The Most Iconic Detroit Pistons Bench Players (Post-Teal Era)

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 20: LeBron James
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 20: LeBron James /
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AUBURN HILLS, MI – JUNE 15: Corliss Williamson
AUBURN HILLS, MI – JUNE 15: Corliss Williamson /

Corliss Williamson – ‘Big Nasty’ spent time with the Pistons from 2000 up until they won the Finals in ’04. I will always remember his patented hook shot; I used to practice that in the gym as a kid.

Corliss was 6’7″, 245 pounds and all muscle. He was too strong for small forwards and too quick for traditional power forwards at the time. He also had a highly-skilled post game in his arsenal. This made him a tough cover off the bench, and for two years he was one of the team’s most reliable scorers on the roster.

He was also mean, intense, and just nasty (hence the nickname) on the floor. His attitude not only fit in with the great Pistons’ bench players of lore, but also really helped the team get their edge back.

In the 2001-02 season, he put up an impressive 13.6 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench. That performance helped him beat out Bobby Jackson from the Kings and Quentin Richardson of the Clippers to earn the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.

His tenure with the team didn’t last long. Williamson still had three years worth $18 million left on his contract, a small fortune for a bench player in 2004.

The Pistons had to free up salary in the short-term if they wanted to keep the bulk of their core intact, so they opted to trade ‘Big Nasty’ to the Sixers in what was ultimately a salary shedding transaction.