Thursday, June 23, 2005


They simply cannot lose.
I don't care if the Pistons fall behind by 20 points tonight with eight minutes remaining, they cannot lose.
I don't care if Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups break their legs on the way to SBC Center tonight in San Antonio, they cannot lose.
This is Game 7 of the NBA Finals. It is a one-game shoot out and conventional wisdom says the home team Spurs enjoy an edge simply because they are at home. They are healthy and know they have the ability to crush the Pistons.
Tim Duncan is a super star. Manu Ginobili is one in the making and they play defense almost as well as the Pistons.
But none of that matters.
The Pistons cannot lose.
Oh yes, they can lose games and lose quarters. They can get trounced by opponents for long stretches. They can go scoreless for 6 minutes, be clueless for 10 minutes and scream at officials for 2 hours, but they simply cannot lose a best out of seven series.
Do you know what the Pistons are? They are like Jason in Friday the 13th. You blow torch the man, you stick a knife in his heart and you drop him in the bottom of the ocean. But he raises one more time for one last moment or one more sequel.
This is the Pistons. They've had more funerals than Morris the Cat. Yet they stand again against the Spurs.
Did you know that over the last two playoff runs the Pistons have trailed in five series after three games or beyond? They've lost precious home-court edge in seven of the eight series and been one game from elimination three times.
And every time they face death Ben Wallace goes wild or Billups gets hot. Every time you are about to flick them off Rasheed Wallace turns heavyweight contender or Lindsey Hunter finds the fountain of youth and begins harassing men half his age across the court.
This team is mind boggling. One moment you want to strangle them. In the next moment you scream how unprofessional and unfocused they are. And then this magical switch flicks on and they become the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s.
They won't die. They cannot die.
They rise one more time to claim their rightful crown.


Blogger dt said...

I'm witchoo all the way. The only they lose tonight is if the shots don't fall. There is absolutely NO question they will be the more determined, focused, resolute team tonight. Tell wagoneer Valenti that by the time he lands at McCarren, it'll be all over.

7:54 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Wait Terry are you changing your tune. I remember on an earlier blog I mentioned the fact that the pistons has a switch and how I felt it has been turned on and You and Real was like whatever. I do have a question though I really wonder if this group could hang with Isiah and company. I am not from here but this team has shown the ability to go for dolo. Terry I know you will ride the bad boys till you die but I do wonder. Ben On Laimbeer Isiah and Chauncey Dumars chasing Rip Rashizzle and Rodman Tayshaun and Dantley Antonio Mcdyess and Rick Mahorn and them bowes. I would say this the bad boys would definitley put rip on his ass and take shots at his nose.

9:00 AM

Blogger hitman said...

In closeout games Ben is usually superhuman and Chauncey is extra smoove. Once again it's on...

9:01 AM

Blogger dt said...

T -

Ok, now I'm worried. Even Boodini is picking the Stones tonight!! ;o)

9:10 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

Can this team hang with the Bad Boys? Of course. This team is more athletic than the Bad Boys. I do believe the bad boys were more skilled and had a deeper bench.
Check this out. The 89 Pistons could roll James Edwards, Mark Aguirre, John Salley and Vinnie Johnson.
The bench is too deep. And it is a bench that could start for many teams. The problem is because of expansion the benches are not as deep and most teams lack the big three who could all be super stars or considered hall of fame players

9:33 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

Yeah I heard Joe Dumars tried to talk Boodini out of picking the Pistons. It did not work.

9:33 AM

Blogger h bomb said...

Terry & Mike - a question for you both: Have we finally dispelled this "fluke" myth no matter what happens tonight? Or will a loss tonight put Piston fans back on the psychiatrist's couch with the old inferiority complex?

Date with Destiny time!

9:46 AM

Blogger h bomb said...

I saw that there were over 3,000 visits to your blog so far this week - not bad!

