Season Preview: Detroit Pistons

October 10, 2009
The Pistons combine luck and leprechauns in their playing style, or maybe it's just leprechauns?

The Pistons combine luck and leprechauns in their playing style, or maybe it's just leprechauns?

History:

Founded in 1941 by Fred Zollner, owner of the Zollner Corporation, the Detroit Pistons were initially called the “Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons,” as we have previously covered on “Inside the Name.”

They joined the National Basketball League and quickly became a force in the league, going to the finals for four years in a row, winning two consecutive championships in 1944 and 1945, and posting an obscene .700 winning percentage in their seven years in the NBL.

Fort Wayne then transferred into the Basketball Association of America, going an abysmal 22-38 before the BAA and the NBL decided to merge, creating the NBA we know today. The Pistons strung together 14 consecutive playoff appearances from 1949 to 1963, but only appeared in the NBA Finals twice (in 1955 and 1956), losing both times. Due to some crazy playoffs formats in the infancy of the NBA, the Pistons had only five seasons of a record above .500. In 1957, the Pistons moved to Detroit.

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Inside the Name Part 4

July 28, 2009

When it comes to naming a team in the National Basketball Association, in my opinion, the name can fall in any one of five categories. Unbeknownst to many so-called “fans” of basketball, there is an unspoken hierarchy among the various team names. Well, unspoken until now. In a “Paints in the Point” exclusive, we go…

INSIDE THE NAME

In Part One of “Inside the Name,” we looked at animal team mascots in the Association.

In Part Two of “Inside the Name,” we looked at the assorted alliterative team names found within the Association.

In Part Three of “Inside the Name,” we looked at team names in the Association that actually make sense, given their geographic location.

Another week has passed, and now we move on to…

Part 4: Laziness

Relocation has been a part of the Association since its founding: in the first fifteen years as a league, five teams of the eight that were left in the Association’s smallest configuration relocated to larger cities and one franchise relocated twice.

Upon relocation, some teams opt for new names, but most owners decide to keep the old team name. Perhaps they do so in a foolhardy effort to retain some fans from the place they just wrenched a team from, but I call it by its true name – “laziness.”*

There are two types of laziness when relocating a team: “creative laziness,” and what I like to call “unemployed-uncle-who-can’t-be-bothered-to-even-pry-his-fat-butt-off-of-his-couch-to-defecate laziness.”

The first type is relatively harmless and perhaps not the fault of the owner. Maybe all the good ferocious animals have been taken. Maybe the dictionary required to find a classic alliteration is hard-to-find or too heavy for the feeble hands of an elderly owner to lift. Maybe the new city is not noted for anything that is a suitable basketball team name. These owners merely take the team name and try to make it work in the new city, replete with a new logo.

The second type is the epitome of laziness. It looks something like this:

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