The era that should have come sooner for the Detroit Pistons

Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons
Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons / Luke Hales/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons are now 3-1 since signing veteran center Taj Gibson to a 10-day contract a week ago.

It's now clear that Gibson was the final piece to the championship puzzle and the only thing the Pistons needed to take over the league.

I kid, I kid.

Gibson hasn't even stepped on the floor for the Detroit Pistons, but center James Wiseman gives him credit for his recent mini-surge and Gibson has been a visible and vocal team member on the bench.

A lot of fans panned this move when the Pistons made it, as it seemed pointless to sign a 38-year-old center this late in the season.

Look, if we're being honest, the Pistons' recent little streak had way more to do with playing awful, injured teams than it did with signing Taj Gibson, but he is clearly helping Wiseman and represents the type of move the Detroit Pistons should have made a long time ago.

The Detroit Pistons needed a veteran center

We sometimes overestimate the value of "veteran leadership" but when you have a team whose best players are all 22 years old or younger, veterans are a necessary ingredient if you want to have any success.

And Gibson is showing that they don't even have to play to make a difference. The Pistons feature three young big men who have had painfully little mentorship from veteran players, evidenced by the fact that we were super excited when the Pistons briefly had two mostly washed bigs in Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari and were devastated when they were let go.

It's not because they are stars, but guys like that have been around the game and know how to play it. They can be a positive voice in a player's ear, whether it is offering advice or cheering them on when they make a big play, as Gibson has been doing with Wiseman.

This isn't complicated, as fellow players can offer advice on the bench and will be heard. They can coach up the young guys when the head coach is busy coaching the actual game.

You can see Gibson pumping up Wiseman, giving him advice about where to be and being his biggest supporter when he comes to the bench after making a nice play. This is how you instill and reinforce good habits and it can't all be on the coach.

This is the kind of presence the Pistons have needed for their young bigs, as the center position is the most difficult to learn defensively and it helps to have a positive influence who can fill in the gaps for the coaches.

The Pistons should have had a guy like Gibson all along and it should be a priority for the offseason.