10 Most Disappointing Detroit Pistons

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2011

10 Most Disappointing Detroit Pistons

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    Over the years, we, as Detroit Pistons fans, have been treated to some great players. Isiah Thomas and the Bad Boys, Ben Wallace and the title-winners of the 2000's, and Grant Hill and his high-flying acrobatics during the period between.

    Heck, it was even pretty fun watching Jerry Stackhouse for a few years.

    But despite all of those great times we can remember, there were also our fair share of disappointing players and careers.

    Some were disappointing free agents that were past their prime. Some were disappointing draft picks that never materialized.

    Whatever the case may be, we have had some real winners, both literally and ironically.

    Here are the 10 most disappointing Detroit Pistons of the last 30 years.

Allen Iverson

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    Allen Iverson was one of the most dynamic scorers of all-time. He had the ability to get to the hoop at will, and he threw around his slight frame with reckless abandon.

    However, by the time he got to Detroit, his skills had largely eroded.

    We were promised a new way of scoring and winning games; along with some salary cap flexibility at the end of the season.

    Instead, we got a disintegrating train wreck that nearly capsized the entire franchise.

    What really hurts when looking at this mess was what we gave up. We dealt away Chaucney Billups, the heart of our franchise and unquestioned leader for this team cancer. The team still can't find a leader and that salary cap space brought in two more disappointing players.

    Overall, just a mess of a situation.

Christian Laettner

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    When Christian Laettner played at Duke, he was a winner. He could score from anywhere on the court, he had drive and showed surprising toughness.

    As a Detroit Piston, he could barely make it up and down the court.

    Laettner had a fairly disappointing NBA career, but he was particularly washed up in Auburn Hills.

    Injuries had robbed him of what little athleticism he had to begin with, and instead he essentially limped up and down the court; hoping to grab a loose ball and maybe get a put-back.

    Sure, Laettner wasn't billed as a franchise savior in Detroit, but he essentially collected a paycheck to take up space.

Darko Milicic

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    I'm so sick of rehashing this guy's time in Detroit. Let's just say this was a terrible move and leave it at that.

Rodney White

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    Note to all NBA GMs: If Michael Jordan falls in love with a talent, run the other way!

    In 2001, Michael Jordan, then with Washington, could not stop raving about UNC's Rodney White. He loved his athleticism, and felt he was the second coming of James Worthy.

    When Joe Dumars drafted him in the lottery, Pistons fans were elated.

    Just one problem, the kid couldn't play.

    He had no instincts for the game, he had no offensive repertoire, and he didn't seem to care.

    In a lot of ways, he is the classic example of a big kid that plays basketball because he is a big kid, not because he likes it. He played one season in Detroit and was out of the league within five years.

Nazr Mohammed

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    Now, don't get me wrong, Nazr Mohammed is not a bad player. He is a solid big man that can rebound.

    But he came to Detroit to help replace Ben Wallace, and there was no way he could fill those shoes.

    In his one year in Detroit, he looked slow, sluggish, and confused.

    He was eventually traded and went on to have a solid career elsewhere.

Loy Vaught

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    I didn't include a picture of Loy Vaught with Detroit because he never was on the court.

    In the late 90's, Detroit was utterly rudderless, throwing Grant Hill out there and nobody around him.

    So to make a bit of a splash, they traded for Christian Laettner and signed Vaught.

    The problem with Vaught was that he was hurt and nearly completely washed-up at that time. Back and neck injuries had robbed him of his toughness and ability to work down low.

    So instead, the Pistons got 80 games over two years, about two points per in those appearances, and paid $4 million a year for it.

Bison Dele

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    Speaking of rudderless moves in the 90's, here's Bison Dele.

    Born Brian Williams, he signed a fat contract that would pay him $15 million over three years. The problem was that he only felt like playing two of those years, and only one was a productive one.

    I don't like to speak ill of the dead, and Dele passed away nearly 10 years ago. So, all I'll say is that he had plenty of talent, but he just didn't seem to like the game of basketball.

Mateen Cleaves

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    We really should have known better with him. He was a slow point guard that couldn't shoot.

    Sure, he had just led the Michigan State Spartans to a story book championship, but we should not have drafted him in the first round.

    Cleaves played just one season in Detroit, and was out of the league within five years.

Darrell Walker

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    In 1991, the Detroit Pistons were in the process of transition.

    The front office, instead of admitting that their core had gone as far as they could, decided to give the team a face-lift of sorts, electing not to re-sign Vinnie Johnson; instead signing Darrell Walker to be their third guard.

    The problem with Walker was not that he couldn't shoot. It was that he couldn't score at all. He was a solid passer, and earlier in his career was a good defender, but the Pistons figured it would be a good move to replace an aging scorer with an aging defender.

    Needless to say, it didn't work out. Walker lasted just over one year in Detroit, averaging about five points per game and shooting just over 42 percent.

Sean Elliott

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    In 1993, right before the season began, the Pistons shook up their roster by trading fan favorite Dennis Rodman to San Antonio for their All Star forward Sean Elliott.

    Elliott was a decent scorer with a nice mid-range game.

    What he wasn't was a Detroit kind of guy. He openly whined about the deal, whined about the team, and whined about the weather.

    After one utterly disappointing season in Motown, the Pistons mercifully traded him back to San Antonio.

    His one year in Detroit: 12 points per game, and less than four rebounds.


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