The Detroit Pistons have had some great role players over the years to go along with their stars.
The team was known for it in the Bad Boys’ era, as they had a bench full of players who all contributed and knew their roles.
The 2004 title squad exemplified this ethos, as it was a perfectly formed team with everyone in the rotation contributing something and playing their part.
The Pistons have also had great role players who weren’t on the best teams, but either became fan favorites through their toughness, hard work or “wow” factor.
Here are five Detroit Pistons’ role players who range from hard working and high-flying fan favorites to key pieces on great teams.
Detroit Pistons: 5 unforgettable role players
The Fan Favorites
Few players fit the idea of a “role” player than Anthony Tolliver. He was the type of underdog player that made him popular wherever he went, and he went plenty of places. Tolliver played for 14 teams in his NBA career, including two stints with Detroit.
Tolliver was undrafted out of Creighton, so was immediately an underdog coming into the NBA. But his size, shooting and hustle eventually got him a shot, and Tolliver carved out a nice NBA career for himself as a 3-and-D bench player.
He helped the 2015-16 Pistons to the playoffs and probably had the best season of his career in 2017-18 after returning to the Motor City after a one year stint in Sacramento. Tolliver averaged 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting over 43 percent from 3-point range on just under five attempts per game, shooting numbers Detroit would love coming off their bench now.
He won over fans with hustle and always seemed to make something happen when he came into games. Anthony Tolliver is not a household name but he was a great teammate and an underdog who fans loved to cheer for.
Will Bynum was another underdog who fans loved to cheer for. He too was undrafted, and the 6-foot point guard bounced in and out of the NBA before finding a home in Detroit for six seasons.
Bynum was never a key cog on a winning team because the teams he was on never won. Bynym played for some woeful teams in one of the low points for the franchise.
But at least he was fun to watch! Bynum had some huge scoring games for the Pistons off the bench and provided highlight reel dunks that gave the fans some reason to watch. Few guys his size regularly dunked on people, but Bynum was not afraid to try and posterize anyone.
I encourage you to go and watch some of Bynum’s dunks, he truly was something else.
He was never on any good teams but his style of play won over fans when there wasn’t much else to get excited about, so for that, I’ll always remember Will Bynum.