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Dennis Rodman jersey-retirement game ticket winner

Congratulations to Alex Brown for winning the tickets provided by StubHub.

Want to win four tickets to Dennis Rodman number-retirement game?

The Pistons are retiring Dennis Rodman’s number when they play the Bulls on Friday. It’s probably Detroit’s biggest game of the season, and thanks to StubHub, you could win four tickets.

To be eligible, follow these three easy steps:

1. Follow PistonPowered on Twitter.

2. Tweet the following:

RT @PistonPowered Want to win four tickets to Dennis Rodman jersey retirement game? RT and follow instructions here http://bit.ly/f5UF7k

3. E-mail PistonPoweredContests@gmail.com with your Twitter handle and mailing address.

Formally introducing Jakob Eich

In December, some guy named Jakob e-mailed me about this post he had just written showing how Greg Monroe could be effective in the high post. I was blown away. I immediately linked the post, and we’ve e-mailed back and forth several times since.

That was Jakob Eich – the newest member of the PistonPowered team.

From Detroit Bad Boys to the Detroit Free Press, Pistons coverage is plentiful online. But one area I always found lacking was Xs-and-Os analysis. Thankfully, that’s Jakob’s specialty.

I always learn something from his screenshot-based posts, and he’s bringing them to PistonPowered as regular guest posts. In fact, he’s already written a few. Jakob will still post from time to time at his original blog, Bynumite Blog, so make sure to keep an eye on that.

I know I speak for Patrick and Graham when I say we’re all very excited to have Jakob on board. I asked Jakob to share a few details about himself so everyone can get to know him. As usual, he went above and beyond:

I was born in 1988 in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg has a population of 1.8 mil. Most Americans think of it as a smallish town somewhere in Germany, because they have mostly heard of Berlin, Cologne or Munich. Just like you have lots of different regions in the USA, Germany has lots of different areas as well. Hamburg is not really comparable with Munich. The German stereotype is we wear leather-pants all the time, drink beer and are rural – at least that is what I experienced during my stay in the U.S. In Hamburg, we don’t have any of that. It is a city just like an American city with similar size, we have McDonalds Burger King and so on.

My parents both enjoy athletics. When I was 4 or 5 years old, they, of course, put me in soccer, which is the favorite pastime in good old Germany. I immediately loved it, but I also started pursuing other sports like ping pong, badminton, golf, judo, tennis and gymnastics. Basketball is just not that big over here. We don’t get the NBA on regular cable, and when I was young, the only known German basketball player was Detlef Schrempf. Michael Jordan was an icon over here, too – actually, he was more of a myth. In third grade, we had horrible baskets at my school, and one month the so-called “soccer cage” was closed, so we had to find another activity for our breaks. We started playing basketball. We did not really play basketball, but something similar to horse. In my memory, I usually beat my friends, but they might like to tell you a different story.

In fifth grade, I finally joined a team and started playing real basketball. I was a real big kid at the age of 13. I was 6-foot-1 and weighed nearly 200 pounds. The only team was made for guys born in 1985, so I was three years younger. Nevertheless, I still went to practice every time and worked really hard. I was far from the best, but it felt quite great not being the tallest for once in my life. I had to earn respect instead of being given the respect due to my height. I never bullied anyone, I was a nice kid, I just had always been bigger. Later, I went to a different club a little further away, SC Rist Wedel. They have one of the best youth programs in the country. Several national players have been with the team, such as Marvin Willoughby, he played with Dirk Nowitzki as well and is now a tutor to immigrants in the area. He is a great guy! I played competitive basketball for three season there, playing in state championships and even in a national championship once. I wasn’t the best player on the team, I was a rotation player, sometimes starting five. I didn’t grow much after my 13th birthday!

I then decided to go abroad for one year of school. I had always been fascinated with the American way of life, and my preference for basketball and rap-music only added to it. My parents ran the New York City Marathon in 1999, and even though I didn’t speak English at the time, I was amazed with the big buildings and friendliness of the people. My sister participated in an exchange program in 2001 and again, I was fascinated and decided I wanted to do the same. I was picked (sounds like the draft) by a lovely host-family called the Lincolns who live in Durand, a few miles outside of Flint. They are the kindest people out there, and I appreciate everything they did and have done for me. Arriving in a strange country at the age of 17, thousands of miles away from home is an odd experience. They made the transition as easy as possible, and it’s a nice feeling to have a second family like that. I truly consider them family. Some people aren’t even blessed with one, I have two. My hostmom came to all of the soccer and basketball games, and every time I got hurt, she would jump out of her seat and be completely miserable until she saw I wasn’t actually hurt. My mom was always worried about me being so far away and not being able to see how I was doing. When she realized I had great support, she calmed down. I made the varsity team in basketball. I was fairly proud of that, although we didn’t win a game all season long.

