Andrew Unterberger is currently nearing completion of a pretty cool undertaking: he’s writing profiles of every NBA arena for the Basketball Jones. The project, called ‘60/30‘ (60 days/30 NBA arenas). Here’s what he had to say about his trip to the Palace of Auburn Hills in November:
The Palace felt a little stuck between stations to me. Clearly, the Pistons want to be rooted in their past greatness, given the proud legacy of their Bad Boys late-80s teams and the still-fresh glow of their mid-00s conference-championship streakers, but the stadium tries to have it both ways, maintaining the general visual scheme of the classic teams with a kind of modern edge (sharper colors and graphics, weird mascot, surprisingly loud and potent bursts of flame during player intros), which doesn’t always mesh. The dischord between past and present is present throughout the stadium, down to the banner out in front, which features Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey seemingly warring with Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, with Ben Wallace (a foot in both worlds?) making peace in the middle. The message, “Back to work,” is probably more telling than the team intended.
Unterberger’s take on Pistons mascot Hooper is pretty funny, and he even quoted Dan Feldman in the piece. But the whole series is really worth a read. Seeing a game in every NBA arena is surely a dream of most basketball fans.