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Survey says: Pistons struggling

Remember that Detroit sports survey? Well, the results are in, and the Pistons finished last among Detroit’s four professional teams in several categories:

  • Follow regularly (17.1 percent)*
  • Favorite team (12.8 percent)
  • Venue with best overall experience (4.1 percent)
  • Best front office (1.6 percent)
  • Best head coach (1.9 percent)
  • Win Detroit’s next championship (0.8 percent)

*Respondents could check multiple teams.

The Pistons “won” a couple categories, though:

  • Worst front office (80.8 percent)
  • Worst head coach (69.3 percent)

A few Pistons players also finished near the top of the individual categories:

  • Most disliked Detroit player: Charlie Villanueva, second (behind Ryan Raburn)
  • Most overrated Detroit player: Tayshaun Prince, third, Rodney Stuckey, fourth (behind Ndamukong Suh and Johan Franzen)
  • Detroit sports figure who doesn’t get enough credit: Greg Monroe, fourth (behind Martin Mayhew, Jim Leyland and Matt Stafford)


  • Aug 17, 20128:47 am
    by vic


    winning changes everything. They better win this year.
    not being actually in Detroit could be a small factor. But nothing that winning couldn’t fix.

  • Aug 17, 20129:05 am
    by Steve K


    It’s shocking to me that they’d get just 4.1% of “venue with best overall experience”. 

    The Palace set the standard for all other NBA arenas. Even with a crap team, they do an awesome job of creating an entertaining evening. I guess none of that matters to fans in Detroit. But, seriously… is the venue experience at Ford Field or the Joe actually better than the show at the Palace?

    I mean… the Palace folks actually TRY to entertain you. I’ve rarely seen that at the other three venues.

    • Aug 17, 201212:22 pm
      by labatts


      I really think it is simply an out of site out of mind thing.  People simply don’t go because the team sucks.  They go elsewhere and have a great time.  I for one think that Joe Louis is the worst (by far).  No disrespect, I love the sport and the team, but man I find it a success to simply not roll down the stairs.

  • Aug 17, 20129:35 am
    by Daye and Knight


    Lol I voted Rayburn as most hated player, I’m lad to see I’m not the only one. This is sad but the Pistons have to start winning otherwise outside of REAL fans, no one cares

  • Aug 17, 201212:36 pm
    by G


    The head coach thing is rough because all the teams have good head coaches. Leyland is one of the top 5 coaches in MLB, Babcock is one of the top 3 in the NHL, and Schwartz is also solid. I like Frank, but it’s tough to put him above any of those other guys except maybe Schwartz.

    • Aug 17, 20124:46 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah, that was the hardest one for me too. I think Frank is a good coach, but with the three other coaches all coming off of playoff seasons, Frank had to be last there by default.

  • Aug 17, 20121:03 pm
    by Mel Crosby


    Who ever did this poll had to have pulled people who really don’t follow the Pistons that much since they been loosing the past few years to know what’s really going on with them. Their right on pace with the lions as far as turnaround and change is concerned. I’m not sold on the Tigers just yet I hope I’m wrong but they’ve done this before. They hover around almost making it to total let down. The wings are declining still good regular season team just not championship quality. But they’ve been so consistent over the years I’ll give them a pass. I wonder if the people who did the poll was even piston fans in the first place.

    • Aug 17, 20124:45 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Not sure how many responded, but Dan did post the link on this site and I think quite a few of our readers did participate in the survey, so there should’ve been at least a little Pistons fan presence in the results.

  • Aug 17, 20121:17 pm
    by Mike Coop


    I really feel like thetiming of this survey effects the results significantly. The lions and Tigers are both in the middle of an incredibly excited period for them. Miguel Cabarea and Justin Verlander having a shot at winning back to back MVPs is really astonishing. Add the prince fielder signing and that team has so much intrigue. 

    Football is king in America and the Lions finally have a product to put on the field to appease Detroits thrist. Calvin Johnson is arguably the best at what he does and Matt Stafford just had a historic 5000 yard passing season. Suh is also a fun fan favorite.

    The wings are the wings. The best franchise in hockey without question and alway is the running to win the cup. 

    Its hard for the Pistons and the sport of basketball to compete with those three other teams.  I think it speaks more volume about the Lions,Tigers, and Red Wings then it does to discredit the Pistons. But being impartial the Pistons aren’t at that level in the present (although historically with three championships they are near the top) and that’s okay all things considered. 

    • Aug 17, 20122:08 pm
      by labatts


      It might be interesting to see the survey results after this year.  I hope I am wrong, but I think the Wings be in for a rough year. 

