Andre Drummond broke the Detroit Pistons’ seven-year All-Star drought this season, ten years after the 2006 All-Star game in which four Pistons appeared together.
At long last, the Detroit Pistons were represented in this season’s NBA All-Star game, seven years after Allen Iverson received what was effectively a career-appreciation All-Star nod as a Piston in the 2008-09 season. That’s right, Andre Drummond received a fully deserved All-Star invite and played very well, scoring 16 points and adding 13 rebounds. Hopefully this signals the beginning of a new era of Piston All-Star appearances.
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In the previous era of Piston greatness, it was a common occurrence to see players represent the organization in the All-Star game, with Chauncey Billups appearing in five, Ben Wallace appearing in four, Rasheed Wallace appearing in four and Rip Hamilton making three appearances.
These Piston legends managed to align their appearances in the 2005-06 All-Star game. All four were named reserves for the Eastern Conference, with Tayshaun Prince being the only Piston starter to not make that game. The East was also coached by Piston head coach Flip Saunders, bringing the total number of Pistons in the game to five.
Not only did all of those Pistons make the roster, but they keyed a huge comeback from 21 points down for the East with their defense and Chauncey Billups’ masterful playmaking.
When the Piston foursome entered the game as a unit with Chris Bosh late in the third quarter, the game changed from the free-flowing offense-first dynamic that had existed all game to that point to a lockdown defensive effort on the very first Western Conference possession.
Take a trip down memory lane and enjoy this YouTube clip of the Piston highlights from this game.
Ben Wallace blocked two Pau Gasol shots, forcing a West shot clock violation, and then Chauncey took over. The Pistons defense frustrated the West, making it impossible for them to get into an offensive rhythm, and the Eastern Conference ripped away a 122-120 win.
As for total stats for the Pistons, Ben Wallace played 24 minutes, recording eight rebounds, two assists, three steals and those two memorable blocks. Rasheed played 17 minutes, scoring just two points, but adding two rebounds and a steal, Rip Hamilton scored six points, and Chauncey stole the show with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting, adding four rebounds and seven assists in 15 minutes.
This game was also memorable because LeBron James won his first All-Star MVP award at the age of 21, scoring 29 points, but it will always be remembered by Piston fans as the All-Star game that four of the “Best Five Alive”, the Going To Work Pistons took over and brought home a victory.