9:53 AM

Blogger T Foster said...

h bomb,
The Pistons could win 100-0 and Pistons fans would have an inferioty complex. That will never change.
As far as respect. This team is already getting respect. Pistons fans ignore that. They love to live in misery.

9:54 AM

Blogger the sports dude said...

My mind tells me they are going to lose, my heart tells me they are going to win. My gut - it tells me to go eat some breakfast and to always believe in your heart!

All I can say is, win or lose, I am damn proud of this team and to call myself a Piston fan.

They just have to win - I am going on vacation next week so I can celebrate all week long and not have to worry about work the next day.


10:00 AM

Blogger Ian C. said...

I'm surely setting myself up for a fall tonight, but I just can't see the Pistons losing tonight. Like you said, Terry, they just don't die. They relish do-or-die situations like this. San Antonio - and especially Tim Duncan - could just fold tonight under the pressure.

10:25 AM

Blogger dt said...

Those most responsible for Pistons success:

Joe Dumars – Lost G. Hill - Brought in Ben, Chauncey and Sheed

Larry Brown – Chauncey doesn’t become the player he is now without LB

Sheed – We are a second round playoff team without him

Chauncey – Leadership exudes confidence in all

B-B-B-en – Sets the tone – ran Carlisle out

Tommy Wilson – He’s responsible for everything good at the Palace – just ask him

Rob Parker – Keeps Joe Dumars properly motivated and focused.

10:48 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I hope Eva Longoria is in the stands tonight.

11:12 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Look for the pistons to be better prepared if bowens tries to check chauncey. I also the pistons smell scared blood. I think the tightness will also choke Tiny Tim. I say 91 pistons and Spurs 83

11:50 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

As far as the respect factor History will say back to back enough said. Prime example The Spurs are credited with winning 2 championships However folks were saying the first one should be astericked because of the shortened season I was in htown at the time and the spurs were like we get no respect and especially with Phil J egging on now who cares. Also let's remeber when my hometown Htown Rockets won two we were yelling we get's no respect because of the rumblings we did it without jordan playing. But now who cares

11:53 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

When you talk about the best there are 3 NBA franchises/teams that always come up.

Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Celtics
Chicago Bulls

Everyone else is in that looking for respect category. When I travel regionally, I always find the people in those areas trying to insert their teams with these top 3.

For example, Houstonians often talk about their championship team as thought they were amongst the elite. Like Detroit however, they always come to the conclusion that, "we get no respect."

12:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

real right way:

you are incorrect in thinking that the Bulls are the 3rd most successful franchise in the NBA...until the Bulls distance themselves from the so-called "Jordan Years", they are just a team with an incredible many playoff series have the Bulls won without Jordan?

IMO, its the Lakers and the Celtics and you can clump all the rest together...

If the Pistons win, you can make a good argument that they lead the pack because they won in two entirely different era's

1:38 PM

Blogger dt said...

Terry -

Jason Whitlock is one of my favorite writers and he writes a completly different take on the whole Larry Brown situation:

Now, a lot of this actually makes sense. We have heard much about the frustration within the organization regarding Milicic and Delfino. Also, Sam Smith was one of the stories who 'broke' the story earlier in the season that Brown wasn't to return. I always thought that was odd, but he may have connections to the Pistons' front office.

It would not surprise me at all if Bill Davidson and Tom Wilson had orchestrated the type of scenario JW describes here. They remember all too well the hit in the pocketbook the organization took after the Bad Boys got old quickly and would not want that to repreat itself by not getting some return on investment for Carlos and Darko.

Joe D, on the other hand, has a players mentality and knows that if you have a chance to win, they you must play to win, so I can't imagine that he would be in favor of dumping Larry.

Just my $ 0.02

Any thoughts??!

2:21 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

The Whitlock article was good until I got to, "He served his country and baby-sat our millionaire brat-letes in Athens."

This Whitlock guy can kiss my ass. I can't stand this attitude of jealousy.

This is the same attitude that is prevalent in the racially based decision to impose an age limit in the NBA. I would bet that this bone head is a proponent of the age limit.

