
In 2016, the Detroit Pistons are retiring the jerseys for Piston greats Ben Wallace (#3) and Chauncey Billups (#1). Big Ben Wallace kicks it off tonight with Rip Hamilton and Chauncey on hand.
Wallace, acquired by Detroit from the Orlando Magic in 2000, spent nine seasons with the Pistons collecting NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors four times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and was named a NBA All-Star four times (2003-06). Wallace was an All-NBA Second Team selection three times (2003, 2004, 2006), All-NBA Third Team selection twice (2002 and 2005) and an NBA All-Defensive First Team selection five times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006). During his first stint with Detroit (2000-06), the Pistons made the playoffs in five of the seven years, winning Eastern Conference Championships in 2004 and 2005 and the NBA Championship in 2004. Wallace is the franchise’s all-time leader in regular-season and playoff blocks (1,486 and 215, respectively) and ranks first among Pistons’ all-time playoff leaders in rebounds (1,237). He holds franchise single-game records for blocks in a game (10 – twice), defensive rebounds in a quarter (10) and blocks in a quarter (6). In 655 games with the Pistons, Wallace averaged 6.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.5 assists in 32.6 minutes per game.
“We celebrated many great accomplishments during my years in Detroit and to be recognized for my contributions in this way, I’m honored,” said Wallace. “I look forward to sharing this experience with all the fans who supported me throughout my years as a Piston.”
Wallace, a 6’9″, 240-pound center went undrafted in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent time with Washington, Orlando, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. Wallace recorded 10,482 rebounds during his career, becoming one of only 37 players and the only undrafted player (Moses Malone was drafted in the 1974 American Basketball Association Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers in the ABA Dispersal Draft in 1976) in NBA history to record 10,000 rebounds. He is also one of only 10 players in NBA history to record 10,000 rebounds and 2,000 blocks and is the shortest player at 6’9″ to record 2,000 career blocks. Overall, in 1,088 career NBA games, Wallace averaged 5.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists in 29.5 minutes per game.
More Detroit Pistons on Michigan in Pictures.
PS: Here’s a bonus photo by Dave that previously appeared on Michigan in Pictures because it’s so awesome.
Mark Spears of Yahoo Sports broke the story that Pistons great Chauncey Billups is retiring:
Billups was best known for his first stay with the Pistons from 2002-08. He earned the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” for his clutch shooting when he led Detroit to the 2004 NBA championship and another Finals appearance in ’05. He was part of the Pistons’ star foursome that also included Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace.
Billups said the “best memories” of his career were with the Pistons.
“Before that, my career was in jeopardy in a few different stages,” Billups said. “I persevered, sustained and continued to work hard, and finally got my opportunity in Detroit, and I never turned back from that point. That’s what made it so sweet to me to win a championship after what I went through. I had to scrap and fight to get through it and to reach the pinnacle made it even sweeter.
“Winning the championship was the ultimate. I never set out to win the [Finals] MVP. Winning the championship was enough.”
…Billups averaged 15 points, 5.4 assists and made 38.7 percent of his 3-point attempts during his NBA career. He made the All-NBA second team twice, the All-NBA third team once and the All-Defense team twice. He finished with 15,802 points, ranks 39th all-time with 5,636 assists and sixth with 1,830 3-pointers made. He also had 1,051 steals in his career.
Read on for more, visit his NBA player page for stats & such, have a look at his top 10 Piston highlights from the NBA and definitely read this great feature on Chauncey Billups at Grantland by Jonathan Abrams.
I’m not sure if Billups will make the Hall of Fame, but he’s one of their all-time greats in my book! It’s rare when I use one of my own photos here – this one’s from a 2006 game at the Palace where I had a great time. View it bigger and see more in my Pistons v Grizzlies slideshow.
More Detroit Pistons on Michigan in Pictures!
For any successful organization or business, you have to have integrity, and you have to make everything as straightforward as you can make it.
~Detroit Pistons owner William Davidson
Sometimes when I don’t know what I’m going to post on Michigan in Pictures, it’s a happy thing. Other days, like today, it’s not.
Last night we lost a man who has done as much as anyone to bring athletic excellence to the Palace and the state of Michigan. On his photo from December of 2005, Dave wrote “These five guys have brought a lot of joy to the Motor City in the last 18 months.” I think that Detroit Pistons owner William “Bill” Davidson certainly merits consideration as a sixth man.