Prior to my exchange year, I considered myself a Minnesota Timberwolves fan. I wasn’t as much a fan of Minnesota, but of KG! This guy was amazing! He played my position, but he could do it all. My teammates were fascinated with guys like Iverson, Bryant or T-Mac. I was always rooting for KG! During the 04-05 season I started watching NBA games for the first time. I remember watching the Pistons-Spurs game 7 in 2005. I knew then I was going to Michigan. I stayed up with a friend until 6 a.m. to watch the game and the ceremony. Had I only known I was about to fall in love with Detroit Basketball. During my exchange year, I didn’t miss one game on television. It was the year we won 64 games, and I will never cope with the loss against the Heat in the ECF! I believe in team basketball, and I believed in all the guys on the team! I talked to them during the games, and for every game I wore my ‘Sheed jersey in order to show support. This team to this day represents everything I want from basketball. I will never forget the great games, the ball movement, Rip’s buzzer beater over the Celtics with 0.8 seconds on the clock. The Pistons and Kobe’s January were truly great.

Right now, I’m back living in Hamburg. Whenever I go back to the US, I kind of feel like an alien. It’s not the same. Maybe I have changed, maybe the people have changed, probably both. You have two or three weeks to see your friends and after that, you are gone. You don’t get the chance to spend much time, just a little bit. You stay in touch via Facebook and try your best. I’m studying English and Economics and I’m aspiring to become a writer, hopefully a basketball writer. I might get a simple job somewhere and just live my life and be content. I would like to pursue my dream, though. I am 22, I won’t become a basketball player anymore, I’m still playing a lot and I still love it, I won’t make it to the big leagues, I know it! I especially like analyzing games and looking at the details. When I started doing that on Bynumite Blog, I didn’t think anyone would appreciate it, turns out, there are more Pistons lunatics out there than I thought. I just enjoy breaking down plays and sharing my knowledge and passion for the game with as many people as possible. The more the merrier, right?

Alright, I hope that was enough of an introduction. Have a great day!

Pistons-Heat tickets winner

Congratulations to Tim McGorisk for winning the tickets to tonight’s game.

Win two tickets to tonight’s Detroit Pistons-Miami Heat game from StubHub

StubHub really came through with two great-sounding* seats for tonight’s Heat-Pistons game. They’re in VIP Courtside, Row D.

*Disclaimer: I actually have no idea where the seats are. Sometimes, the section and row of good seats can sound like the section and row of bad seats, and vice versa. But these sure sound good.

Want to win them?

Simply like PistonPowered on Facebook and e-mail your name (so I can verify) to PistonPoweredcontests@gmail.com. I’ll randomly pick a winner from the respondents later in the day.

Pistons-Knicks tickets winner

Congratulations to Brian Pouget for winning tickets from StubHub to tonight’s Pistons-Knicks game. Tracy McGrady and Chris Wilcox were correct answers.

Acknowledging a mistake

These types of posts are never easy to write, and I hope I won’t ever have to do it again.

I became aware Tuesday this site may have hosted plagiarized content, when Mike Payne of Detroit Bad Boys created this post. He compared his Detroit Bad Boys bio (on the left side of their site) to Steve Kays’ bio on PistonPowered:

Mike Payne is a hopeless NBA addict and Detroit Pistons fan who doesn’t actually believe other sports exist.

Steve Kays is an NBA addict, writer, podcaster, and Detroit Pistons fan who doesn’t actually believe other sports exist.

I take any allegations about the integrity of our content extremely seriously, and I immediately began investigating. I started by talking to Mike and Steve to figure out, the best I could, what happened.

As Steve explained, he had written the rest of his bio then read the “Detroit Pistons fan who doesn’t actually believe other sports exist” portion of Mike’s bio. He liked that line, didn’t really think about the need to credit it and said if someone borrowed part of his bio, he’d feel flattered. He also said he regretted not thinking through the importance of crediting Mike and realized he had made an error.

I appreciate Steve’s openness, but I’m more impressed with his swift actions to correct his mistake. He apologized publicly to Mike and changed his bio here, at his own site and on MLive.

Patrick, Graham and I independently reviewed Steve’s work here and on other sites. None of us found any other examples of Steve improperly using other people’s words or ideas. In fact, while I can’t speak for Patrick and Graham, I found the opposite. I saw a long track record of Steve consistently and carefully attributing when appropriate.

