Who was the real MVP for the Detroit Pistons this season? Hint: It's not Cade Cunningham

Detroit Pistons v Dallas Mavericks
Detroit Pistons v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Giving out season awards to the Detroit Pistons would not be easy. 

There were few positives in a season full of negatives, and even though there were players who made progress, they didn’t play enough for it to matter. 

If you were to name an MVP, it would certainly have to be Cade Cunningham, who did make a leap, though it didn’t translate to wins for the team. Cunningham answered most of the questions that were asked of him before the season, but can a team with 14 wins really have an MVP? And can you give it to him even though he only played 62 games. I say no.

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If I were going to give an MVP award for the 2023-24 season, it wouldn’t go to a player, it would go to you. 

The fans are the MVPs of the Detroit Pistons 

Forget the players, the real MVP of this season is the fanbase, who manages to stay passionate and engaged even though the team gives it little reason to. 

The Pistons finished at the bottom of the NBA, but they were 15th in attendance and fans kept showing up even though the team only treated them to seven home wins all season, the lowest in franchise history. 

But it’s not just the in-game attendance. Has there ever been a team this bad who had fans that were this interested? Go onto any social media platform and you’ll find Pistons fans arguing over everything from Marcus Sasser's role to what the Pistons should do with Jaden Ivey. 

I saw fans arguing about rotations in the final game even though it was beyond meaningless and featured two teams full of replacement players.

I spend plenty of time talking to writers and fans from other teams and they are consistently amazed at how much engagement Pistons’ content gets in comparison. The other bad teams (and even many of the good ones) don’t get this kind of attention and the Pistons fans consistently outperform much larger markets in terms of interest and engagement. 

I can’t thank you all enough for staying on this ride long after it went off the rails and for making these last few seasons bearable. I’ve enjoyed (most of) our conversations and debates but even I (Homer #1) was impressed by how engaged fans stayed this season. 

The Detroit Pistons have championship fans, and it is time the organization caught up and gave them a team worth their energy, passion and dollars. 

You earned a piece of this MVP for sticking out this season and I truly hope fans in Detroit eventually get what they deserve, which is a team that comes close to matching their enthusiasm and passion.