For today’s Detroit Free Press column, I discussed that, for the first time in four years, the Pistons are a relevant, even exciting team. That in itself is a victory no matter what plays out on the court:
Measured against their own successful, championship past, this current version of the Pistons hasn’t accomplished anything of import just yet, other than simply being interesting. The team spent significant money in the offseason, bringing in two of the biggest names on the free agent market in Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. Their super-sized frontcourt that, at the very least, will get all the blocks and all the dunks, has NBA fans all over the league picking the Pistons as a guilty pleasure League Pass team. Members of the 2004 championship team, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace, are back to help mold this intriguing collection of talent into playoff contenders. Greg Monroe is going to be the next young big man to get a max contract. The only question is whether that will be paid out by the Pistons or another team. Jennings hangs out with Drake, the most polarizing musician not named Miley Cyrus.
Any of those storylines entering the season is infinitely more interesting than some of the things fans have tried to talk themselves into as areas of intrigue in the recent past — Is Austin Daye the answer at power forward? Maybe Tracy McGrady really does have something left despite no other team wanting to sign him. Who has more upside, Rodney Stuckey or Russell Westbrook? I do admire the way that fans, myself included, have used creativity (delusion?) to get excited for teams and seasons the past four years that offered anything but excitement.