    • Aug 17, 20124:44 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah … if they did it around 03 or 04, the Palace was full and the place to be and Comerica Park was a ghost town. The Lions never got to the point where the stadium was empty, but the fact that they eventually weren’t selling out Ford Field was huge. If the Pistons win, fans will come back. And I do still think the Palace is great for general experience going to a game. Getting in and out is much more convenient there than any of the other buildings.

  • Aug 17, 20124:17 pm
    by sop


    1. First reponse: Uhhh yeah the Pistons are the only non-playoff team in Detroit right now.
    2. On second thought: NBA ball is usually 2nd to college ball in Michigan and the Midwest in general (unlike where I live, here in Boston)
    And… the recent lockout plus the blockbuster “trades” (read bs big market robberies/conspiracies) have made the NBA less popular in the medium to smaller markets like MI.
    3. But wait a minute: “Worst front office (80.8 percent)” is ridiculous. Joe D and company had one major bad move since Darko (trading Billups for cap space, 2008) and it led directly to another (having no one to spend on who was worth the money, Summer 2009). (yes Afflalo was a mistake but an understandable one) Dumars created a team that went to six straight Eastern conference championships without drafting a superstar and only the Red Wings have won since the Pistons did in ’04. There is no way you put that at the bottom. People in MI just don’t understand the NBA or how bad the Tigers and Lions have been the past 20 years.

    • Aug 17, 20124:35 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah, I agree on the front office thing. I get a lot of responses — if your team is not currently winning and other teams in your market are, then it’s unavoidable that you are going to be unpopular. When the Pistons were winning and Tigers were losing, those responses would’ve been flipped.

      But you’re totally right on front office. The Tigers and Lions front offices deserve credit for pulling those franchises out of awful periods back into respectability. Dumars/Pistons actually did that and made it all the way to winning a title. I’d definitely rank Wings/Pistons as 1-2 in front offices. If the Pistons keep losing and Tigers/Lions keeping winning, that certainly would change though.

      • Aug 17, 20125:23 pm
        by Otis


        Every front office in this town besides the Wings’ basically stinks.
        To say that Joe made “one” mistake, joining it to the entirely separate subsequent (and far more devatating) mistake is absurd. Then he adds the bit about dumping Afflalo as if it’s a footnote to dump a guy like that while he was still on his rookie deal, in order to free up a speck of cap space and open up playing time for a $60 million disaster. SOP’s evaluation is sugar-coated and sad. It also ignores opportunities Dumars passed up. Instead of saying Dumars really made only one mistake since Darko (2003), why not ask what honest-to-goodness accomplishments he’s had since signing Dyess (2005)? All he’s done right is make first-round selections that I hope anybody in his position would have made.
        Not to mention, the number of mistakes (which by SOP’s own admission is more than one) isn’t everything. Not all mistakes are equal. If the Thunder’s GM traded Durant for Austin Daye, that would be one mistake too, but he’d deserve the electric chair.

        • Aug 17, 20126:48 pm
          by sop


          Otis, you want to know about accomplishments since the Billups/capspace debacle?
          Dumars and co. have…
          1. been solid drafters:
          2009: Yes Austin Daye has proved to be a bad gamble at this point but don’t forget in June of ’09 Stuckey still looked like a solid pg option so passing on Holiday, Lawson and Teague was understandable. Daye was a very intriguing prospect that most scouts had ranked right where he got drafted. Also Joe picked up Jerebko who probably would go about 15 if the draft was redone. (BTW the Spurs barely gave Dejaun Blair a qualifying offer this summer so don’t tell me about how great he is)
          2010: Sure Monroe falling was luck and the ineptitude of other GM but that just proves the point.
          2011: By drafting Knight the Pistons front offices shows that they are willing to hone up to previous misunderstandings, that Stuckey could be a full time point, and correct them. They pick the BPA (yes Knight will be a better pick than Faried in the long run) and don’t reach. They also pick up a guy who coming out of high school was ranked #4 in the nation and had an amazing college career in the second round, Singler.
          2012: Nobody knows how great Drummond will be in 3 or 4 years but you have to acknowledge that waiting for guys who inexplicably slide from top 3 picks has worked out pretty well lately. English also looks strong for a 44th pick.
          This is not to mention that Tay at 23, Maxiell at 26, Stuckey at 15 and Afflalo at 27 were all nice picks.
          2. have show class with poor attitudes: Joe has consistently sided with his coaches at least until the end of the season and hasn’t let the players dictate how the franchise has been run. During and after the walkout he stood by Kuester as much as he could and showed class in keeping him til the end of the season. He also bought out Rip’s terrible contract getting rid of his poor leadership and sending a message to remaining and future veterans. 
          3. not rushed to correct mistakes but have corrected them: On first glance this may seem to be an error but considering how many other teams compound their mistakes by taking on worse contracts in order make corrections, Detroit has actually done well. The Pistons haven’t jumped to pay big money for a big man to fill a temporary gap, but instead are looking to develop cheap young players. As a result the Pistons one of the franchises in the best shape under the new CBA going forward and have quickly regained cap space to use next summer. By dealing BG Dumars has shown he can admit a mistake and correct it.
          I hope you find these accomplishments encouraging Otis but it’s likely you will still be negative. Just remember that even Danny Ainge traded away Perkins and RC Bufford took Richard Jefferson’s terrible contract. It’s impossible not to make a lot of mistakes a GM, but Joe’s calculated risks have given him a pretty solid record of success.

