The Detroit Pistons are hoping Cade Cunningham can help turn the franchise around, but he also has a bigger mission: Save sports in Detroit.
Detroit was recently named “The Capital of Bad Sports” by the website FiveThirtyEight, who used advanced metrics to draw their conclusion.
Using data from all five major sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, WNBA), Detroit had three seasons in the top-15, including the worst season according to winning percentage in these sports.
Which seasons you might ask? The last three, which shows just how much Detroit has suffered recently.
I admittedly don’t watch the other four religiously as I used to, as I am an NBA junkie who has grown into other interests and sports no longer dominate 100 percent of my life.
But I follow closely enough to know that all of Detroit’s teams are in various stages of rebuilds that have been ongoing for some time, and in the case of the Lions, pretty much forever.
Though Detroit no longer has a WNBA team, there is some exciting young talent in each of the other four sports and hopefully the luck in Detroit is about to change. But Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons are probably the best chance for Detroit fans to get some relief.
Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham can save us
The Tigers, Red Wings and Lions all have some good young players and reasons for hope, but none of them offer the potential of Cade Cunningham, last year’s number one pick in the draft.
Cunningham has the chance to be a superstar, and could help bring some joy to Detroit even if the Pistons don’t win much next season.
The Pistons aren’t expected to make the playoffs next season, but even if they take the next realistic step in their timeline fans will be happy, especially if Cunningham reaches or exceeds expectations.
We need Cade to have a strong start to his career by racking up some personal awards including Rookie of the Year and playing in the Rising Stars Challenge.
But it would also be nice if he could make the All-Star team as a rookie (unlikely) and if he does, we’ll forget momentarily about all of the losing.
Even better would be if Detroit could sniff or even make the play-in tournament, as it would be tangible proof that the Pistons had turned things around and the restoration was well underway. We just want meaningful games in Detroit and Cade is the most likely bring them to us.
Cade Cunningham isn’t going to save Detroit sports in one season, but he can bring some life back to one of America’s best sports cities and be the catalyst behind a change of attitude in Motown.