Detroit Pistons: What Cade Cunningham means for Detroit’s TV ratings

Detroit Pistons NBA draft pick Cade Cunningham (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons NBA draft pick Cade Cunningham (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

In recent years, the Detroit Pistons have been treated as a small market team. While Detroit itself is small compared to other major American cities, the metro area ranks 14th in the country, and second in the midwest behind Chicago.

The Pistons, Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings have all played like small-market teams over the last five or so years. None have been any good, and frankly, none had a ton of hope.

The Lions have a new coach and GM, the Red Wings seem to be making the right moves, and the Tigers have declared their rebuild over but the Pistons are at the center of the Detroit sports renaissance. Cade Cunningham has already established himself as the face of Detroit sports. He’s charming, a media giant, and really wants to be here. Oh, and he’s really good at his job.

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Baseball is a dying sport, and while the Red Wings and Lions are on the right track, they are a step behind the Pistons. So for the foreseeable future, Detroit Basketball is leading the Motor City.

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham means more attention, maybe even a Christmas Day game

Last year, the Pistons didn’t have a single nationally televised TV game. This should all change. I can very easily see the Pistons’ games on the west coast being broadcast on ESPN, and when they take on Giannis and the Bucks, the Knicks, 76ers, or other Eastern Conference powerhouses those games will be must-see TV.

Will the  Detroit Pistons win those games? Not all of them, but people will certainly tune in to see Ben Simmons try and stop fellow first overall pick, Cade Cunningham. In the games against Houston, the Jalen Green/Cunningham matchup will be touted as they battle it out for the Rookie of the Year Award.

After having no nationally televised games this season, the Pistons will be back. Detroit sports will be the rise-up story the media loves to follow, and the  Detroit Pistons will be at the center of it.

Let’s take it even a step further. The Pistons have not played on Christmas Day since they beat the Spurs in December of 2005. Christmas Day basketball is the marquee event of the NBA regular season and Detroit has simply not been good or enticing enough in more than a decade.

Jerami Grant is an Olympian in Tokyo. Saddiq Bey is one of the best young shooters in the game. Killian Hayes is waiting to be a “where did he come from” story. Isaiah Stewart and Cade Cunningham could be some of the most explosive and powerful young studs in the entire league.

Cunningham promised that Detroit will be competing for a playoff spot in his first season. The frontrunner for ROTY, the next “big thing,” and already having superstar level marketability all mean that the NBA, ESPN, TNT, and ABC will all be rushing to put him on all their advertisements.

Detroit basketball is about to be cool and sexy. No more dwelling at the bottom of the standings or being a forgotten franchise alongside Minnesota, Sacramento, and Orlando. Detroit basketball is back. Michigan is ready, and the rest of the country better catch up.

Next. Cade Cunningham's rank among the last decade of #1 picks. dark