          • Aug 17, 201211:12 pm
            by Otis

            1) Not once, not ONCE! has Stuckey looked like a solid PG option for more than three or four straight games in his entire career. He’s got no point guard kills! Poor court vision, not a good passer, not adept making good decisions with the ball, always looking to score and yet a bad shooter. He’s just a big guy who’s a good ballhandler as long as he’s going in a straight line to the basket, never looking to drive-and-kick, and he’s always been a terrible finisher. He’s one of the last guys I’d want running my offense and possibly the most predictable player in the league. Ty Lawson was probably the right pick in 2009, given what we knew then, but Joe had just gone and built the team around Stuckey and surrounded him with other (incredibly overpriced) shooting guards. Who the heck picks a PROJECT small forward in the middle of the first round?? It was an awful pick, and the team’s fecklessness at developing young talent.
            And all of this points to the cluelessness of the front office. They mis-evaluated everything. Stuckey would have made a fine sixth man spark plug scorer off the bench like he thrived as in his rookie season, but if you watched him play at all and thought he had a lot of potential as a PG, you’re poor at player evaluation. Joe was also in denial about the state of the team. He didn’t realize he was still (or maybe “already” is more appropriate) rebuilding, after having one of the worst offseasons for a team in recent memory. So immediate, punitive and long-lasting was the damage that it put a basketball town’s fanbase on life support. No rebuilding team takes a guy like Daye at that spot. Doesn’t have a position, thin as a rail, weaknesses far outweigh strengths, can’t contribute now and might not ever, but if against all odds absolutely everything works out just so, he’ll be a very poor man’s Kevin Durant. Joe could have afforded that gamble back in his heyday when he had a great veteran team, but it’s looking very much like a complete waste of a pick.
            I’m not doubting Joe’s track record. He won a championship and built a rock solid core with five good decisions ten years ago. But it’s not ten years ago anymore. It’s this year. I’m no longer interested in Joe Dumars’s reputation, which was established over the course of three years a decade ago. Reputations don’t make good decisions or win games. Joe hasn’t made an impressive move since signing McDyess in 2005. If you’re “impressed” that he picked Monroe in 2010, Knight in 2011 or Drummond this year, you’re easily impressed. They were predictable, easy picks to make. I suspect and hope you would have made the same picks if given the chance. And if you wouldn’t have, God help you I don’t know what to say. If you can use a computer, you could tell that these were the right guys to pick.
            But I get it. You want to like Joe, so you like Joe. No matter how bad his decisions looked before we got to see them blow up in his face. He won a championship, so he’s everyone’s hero. He can keep his job forever like royalty or a Supreme Court Justice or something, regardless of what he does. Ten years ago is ten years ago. I have as much faith and trust in him as our GM as I would if he were our starting SG. And he won TWO championships when that was his job!

          • Aug 18, 20127:26 am
            by sop

            Otis, your question about who picks a project small forward in the middle of the 1st round is odd considering Terrence Williams and Earl Clark were both considered project SFs and went before Daye, while James Johnson went directly after him. Now none of those players have amounted to much either but GMs draft for length and shooting all the time and Daye had both. Daye’s failures have mostly come because he refuses make the switch to PF and the necessary muscle mass. HE THINKS that he is Durant and that is the problem. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have potential  
            Please don’t forget that when Karen Davidson became the owner the order of the day was to spend as little as possible and wait for a new owner. A GM can only function within the restraints of the system the owner puts in place. (see Dallas or Charlotte for examples)

          • Aug 20, 201211:36 am
            by Keith

            Using Davidson’s death as an excuse is faulty. Karen took over in March 2009. If the order of business was really to spend as little as possible, Joe wouldn’t have been able to go out in the 2009 offseason only a few months later and give out the worst contracts the Pistons have ever had. Joe actually had to actively convince Karen that it was a smart investment in the middle of a sale. That was ALL Joe’s fault. The fact that he probably had to work twice as hard to hand out those terrible contracts should be twice as damning.

