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Darkest day in Detroit Pistons history?

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com in his article about the similarities between Greg Monroe and Tim Duncan* (emphasis mine):

They very nearly became teammates in the summer of 2000 when Orlando signed McGrady away from the Toronto Raptors and Grant Hill from the Pistons – the darkest day in the 54-year history of the Pistons in Detroit.

Uh, what? Am I alone in thinking that’s not even close to the darkest day in Detroit Pistons history?

To set a key ground rule, I think Langlois means how the day was perceived at the time – at least I hope so. Although nobody knew it then, Grant Hill signing with Orlando benefited the Pistons greatly by allowing them to land Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. Sure, it was a dark day at the time. In hindsight, no way.

But even at the time, I didn’t think it was that dark. Off the top of my head, I came up with eight darker days (in no particular order):

So, I have two questions for you. What’s “the darkest day in the 54-year history of the Pistons in Detroit”? Where would you rank the day Grant Hill signed with the Magic?

*That’s not as bad as it sounds. I promise. I’ll have more on that angle of Langlois’ post later today, though.


  • Mar 9, 20119:00 am
    by neutes


    July 2nd, 2009 – Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva sign with the Pistons. Darkest day I can remember, and that’s not hindsight. Knew it was bad the second it happened. I’m sure though the Bad Boys took some similar fall that sent them into the teal years, I was just too young to remember it. Laimbeer retired, Rodman was traded, only Dumars stuck it out and suffered ala Rip Hamilton on a crappy squad. Kind of funny that way. Grant Hill signing with the Magic ranks as one of the brightest days.

  • Mar 9, 201110:09 am
    by Kashmeer


    I was also wonderin when i read KL….the worst day ???? are you serious,

    besides the 3 titles i thought it was among the brightest day in pistons History (I also think Matt Geiger veto was one of the brightess day ever, his name should be mention somewhere in Pistons History)

    The worst day  in Pistons History for me: The Phantom call

  • Mar 9, 201110:36 am
    by Rodman4Life


    Signing CV OR BG I could see, but when the second was signed (BG was second, right?) it became a very dark day for me.  I felt that this team was leaving its philosophical core, namely defense.  Darkest day, not really, but definitely deflating nonetheless.

  • Mar 9, 201110:52 am
    by shawn


    What about Sheed’s blown assignment on Robert Horry that cost us the 05 title.

  • Mar 9, 201112:25 pm
    by David


    Phantom call on Laimbeer is #1 for me. Hands down.  Left me bitter to this day on how the league is officiated, the way stars like Kareem get calls and players like Laimbeer get the shaft.  Laimbeer simply didn’t touch him. 

    I was 10.

    #2 is definitely Sheed leaving Horry open in Game 5.  I let out a loud, guttural “Nooooooooo!!!” before the ball was even in Horry’s hands. Irks me too that some folks view the ’04 team as an anomaly, one of the rare times a ‘star’-less team won it all.  Back-to-back titles obviously changes that viewpoint.  Horry’s (and why him of all people?) shot was such a punch to the gut.

    No way of knowing how those series would have played out with a no call and Sheed’s head in the game, but I can’t help but ‘feel’ they cost us rings.  Five banners in the rafters sure sounds nice.  :)

  • Mar 9, 201112:42 pm
    by Dan


    1. Rodman’s insane decision to pull up for a jump shot near the end of Game 7 of the ’88 Finals. I think this one seemed extra painful to me because of …
    2. Losing Game 6 in spite of Isiah scoring 43 on a bum ankle. (Curiously, I don’t remember the call against Laimbeer, per se, so much as I remember hating Dick Stockton because it seemed to me he was ignoring all kinds of terrible calls.)
    3. The Steal. I didn’t even see the game. I got the paper the next morning and read about it … and it still broke my heart.
    4. The Shot / The Missed Assignment. I remember being doubly embarrassed because of the way “Pound-For-Pound” threw ‘Sheed under the bus. Not that he didn’t deserve it. I think the agony of this particular defeat was offset by the fact that I really believed, given the way the Pistons had been going throughout the playoffs that year, that they would somehow win Games 6 and 7.
    5. Malice at the Palace.
    6. The Strike. I just found it really embarrassing for a franchise as proud as the Pistons, and for a figure as legendary and respected as Dumars, to have been reduced to that.
    For some reason the loss in ’87 Conference Finals, although quite depressing, didn’t register at the same level as these things. I guess I didn’t really expect them to win yet – I mean, the Celtics just seemed invincible – and the whole head butting thing was so goofy, I didn’t have as big a let down.

  • Mar 9, 201112:43 pm
    by Doug


    This isn’t THE darkest moment in my experience as a pistons fan (sheed leaving horry open); but having been in a stroller for the Laimbeer days, Lebron’s 48 special is a dark mark on my memory.  That night glavanized cleveland and deflated the Pistons, depriving us of the rubber match with San Antonio and giving Sheed the opportunity to make up for leaving Horry open.  I couldn’t watch the finals after watching the pistons blow it that year.

  • Mar 9, 20111:52 pm
    by Gabriel


    I like the list, but Isiah recovered form the elbow, what ended his career in was the achilles tendon injury.
    I would also add Isiah’s ankle injury in game six, 1988 final.

  • Mar 9, 20113:59 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    Maybe it’s just me, but I actually think Allan Houston leaving was a darker day than Hill.

    Houston/Hill was supposed to be the duo that took them back to elite status, and it seemed like as soon as Houston emerged as a legit player, he bolted. Of course later it came out that he and Hill did not like each other that much, but I was shocked when he left at the time.

    With Hill, it was certainly disappointing when he left, but it was also clear that the Pistons had maxed out their ceiling with him, and it was first round exit. It wasn’t a huge shock that he decided to go.

  • Mar 9, 20114:44 pm
    by Dan


    A dark day was passing on Carmelo and taking Darko.  Carmelo, combined with Chauncey, Rip, Sheed, Tay, and Ben could have kept that group going for a bunch more years and maybe have pushed us over the top to get another championship or two.  Of course that is all speculation, but to me it was a difference between one championship and perhaps a string of them.

    • Mar 9, 20116:47 pm
      by gmehl1977


      I was going to say this too but for me it is clearly Rasheed leaving Horry open. I still can’t bring myself to watch footage of it. As for blowing the pick on Darko which i think set the team back 3-4 years it definitely ranks up there with the rest of everyone’s comments. Darko’s bitch ass has a lot to answer for in my books. He couldn’t even man up enough to earn back up minutes.

  • Mar 9, 20119:22 pm
    by Rodman4Life


    Even though the writing was on the wall, Rodman leaving for San Antonio stung.  And Sean Elliot, what a chump.  Man we got bamboozled in that deal!  Rodman was so iconically Detroit.  Losing Ben Wallace hurt too, but I could see that one coming due to the money/respect aspect (which I still side with Dumars on not giving him that crazy money).

    • Mar 9, 20119:30 pm
      by gmehl1977


      Hey he gave crazy money to CV & Gordon so maybe he should of given crazy money to Ben after all. Ben got hurt whilst he was gone so if he had of stayed who knows he might of been worth it.

      • Mar 9, 20119:32 pm
        by gmehl1977


        Oh i forgot he also gave crazy money to Rip before he gave it to CV and BG. I suppose you have to add Max to the list too.

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