The Pistons and the Lions: A Tale of Two Franchises

Hooper, Paws and Roary remind us where our allegiance belongs as Detroiters
Hooper, Paws and Roary remind us where our allegiance belongs as Detroiters / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
2 of 3

The good, the Bad Boys and the Ugly

For as sweet as the recent success that the Lions have had is, the Pistons ineptitude is just as bitter. But as Detroiters know, the Lions haven’t always been on top and the Pistons haven’t always been on the bottom.

The Pistons may be the ones staking claim to historic infamy at the moment, but it was the Lions who did so in 2008. Back then, the Pistons were at the tail end of the Goin’ to Work era, and were one of the Eastern Conference’s contenders. Meanwhile the Lions were authoring a historic achievement in going winless. Given the NBA’s 82-game schedule as compared to the NFL’s now 17-game slate there just isn’t a perfect comparison to make, but the ’08 Lions and these ’23-’24 Pistons pretty clearly represent the worst our beloved teams have ever had to offer.

Related Story. 10 Worst trades in Pistons' franchise history. 10 Worst trades in Pistons' franchise history. dark

The Lions are fighting for their first Super Bowl victory, but they did manage to win four NFL championships prior to the AFL-NFL merger in 1966. The NBA experienced its own merger, as it absorbed the ABA in 1979, and it was afterwards that the Pistons began collecting championships, as they have won three since.

Across 94 seasons, beginning in 1930, the Lions organization – including the Portsmouth Spartans years – has compiled a regular season record of 591-707-34. During this span they have reached the playoffs 18 times.

In the 76-year history of the Detroit Pistons, dating back to 1948-49 and including their Fort Wayne counterparts, the team has compiled a 2,817-3,142 record. They’ve managed 42 trips to the playoffs.

Again, an apples to apples comparison is impossible as it’s not just the number of regular season games that is different, but also the number of teams that reach the postseason. However, just with these cursory numbers one can conclude that both teams have done more losing than winning, and the success that the Pistons have had has come more recently than that of the Lions.