The Detroit Pistons historically have had some great players, some of which have gone on to be hall of famers and NBA legends. A few of these names include Isiah Thomas, Ben Wallace, and Dennis Rodman. Big names like these are non-negotiable when bringing up Pistons greats.
However, a person often forgotten, or possibly just rejected is former center Andre Drummond. His departure from Detroit was ugly, and surely left a lot of fans with mixed feelings. But a deep dive into his numbers shows that he might be one of the best players to have ever put on a Pistons’ jersey.
Detroit Pistons: Andre Drummond’s stats don’t lie
Drummond’s eight years didn’t deliver a title to the Motor City, nor did he have a dominant playoff run the way others put above him on the list have. This is not in dispute; however, Drummond like other franchise greats such as, Kyle Lowry, and Damian Lillard, holds plenty of franchise records. Here are the categories Drummond leads all-time for Detroit as well as some where he is at least in the top 10:
- Offensive Rebounds
- Defensive Rebounds (top 2)
- Total Rebounds (top 2)
- Steals (top 5)
- Blocks (top 3)
- Field goal percentage
- 2-pt field goal percentage
- Rebounds per game
- Steals per game (top 10)
- Blocks per game (top 5)
- PER (top 3)
- Offensive rebound percentage (top 2)
- Defensive rebound percentage
- Total rebound percentage
- Block percentage (top 10)
There are nearly two more rows of stats that he’s either leading in or top 10 in, yet amongst Pistons fans and sports analysts Drummond still isn’t recognized as a Detroit great.
The reason for the hate
I’ll admit that adding Drummond didn’t immediately make the Pistons better for several reasons. For one he wasn’t very interested in playing to his size as a 6-foot-10 mountain that didn’t regularly impose his will on the inside. He was a very athletic dunker but that’s about all he could do offensively.
Many people were dissatisfied with him after his 1st three years only resulted in seven more wins than Detroit had the year before he was drafted. However it wasn’t until 2015 that the peices around him really started to come together. At that time they had several scorers who went on to be quality nba players including Tobias Harris, Reggie Jackson, and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Many players with less time spent and not nearly as many accolades get placed above Drummond simply for being remembered during a championship run. Players like Rick Mahorn or Curtis Rowe, don’t hold a candle to Drummond. They don’t even have as many All-Star selections and the disrespect is still accepted publicly. Drummond was blamed for the team’s lack of success but Detroit never put a good one around him.
Andre Drummond is one if the greatest rebounders of this generation and possibly the second best big man in Pistons’ history. Most lists gloss over him completely but a case could be made that he deserves to be at the least top 10 on everyone’s rankings.