William Morse Davidson was born on December 5, 1922 in Detroit. He played football in the Navy during World War II and was a member of the track-and-field team at the University of Michigan, where he majored in business, following it up with a law degree from Wayne State in 1949. He eventually transformed the family business, the Guardian Glass Co., into Guardian Industries, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of architectural and automotive glass.
From William Davidson’s Wikipedia entry, I learned that Davidson was only the second owner the Pistons have ever had and that his name is on the Palace floor along with Piston legends who all played during his tenure: Dave Bing, Bob Lanier, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson, Chuck Daly, Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas. The Detroit Pistons web site tells the story of his involvement with the Pistons and the WNBA’s Detroit Shock:
Mr. Davidson owned the Pistons since 1974 and won three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), three WNBA Championships (2004, 2006, 2008) and one NHL Championship (2004). He became the first owner in sports history to win championships in three different professional sports leagues during the 2003-04 calendar year (NBA – Detroit Pistons, NHL – Tampa Bay Lightning and WNBA – Detroit Shock). In September 2008, Davidson’s contributions to the game of basketball were honored when he was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1988-89, the Pistons began play in The Palace of Auburn Hills, a state-of-the-art arena built with Davidson’s financial support: a privately-financed facility, which when combined with the Pistons, formed the foundation of his entertainment business.
…The Pistons have played in the postseason in 19 of the past 25 years, including 11 of the past 13 seasons. Davidson acquired the Detroit Pistons in 1974 from the late Fred Zollner, the man who founded the team in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the 1940s. With a franchise-record seven straight seasons of recording 50 or more wins, the Pistons have won 384 regular season games (.669 wining percentage) since 2001, including a franchise-record 63 wins in 2005-06. The club has compiled 73 playoff wins in that same span and made six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. Detroit has won six Central Division titles in the last seven seasons and nine overall since 1987-88. Only the San Antonio Spurs have won more division titles in the same 20-year span.
The Detroit Shock joined the Washington Mystics as the first two expansion teams in the WNBA in 1998 and the team was an immediate success in the upstart league. The Shock have won three championships since their inception (2004, 2006, 2008) and set a WNBA attendance record (22,076) in Game 3 of the 2004 WNBA Finals while also becoming the first team since 1890 to go from the worst team in a professional sports league to the best team.
The Detroit Free Press has a nice article on Bill Davidson that tells more of how Davidson presided over the transformation of a team that was “basically a laughingstock” into one that has won 3 championships and appeared in the post-season far more often than not. You probably will be happiest, however, with Mitch Albom’s September 2008 interview with Bill Davidson. They also have a nice photo gallery as does the Detroit News (the second photo in the gallery is great!)
Congratulations to Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton for selected for the 2008 NBA All Star Game. As an added bonus for Piston fans, Rip is in the 3 Point Challenge … he’s been practicing.
Radiospike has more Piston photos in his great Pistons 11-23-07 and Detroit Pistons sets. The shot of Rip is part of his pretty cool 2007 the year in pictures and he currently has a photography exhibition titled Detroit: The Way Things Are in Ferndale (through Feb 28).
This is the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The views of this place across Jefferson Avenue often have a futuristic look to them, especially at night. I like the streaks of the cars in the foreground with the streak of the people mover from above on the track.
“Detroit” and “Night” reminds me that there’s something to do with Detroit photography tonight.
The Manabezho Falls are part of the Presque Isle River’s spectacular final dash to Lake Superior. The entire 1 mile stretch is very beautiful, with lots of bare rock and rapids. It is easily accessible from the Presque Isle entrance off of CR-519 on the western end of the park…
Manido Falls are just short distance upstream. Nawadaha Falls is a bit farther upstream. Downstream of Manabezho the river plunges into a narrow gorge. The “falls” there have no name, but they are quite interesting.
I’m pretty sure that “Manabehzo” is Manabozho, the Ojibwa/Algonquin trickster and messenger of the Great Spirit. For more about this colorful figure, check out Manabozho, the Mischief-maker by Rick Walton.
Detroit Pistons fans know that there’s one place to go for all your Piston visuals: Need4Sheed.
Natalie, the site’s developer, makes great Piston wallpaper, screensavers and icons and also digs up cool videos pretty much daily like this All Star pregame bit. One of my favorites is this clip of Piston rookie Amir Johnson’s monster “hello NBA” windmill jam.
My family & I went to the Detroit Pistons’ game with the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Chauncey Billups & co. turned it on just under 3 minutes to move the Pistons to 36-5 (and make us really happy!).
My favorite shot of the night is this one of a young but very happy fan.