Pistons’ youth movement might not pay off immediately, but it’s still welcome

Sitting eight rows of media back from NBA draft stage, I glanced at the NBA-provided quote sheet for Andre Drummond‘s news conference.

Transcribing is literally the worst part of my job as a journalist. I think quotes should be presented verbatim, but actually typing them from a recording is an excruciatingly awful task. So, any time someone wants to help me with that, I will never turn them down.

But as grateful as I was for the sheet, I couldn’t help but laugh at how the transcriber – again, a sincere thank you! – had worded the first question to Drummond:

NBA DRAFT

June 28, 2012

Andre Drummond

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Q.  André, if you can start with some opening comments about being drafted by the piss sons.

Piss sons! I immediately shared the mistake with the TrueHoopers sitting near me, and collectively, we snickered.

But the real joke is on the Pistons.

The error isn’t entirely inaccurate. The Pistons certainly have played like piss the last few years. But, at least in metaphorical terms within the NBA universe, the Pistons have been more like fathers than sons.

In the last few years – zero total playoff victories – Detroit has ranked 18th,

21st, 17th and 27th among the NBA’s youngest teams by age weighted by minutes played. The Pistons were also old during the previous seven seasons – 25th, 28th, 26th, 25th, 18th, 24th and 26th – but there was nothing wrong with being old when it came with so much playoff success.

Being old and being bad stinks.

Thankfully, the Pistons seem to realize that, reflected by their roster changes. Apparently out are Ben Wallace (37), Damien Wilkins (32), Walker Russell (29). Apparently in are Andre Drummond (18), Khris Middleton (20), Kim English (23) and Slava Kravtsov (24). Another swap – Ben Gordon (29) for Corey Maggette (32) – is more about providing the cap room to acquire a younger player next summer.

These moves might make Detroit worse in the short-term, but that’s OK. Fans invested in a team for the long term often fail to realize how much better veterans are in the short term, though that’s hardly a worthy consolation for being stuck where the Pistons have been lately.

We’ll get a taste of this new era shortly, as Detroit opens its summer league schedule against the Jazz at 3 p.m. on NBATV. It might not look pretty yet, but it’s progress.

The last time the Pistons ranked among the top half of the NBA’s youngest teams was 2000-01, when they finished 30-52. There could very well be more of the same for the Pistons this season.

But even if they still play like piss, at least they’ll be closer to the NBA’s sons.

Tags: Andre Drummond