I believe this was an isolated mistake, and I don’t believe he’ll ever make a similar mistake again. Still, it was a mistake that should have consequences. Steve will represent his own site, DetroitBasketball.net, in our annual Pistons roundtable, which begins today, but he won’t write for PistonPowered for the rest of the regular season.

I realize this may make it more difficult for some of you to trust Steve’s work, and I completely understand that. For those of you who feel that way, I ask you to consider the context. Steve made a mistake, but we all make mistakes. It shouldn’t tarnish his reputation as a writer beyond repair. As someone who has reviewed this incident extremely earnestly, I believe Steve deserves a second chance at regaining your trust. I hope you’ll join me in granting him that.

And I don’t say that to brush this error under the rug. I take plagiarism extremely seriously, and I think you deserved an explanation about what happened. We will never simply delete the offending portion of stolen content on this site and move on. We will continue to be as transparent as possible about our processes.

I’m sorry this happened, and we’ll attempt to ensure nothing similar happens in the future. If you have any questions, you can reach me at danfeld11@gmail.com.

Hawks ticket winners and trivia answers

Congratulations to Tom Postema and Kevin Zhang for winning the StubHub! tickets for last night’s Pistons-Hawks game. Here are the trivia answers:

1. The Hawks eliminated the Pistons from the first round of the playoffs in 1997 and 1999. Who led Atlanta in points for both those series?

Steve Smith

2. Name the five people who have written posts for PistonPowered.

Lisa Gentile, Eric Woodyard, Graham Simmington, Patrick Hayes and Dan Feldman

3. Of the players the Hawks acquired in the trade that brought Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons (not players later taken by draft picks Atlanta received in the deal), who scored the most points for the Hawks?

Bob Sura

Win four tickets for Monday’s Detroit Pistons-Atlanta Hawks game!

Thanks to StubHub! for providing PistonPowered readers a chance to win four tickets in Section 120B, Row HHH to Monday’s Detroit Pistons-Atlanta Hawks game.

Once again, I’ll give the tickets away by trivia questions. I’m splitting the tickets into two groups of two, and if you answer two of my three questions correctly, you’ll get one entry into the lottery for a set of tickets. If you answer all three correctly, you get another entry into the lottery. So, if you answer two correctly, you can win two tickets. But if you answer all three, you could win up to all four.

  1. The Hawks eliminated the Pistons from the first round of the playoffs in 1997 and 1999. Who led Atlanta in points for both those series?
  2. Name the five people who have written posts for PistonPowered.
  3. Of the players the Hawks acquired in the trade that brought Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons (not players later taken by draft picks Atlanta received in the deal), who scored the most points for the Hawks?

E-mail PistonPoweredContests@gmail.com with answers to win!

PistonPowered 2.0

Well, PistonPowered has finally gotten a long-overdue update. We’ve made some obvious aesthetic changes that, frankly, make me slightly embarrassed to be the person mostly responsible for the look of the previous version. And we’ve fixed a few bugs behind the scenes that should make life for Dan and Patrick a bit easier. Here are some of the things you, dear reader, will probably notice almost immediately:

Social Media and Feeds

They’re the wave of the future (or in 2011, maybe the present), so we’ve more prominently featured buttons for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and our RSS Feed in the upper right corner of the page. In addition, each post now has its own comments RSS feed that you can use to easily keep up with the comments for any article you want to discuss further.

Menu Bar

Most of the features in the menu bar haven’t gone anywhere, but because I hate floating menus, we completely changed the way they’re displayed. Instead of hovering over an expandable menu item (now marked with a pair of "↓" characters), you can now click it once to display its contents, and again to hide them. This should make these features actually usable on a touch screen, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally moving your mouse the wrong way and having them disappear.

A couple things have moved around though. The “Archives” section now has a list of all post categories, as well as links to the last six monthly archive pages. Our search fields also live there, as well as links to RSS feeds for entries and comments.

Finally, the explanations that used to reside under “More PistonPowered” are now included in the “About” section, and you can still go there if you ever need a refresher on all the different ways you can ingest our content.

Commenting

The new design has resolved our longstanding issue with threaded comments. Not only have they been re-enabled, but they should actually be legible this time around, and you can reply up to five levels deep.

Feedback

We always love to hear any of your questions, concerns, or feedback, so send us an email (pistonpowered [at] gmail [dot] com) if you have any to offer. Of course, we love hearing how great we are too, and compliments are especially welcome.