RETURN OF INVESTMENT
LAST 10 GAMES
The Detroit Pistons have one of the most colorful histories in the league. This franchise has won NBA Championships and produced many winning seasons. But perhaps most notoriously, the Pistons came into prominence through their “Bad Boys” era. Isiah Thomas, the Pistons’ team stats leader, is just one of many legends to play for the team.
While Detroit has spent many seasons as a top team in the league, it has been a moribund franchise recently. Since the 2010s, Detroit is proper “fade” material on the NBA odds boards. Until this team can start putting it together, look for them to remain underdogs.
Conference & Division
- Founded: 1937
- Conference: Eastern
- Division: Central
City: Detroit, Michigan
Stadium: Little Caesars Arena
Championships & Titles
- 3 NBA Championships
- 7 Conference Championships
- 11 Division titles
Detroit Pistons All-Time Records
Most points all-time:
- Isiah Thomas, 18,822
Most rebounds all-time:
- Bill Laimbeer, 9,430
Most assists all-time:
- Isiah Thomas, 9,061
Most steals all-time:
- Isiah Thomas, 1,861
Most blocks all-time:
- Ben Wallace, 1,486
Most wins all-time (coach):
- Chuck Daly, 467
Detroit Pistons Stats & Team History
The Pistons were created as a work team for Zollner Corporation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They joined the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1941, and won two championships. After relocating to Detroit in 1957, the franchise struggled for a prolonged period.
From 1957 to 1973, the Pistons had just one winning season. But stars like Dave Bing and Bob Lanier finally made Detroit a respectable franchise. They made a few NBA playoff runs, but went back to being moribund until the early 1980s.
Detroit selected Thomas second overall in the 1981 NBA Draft. He developed into an All-Star under coach Chuck Daly’s guidance. With Thomas -and later Joe Dumars- running the offense, the Pistons surrounded them with tough-nosed defenders like Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman.
The Pistons blended skill with the rough physical play that earned them the nickname “Bad Boys”. After frustrating losses to the Celtics and Lakers in the playoffs, Detroit traded for Mark Aguirre, who proved to be the missing piece.
Detroit won consecutive NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. In 1991, they got swept by their longtime rivals, the Chicago Bulls. This marked the end of their run as title contenders, as they rebuilt a few seasons later.
The Pistons’ time in the 1990s was largely forgettable outside of Grant Hill. The rising star carried the Pistons to the playoffs several times but never won a series.
Detroit then recreated itself as a tough-minded defensive team thanks to Dumars, who became the team’s president.
Dumars made shrewd decisions, like signing Chauncey Billups and drafting Tayshaun Prince. He traded Hill and Jerry Stackhouse in separate deals for Ben Wallace and Richard “Rip” Hamilton, respectively. Wallace became a four-time Defensive Player of the Year plus the team’s defensive anchor, as they all became key members of the Pistons for several years.
Detroit contended but got swept by the New Jersey Nets, prompting Dumars to hire Larry Brown. The team then traded for Rasheed Wallace in the middle of the 2003-04 season. This proved to be a catalyst, as it went on to upset the Lakers to win its third NBA title.
The team returned to the NBA Finals the following season, but lost to the Spurs. The Pistons remained a contender up until the 2007-8 season, then fell into hard times. Detroit made a total of two playoff appearances from 2009 to 2022. Dumars stepped down in 2014.
In 2021, the team won the NBA Draft Lottery and selected Cade Cunningham. Detroit now looks promising, with plenty of young stars. Being a title contender could be in their future.