I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming. However, what I once thought to be a gradual decline turned out to be overnight. I’m talking about the 2008-2009 Detroit Pistons.
Forget about the hiring of Coach Michael Curry; forget about the trade that made Chauncey Billups a Denver Nugget once again. What scares me as a die-hard Pistons fan is the money that will most certainly be spent prematurely, you know, before the 2010 free agent sweepstakes (both R. Wallace and A. Iverson’s contracts expire at the end of this season). I’m scared that they put too much pressure and instilled way too much confidence in young Rodney Stuckey. Furthermore I’m scared that Allen Iverson is the veteran teaching Stuckey how to play point guard. I’m scared that Kwame Brown will don a Detroit uniform for the 2009-2010 season. I’m scared, but mostly sorry that the only ring Antonio McDyess will get to wear is his wedding band. But what I might be scared of most of all is Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton’s heart.
Both Rip and Tayshaun has never been on a Piston team that wasn’t dominating or at the very least a viable contender in the East. Neither is going to make less money in or out of a Detroit uniform, so what could possibly motivate them at this point? Even when the roster was fairly the same after winning the 2004 NBA Finals, they continued to come up short every year after, and on a far more talented…correction, better gelled team than they have now.
It’s bad enough our economy has devastated Michigan more than any other state, but one of the few shimmering lights that embodies the state of Michigan, sports, is flickering out. Not that we expect championships from the menial Lions, but 0-16? The Tigers made what sounded on paper to be an unbelievable steal that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit prior to the 2008 season, except nobody told Dontrelle. Now the Tigers are locked into two more steep contracts. Hockeytown still has its Red Wings but for how much longer before they turn into the Pistons?
Some people suffer from seasonal depression, sports fans however suffer from it in a different way. Like spring, summer, autumn, and winter, Detroit fans have the Tigers, Lions, Redwings, and Pistons. If that’s not enough to keep the entire state of Michigan on Zoloft, I don’t know what is.