3:07 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

The Pistons do not belong with the Lakers, Bulls and Celtics. There is too much history or too many strings of championships. People will also look at the top players on those team and none of the Pistons compare with Jordan, Bird, Magic or even McHale, Jabbar and Pippen.

3:26 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

I will read the Whitlock story later. But I wrote in November that my sources told me larry Brown was leaving. Now no one read it because it was on the news web log. And I no longer write columns so I put it on there so it would be recorded.
I was told at that time Brown was burned out by the Olympics and too much work. Health issues cropped up later. I would be surprised to see him on the sidelines next season.

3:28 PM

Blogger dt said...

Actually, Whitlock is a good guy - a balanced columnist that has known Larry Brown for nearly 20 years or since LB was at Kansas, so the piece is probaqbly slanted in LB's favor, no doubt. I'm just not sure why that one statement by JW raised your ire to such a level.

Actually, Whitlock calls the age limit a good business move that is not racist, so here's another column of his you're liable not to like.

(PS - He points out that any young black player excluded by the age limit, is more than likely to be replaced in the league by an older black player, so race has nothing to do with the age limit)

And, Terry, I do remember that story - in fact you and I had some e-mail correspondence at the time about it and I believe it to be true. I'm just wondering if LB (at some point) decided that he would like to both get well and then return to Detroit to coach and some within the Pistons organization took offense to that.

His and the players affection for each other still seems pretty genuine. Now you have written otherwise in the past few weeks and I respect that, but I was wondering if you had heard that directly from the players themselves.

Thanks for the reply.

3:49 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


You're right, this one is makes my blood boil. The following comment he makes sums up the underlying racism that's involved.

"In O'Neal's mind, the influx of teenage hoopsters has been very, very good for the NBA. The only people who have a problem with it are the very same people who can't understand why O'Neal, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson sucker punched and coldcocked rowdy Detroit Pistons fans.

It's racism.

No, it's not. It's business. Despite James' success, and the fact that seven strait-outta-hi-skool players earned spots in the NBA All-Star Game, the influx of unprepared teenage ballers has been bad for the NBA. The growth value of NBA franchises is not keeping pace with NFL and MLB franchises. The league isn't as important as it once was, and Stern is trying to head off a tidal wave of negative publicity directed at the league."

Who are these unprepared teenage ballers?

Tell me how the influx of "these incoming teenagers ballers" has been bad for the NBA?

What about teenagers coming straight out of high school and entering the league is ruining it?

I have yet to hear anyone address these issues with a legitimate answer.

All I will say is, you know when the covert racism is in play any time people make ambiguous statements like, "we need to improve the product" or "they lack the fundamentals"

The point is, as he so eloquently expressed in his racially bias comment, David Stern and others feel that some people, " mainly the white majority that buys the NBA product" have a disdain for young black millionaires with cornrows that don't command the english language like they do..

The thinking is that perhaps with two more years of college they will be presentable to the people that the NBA wants to appeal to.

That's the bottomline. That's why I'm pissed by such closeted racist that need a dose of self awareness.

4:22 PM

Blogger dt said...

rrw -

You do know that Jason Whitlock is a black man, right ??! ;o)

You raise some valid points, but I still think it's a quantum leap to summarize those points into racism. I do think it’s manipulation on the part of the NBA. I do think it’s all about dollars and cents, but I don’t think it’s racism, only for the basic reason that it is not restricting in any way the number of black players in the NBA.

I agree with Whitlock when he writes that most spots in the league NOT taken by black high schoolers will be taken by older black players. Odds would suggest that. You could even further an argument that odds suggest that spots in the NBA not taken by European teens will also go to older player of color

But a recently published thesis written by a Harvard business grad-to-be actually showed that the most recent high school grads to enter the NBA actually have more success - i.e better scoring / rebounding / All-Star appearances - than their college counterparts. That would seem to support your position.