            I think the greatest weakness of Joe D as a manager is lack of culture. He has an idea about what the Pistons are, but not a firm foundation as to what the Pistons should be. Look at the top front offices around the league, and you can see a consistent vision from owner to GM to coach to players. Davidson had a vision and pushed it to Joe, who went out and accomplished it with a stong defensive coach (Larry Brown) and smart veterans. Once Brown left, the link to the players was gone, and it certainly appeared that the team didn’t have the same heart. While scrambling through new coaches, Joe kept the aging vets, but lost the vision. By the time the core was too old to stay at the top, Joe was left with no coaches, no direction, no owner, and a hodgepodge of draft picks. In rebuilding thus far we’ve only made good choices in the draft precisely because BPA takes all the organization of talent out of the equation.

            I don’t think Joe is a terrible evaluator (he generally drafts well), but I think his face of the franchise status belies his actual skills. He’s a better employee than manager. Tell him what you want the team to be and how you want to be it, and he’ll go out and make it happen. Ask him to define the culture and design a team himself and we get a patchwork of half tries and band-aid fixes. Basically, Joe D is a reactionary GM. He doesn’t fix something until it’s completely broken, and he doesn’t take many proactive steps to keep a team healthy more than a year or two down the line.

  • Aug 17, 20125:10 pm
    by Otis


    @vic: Winning doesn’t change *everything* if you’re an informed critical thinker. I think there’s a big portion of the Pistons fanbase that won’t forget what an unnecessarily long, painful, shoddy road this team took to get back to respectability (if and when that ever happens), one riddled with squandered assets, head-scratching decisions and missed opportunities.
    Short of creating a dynasty that wins not 1, not 2, not 3, not 7 championships (you get the idea), the way this second attempt at a rebuild will always be tainted.

  • Aug 17, 201211:22 pm
    by Mark


    who cares, detroit sports fans have always been confused. Even when Pistons were  contending for championships you had fans who cared more about 0-16 Lions.

  • Aug 17, 201211:39 pm
    by qm_22


    This isn’t really surprising. The Karen Davidson owner transfer era just ended and there has never been a strong NBA support that I have seen. Culturally, our area is represented as one that likes what have been more traditionally white sports.
    1. When the Pistons were good there were a lot of transfer fans who were more of football, hockey, and baseball followers, and frankly, IMO, they sucked. They knew nothing about basketball, and it was horrible seeing marketing oriented around such yokels. You could visibly see the Pistons stars (like Chuancey) dumb themselves down to satisfy the fan representatives.
    2. The fact that the Pistons have a last-place rank reinforces the poor value of the fans available for the Pistons. If they go into rebuilding despite being a flagship NBA franchise they lose most support = something wrong with this as your fanbase.
    That said, there are signs Tom Gores may reinvent the Pistons and totally rebuild the fanbase. That’s actually something I’m excited about, and something I do not expect we’d have a chance of with Mike Illitch as owner. Gores seems like a pretty anti-yokel type of guy who wants to build a modern palace and invest in the development of quality in all team operations. The lack of cheapness in management can attract new fans as well as prevent wanton pandering to non-basketball fans. As the post above me said, people followed the 0-16 Lions with much more concern and scrutiny than they did for a team that went through 8 sustained years of success than the majority of NBA teams have had in their entire history.

  • Aug 17, 201211:52 pm
    by qm_22


    ^I forgot to add in my last post that I believe it was on Pistonpowered that I read about Gores vision of brand building last season. One thing mentioned was how he went away from the cheap ploys used during Karen Davidson’s time to make quick money and attempt to fill more seats at any cost. Since then we have seen Gores make commitments to quality and offer a promising attempt at rebuilding.
    I really hope Gores reinvents the brand. There needs to be a different fanbase. We put the much disparaged Laker fan base to shame with our lack of basketball passion. We’re better at having sell outs and loudly chanting crowds when we have a title team… as if that counts for anything. We also excel at small town crowd mobbery like when we have a chance to find meaning in winning a basketball game over cities like Los Angeles, and are good for cheering louder at other sports games being played on the JumboTron.
    I’m now reminded of a Mitch Albom interview of Gores right after it was announced he bought the team. Mystifyingly, Albom gave Gores a stern warning that although he may have purchased the team, it doesn’t belong to him. “It belongs to us”, Albom said, referring to Pistons fans. Pretty laughable, in light of how the general fan representation is demonstrated to suck for the Pistons. I kind of hate how Albom seemed to glorify this same fanbase, lol.

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