After finishing up their 2012 campaign with a dismal record 25-41, the Pistons held an invitation-only ‘State of the Pistons’ town hall-style meeting last week at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Key members of the franchise, including owner Tom Gores, president Dennis Mannion, general manager Joe Dumars, head coach Lawrence Frank, and power forward Greg Monroe, all spoke to select season ticket holders about topics ranging from this past season, what direction the team is heading in, and their goals for the future.
An hour of the event will air this Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m., and the team released a teaser video (watch it here) earlier this week to hype it up. Some interesting quotes came from the preview, which will hopefully get elaborated on in the full-length show:
Gores – “We might be able to figure out how to win and win big for one year, but that’s not the point. The point is how do we deliver something that is genuine, that is real? That’s one of Joe’s core values, and I think we’re fortunate to have (Dumars) as a GM, because he wants to deliver that every single day.”
Dumars- ”The last couple of years are, I think, the toughest years that we should see. I think you’ll see us turn the corner now and go forward. We stand for something.”
Mannion – “Everything we do is pointed toward making this house (The Palace) the scary house that is once was.”
Frank - ”We basically want to reclaim the values of the great Detroit Piston teams.”
While I’m sure plenty of this talk was to quell the concerns of season ticket holders, I really do believe that the team has the pieces in place to turn around what has been an extremely rough last five days. All the work that was put into molding the 2004 NBA championship team disappeared in the last half decade through poor drafting, questionable free agent additions, and short-sighted trades.
Through the last three drafts, however, Dumars has begun the rebuilding process through a strong trio of young players: Monroe, Brandon Knight, and Jonas Jerebko. The jury is still out on Austin Daye, seeing as how he can’t seem to put together solid games, and it’s too soon to judge Kyle Singler or Vernon Macklin because of little or no actual game experience.
I especially like Mannion’s comments – a true homecourt advantage can help immensely when it comes to dominant teams. Look at where Oklahoma City plays, Chesapeake Energy Arena. Generic arena name aside, it’s become a ‘house of horrors’ for visiting opponents in just a few short years of hosting the Thunder. The team had such great success through their franchise-record 259 sellout games, and lead the league in attendance for several years in the 2000′s. While it’s all about the players on the court, having that amount of fans behind you surely helped in at least a few of those victories.
Gores and company definitely knew what they were doing when they put together the “State of the Pistons” event last week. It’s important to reach out to your season ticket holders, as they’re the ones who will buy suites and season ticket packages. Hopefully this won’t end up being just a bunch of talk, and we’ll see real progress in the upcoming seasons.
Ref: NBA.com, Detroit Pistons