Despite this FACT, though, fan interest (attendance and TV ratings) is sinking. And, according to Whitlock, so is franchise value (I'll take him at his word). The question is simple: why?

Stern – and presumably Whitlock - is taking the position that NBA paying customers would shell out more bucks – or watch more NBA TV – if they knew the players better. Stern thinks that can happen if the players play some college ball, therefore using the NCAA – or the NBA developmental league – as a means of free marketing for future NBA players. If fan interest increases as a result of this rule, that’s good business for everyone – the owners AND the current players.

Now, an irony to this theory is that players like LeBron, Amare, JO, Big Ticket, (pre-trial) Kobe and TMac are among the most popular players in the league. Go figure

Is the rule unfair to the handful of qualified teens who can play in the league right out of high school. You bet it is. But if the rule benefits the vast majority of the league – which presumably includes older players (75% black) getting paid more money, isn’t that a reasonable price to pay?

Now, I don’t presume to write for Whitlock, but having read his stuff for years, I do know that he is a firm believer that black America needs to embrace the opportunity of upper education, and vice versa. I suspect that much of his position is focused on the growing number of teens that reject the notion of preparing for college because they’re “going to the league.” Just a thought. If so, again, isn't a sacrifice by a few justified if it benefits a majority?

Your position also seems to be fueled by some other comments and assumptions about David Stern that weren’t in the Whitlock column and I wouldn’t want to touch some of those points with a seven foot Serbian.

But to use “improving the product” is an example of covert racism is also a bit of a stretch, IMHO. It CAN be used as an excuse, sure. But any skills gained by playing at any level as opposed to sitting on an NBA bench can only enhance the game and any improvement of the game – or product – is always good.

Good stuff. Hope we both enjoy the Chauncey show tonight ;o)

5:41 PM

Anonymous farmlegend said...

Racsist, schmacsist. Just how black is Darko Milicic, anyway?

The NBA has, within its authority, the ability to set whatever age limit it wishes. It is not a placement agency run for the benefit of high school basketball players. This is America, last I checked, and if the owners wish to restrict the league to 50-year-old ballers, that would be their business. It may be bad business, but it is still their prerogative.

I submit that it is impossible to construct a valid syllogism in support of an age limit being a racsist construct.

5:42 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I don't care if the man is purple. He is perpetuating the notion that high schoolers are ruining the NBA.

This is unfounded.

What is founded is that there is a disdain for rich black atheletes that don't fit the "desired" norm. The NBA is doing what it can to try and change the "image."

Let's be real, what "image" is it that they want to change?

6:06 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Please understand that it is not about another black man getting the spot.

This age limit is all about changing what is deemed to be an image issue. This discussion happened long before the brawl, and quite frankly, many of the high schoolers have kept their nose clean.

So you have to ask, what is this age limit accomplishing?

It's all about the "image". If you delve deep into the desired image, I'm sure you won't find guys that have tats and cornrows.

If thats what the league wants and feels that will help it, fine. But don't give me all the BS about age limits.

6:13 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Certainly the league has the perogative to have an age limit. However, just like the color barrier in baseball, age has nothing to do with capability on the basketball court.

My simple question to the league is why impose an age limit, if players are not prepared, why are they being drafted?

Furthermore with regard to a valid syllogism on the age limit being racially motivated. You might be right, and there in lies the problem. One can always argue that this age limit affects all high school players. However, let me ask two questions. 1. What specifically about a high school player jumping to the NBA hurts the league?
2. Identify specifically the issues that create a need to address the image problem in the NBA?

If Stern answers those questions honestly, it does one of two things.

It begins to expose the fallacy behind imposing an age limit. And it begins to peel the onion and expose the hidden concerns by some about the new face of the NBA.

6:31 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


If Chauncey goes off tonight I might have to move him in the top 10 Guards

6:47 PM

Blogger Jonathon Combs said...

Hey, Great Stuff. I'll be back to read often.


7:45 PM


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