NBA: 5 Ways to Save the Pistons in Post-Apocalyptic Detroit
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
With so many people being locked out of their homes in Detroit, it is hard to imagine why anyone would care that the Pistons are locked out of their Palace. Apathy doesn’t make a sound, and the collective silence coming from Detroit tells us that people have bigger concerns than what happens in the NBA.
Sure, the league just enjoyed one of its most successful seasons (built largely on a mutual loathing of Miami), so even if part of next season is lost, fans will be back.
But the question is not whether the average fan will watch again, but whether they will have any interest in going to the games.
In the present economy, teams like Detroit are having a hard time drawing fans, and a lockout will only make things worse.
The Pistons are currently offering tickets which coincide with their draft position. This means that for $329 dollars you can go to 41 NBA games and buy a house in downtown Detroit ($8 dollars each for the tickets, $1 for the house).
This reflects just how bad things are and how much worse they could get if there is an extended lockout.
In an effort to save my beloved Pistons from some apocalyptic nightmare, which ends with hordes of zombies living in the abandoned shell of The Palace, I will offer five suggestions for how to bring fans to the games and generate interest in the team post-lockout.
Fans, Not Corporations
Wouldn't you rather see these guys behind the bench?
Choose 5-10 games in which you offer cheap tickets in the lower section.
I mean really cheap, like five bucks cheap. The real fans should get a chance to sit in the 3rd row sometimes. Call me a commie, but it just seems fair.
We appreciate inexpensive upper deck seats, but we have big TVs, internet, and a good six pack of beer, and we know you are only trying to get us in there to buy overpriced hotdogs anyway.
Live NBA games are boring because the entire lower section is filled with suits on business dates who have to be prompted by the Jumbotron to know when to cheer. Change that.
Rich/Poor Seat Switch
Sorry, Rock, your seats are upstairs.
Have a lottery each night for two fans from the upper deck to sit courtside.
How great would it be to watch two elated fans make their way down to the floor while two rich dudes in suits marched up to their new seats in the rafters?
It would give extra motivation for fans and maybe make those suits appreciate what they have.
The Weekly Dog
Do you want extra sauce with that? No, Mr. Gordon, I don't.
Each week the fans get to vote for one player who they think has dogged it.
That player then has to work a shift at a normal, blue collar job. 8 hours in a Detroit Taco Bell should be plenty of incentive not to mail it in.
Fans Play, Fans Coach
Whoopi could outcoach Kuester
Have monthly amateur tryouts for the last bench spot.
Blowouts would be a lot more interesting if you thought you might see your UPS man at the end of the game.
This has worked in movies, why not in real life? For that matter, why not let a fan coach the team? Whoopi Goldberg couldn’t have been worse than John Kuester.
Will Work for Tickets
Hard to care about the Pistons when this is what you are facing
Bring manufacturing jobs back to Detroit (Ok, this one will be tough).
Conclusion: We've Moved On, Get Creative
Enjoy your mansion, Ben
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
No one wants to pay a chunk of their wages to watch Ben Gordon throw up 3’s and go through the motions.
It is just too depressing. Especially when you know he is going back to his mansion in Auburn Hills and you are going to your dumpy apartment in the city.
We will move on. We already have, and the Pistons will need creative thinking to bring us back.