The Detroit Pistons’ roster needs the right emotional spark

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors has words with Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors has words with Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

In the next two years, the Detroit Pistons will need an emotional spark to augment their core. Every contending team needs one. To keep that emotion in check, they’ll need their culture set, and we hope the current core can do exactly that. But eventually, the team will need a firecracker who can get his teammates motivated, get under their skin, and push everyone to play at the highest level.

Throughout the history of the NBA, players like Michael Jordan and Kevin Garnett talked trash, ripped the heart from the competition, and motivated their teammates. Garnett made more than one teammate cry.

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Do the Detroit Pistons already have this person on their team?

More often than not, however, your emotional spark isn’t your best player.

In recent years, Marcus Smart and Draymond Green served these roles in Boston and Golden State respectively. Green is not above controversy. He likely cost his team a championship and contributed to his team’s underperformance this season.

Emotional players can rub people the wrong way. Their energy needs to be harnessed by strong leadership, solid coaching, and an organization greater as a whole than any of its parts.

Marcus Smart is emblematic of this role in the modern NBA. A defensive specialist like Green, Smart plays focused, disciplined basketball. His voice helped his team control games and stifle opponents.

Who will play this role for the Detroit Pistons?

I hope Isaiah Stewart fills this void. He can be an emotional guy. He’s a tremendous worker, and as he improves his overall game, which he’s done every year, he could become the type of defensive specialist whose fingerprints cover the court and change the outcomes of games.

That may not end up being Stewart’s role, but it needs to come from somewhere. As Monty Williams continues to develop the culture, someone will need to be the heart and soul of the team.

The Pistons are no stranger to these types of players, as guys like Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and Rasheed Wallace have played this role in the past.

So who will be the next emotional leader for Detroit?

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