The Lakers in town last night gave everyone a chance to reminisce about the 2004 NBA Finals. The Lakers still have Derek Fisher, Luke Walton and Kobe Bryant from that team. Lakers assistants John Kuester and Darvin Ham were both part of the 2004 Pistons (Ham as a player). Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince are Detroit’s last remnants of that squad. Before the game, everyone (except Kuester) felt like looking back, apparently.
Obviously, they’re a whole different team, we’re a whole different team, so it really doesn’t matter, but of course you look at it and say, ‘That’s the team we beat,’ Prince said Monday at the team’s practice facility. “We were underdogs in that series obviously, but we had never been to that stage before and nobody expected us to do anything. But we were a great defensive team, we had great chemistry, everything just fell in to place for us — especially on the defensive end.
“Everything offensively coming into that series came to us defensively, the pressure and everything we were doing, feeding off the crowd. Once we were able to get it home, we were in a great comfort zone and it was hard to break it.”
But Darvin Ham, a member of that championship team, also was in town as an assistant for Mike Brown. It’s his first season on an NBA bench.
The Saginaw native said he thinks “all the time” about that magical season with the Pistons.
(Brendan Savage of MLive also has a story with a bit more on Ham’s return, including info on Ham’s son, who plays college basketball at Northwood.)
Prince’s defense helped lead to the Pistons to a 4-1 NBA Finals victory in 2004 over a Lakers team that also included Shaquille O’Neal.
Getting the upper hand on possibly one of the 10 greatest players the league has seen still brings a smile to Prince’s face.
“You look at them and you’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s the team we beat,’” Prince said.
Leave a Reply