Monday, February 28, 2011


In Play Magazine

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The following statement was released this afternoon by President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars.

“First of all, John Kuester has my full support as we try to make a push towards the postseason over these last 21 games. We’ve had a long and proud history of being a first class organization that handles its business the right way. We expect everyone that represents the Detroit Pistons to do so in a first class manner and that will continue as we move forward.”

Friday, February 11, 2011


In Play Magazine

Forward Helped The Pistons Win Back-to-Back NBA Championships

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club will retire Dennis Rodman’s #10 jersey during a halftime ceremony on April 1, 2011 when the Pistons host the Chicago Bulls at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“I’m pleased that we are honoring Dennis for his accomplishments as a player and his contributions to the success of the organization,” said Joe Dumars, President of Basketball Operations for the Pistons. “His jersey retirement is well deserved.”

Drafted 27th overall by the Pistons in the 1986 NBA Draft, Rodman was a key member of the Pistons ‘Bad Boys’ teams that led the franchise to back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. An elite defender and rebounder, he averaged 8.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while shooting 54 percent from the field in 549 games as a Piston. Rodman led Detroit in rebounding four consecutive seasons (1989-1993) and was the league’s top rebounder from 1991-93 when he averaged 18.7 and 18.3 rebounds per game, respectively. He was a two-time NBA All-Star while playing for Detroit (1990, 1992) and was named to the All-NBA Third Team following the 1991-92 season. Rodman was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991 and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive first team for five consecutive seasons (1989-93).

“Individual accomplishments have never been a big deal for me as a player, but to be honored for my contributions in this way by the Detroit Pistons organization is truly humbling,” Rodman said in a statement issued through his manager, Steven Simon of Prince Marketing Group. “This organization gave me a chance to blossom regardless of my size or what school I came from. My only regret is that the man that believed in me more than I did myself, Chuck Daly, is no longer with us. I’m sure he’ll be with us that evening in his own way.”

The 6-7, 210-pound forward, nicknamed “The Worm” during his playing days, ranks fourth among all-time franchise leaders in total rebounds (6,299) and still holds team records for most rebounds in a game [34, vs. Indiana (3/4/92)], most offensive rebounds in a game [18, vs. Indiana (3/4/92)], most defensive rebounds in a game [22, at Sacramento (3/14/92)] and most games with 25-plus rebounds (15). He also recorded 30 or more rebounds three times and holds the team record for highest field goal percentage in one season at 59.5 percent (1988-89).

Rodman was traded to the San Antonio Spurs on October 1, 1993 and also played with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. He played a key role in the Bulls’ three consecutive championships from 1996-1998 and holds the NBA records for most consecutive seasons leading the league in rebounds [7, (1991-97)] and most seasons leading the league in defensive rebounds [3, (91-92, 93-94, 97-98)]. Rodman picked up two more NBA All-Defensive First Team honors after leaving Detroit (1995, 1996), a NBA Second-Team All-Defensive honor in 1994 and an All-NBA Third Team honor in 1995. Overall, he played in 911 career NBA games averaging 7.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 31.7 minutes per game.

“We are excited to welcome Dennis Rodman back to The Palace and honor him with his jersey retirement,” said Alan Ostfield, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. “We look forward to hosting an exciting evening for Dennis as well as our fans.”

Friday, February 4, 2011

Monroe Establishing Himself As A Starter

Monroe Establishing Himself As A Starter
By Steve St-Pierre

The Pistons are clearly going through a rebuilding process. The bad part of that is seeing the team move away from the veteran players who helped bring Detroit the 2004 NBA Championship. On the bright side, though, the team is seeing great success out of their younger players like rookie Greg Monroe.

After a slow start to the season, Monroe has worked his way into the Pistons’ starting lineup, shifting between power forward and center. He’s greatly improved both his hands and footwork. Not only has his team noticed, but the entire league has acknowledged his improvement, so much so that he has been named to the 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at All-Star Weekend later this month in Los Angeles.

“He’s such a refreshing player to be around because he just wants to play basketball,” says John Kuester, Pistons Head Coach. “It’s pretty impressive to see him continually grow.”

Monroe’s been consistent at rebounding as well as moving without the ball, finding open paths to the rim and getting a variety of scoring opportunities.

“My teammates find me, and that’s basically it,” Monroe says. “I’m just trying to get myself in position to get easy baskets, and they’re making great passes that find me.”

To his credit, Monroe’s been able to adjust to extended minutes. With recent injuries to veteran Ben Wallace, Monroe’s had to shoulder the load in the post.

“I’ve got to come out and perform,” he says. “I’m not worried about my legs right now. It’s my first year, so I’m trying to produce.”

The rookie’s opened many eyes on the court, and his teammates acknowledge that he’s increasing his workload and improving day by day.

“I wouldn’t say he’s becoming one of the leaders,” says point guard Tracy McGrady. “He’s still a baby. The guy ain’t 21 yet. He’s still got a lot to learn in this league, but he’s progressing. He’s playing well, great energy, he’s learning the game and he’s going to continue to get better because he works.”

Monroe admits that having a teammate like Wallace has been extremely beneficial towards his development as an NBA player.

“It’s been great,” Monroe says of Big Ben. “He’s been out for a while, but it’s always good to have somebody that’s out here rebounding, great defender, somebody who can play off you, very unselfish. It’s always good to have a player like him on the floor.”

Unfortunately, the Pistons are beginning to transition themselves away from some of their veteran players. In fact, former starting shooting guard Rip Hamilton claims to have played his last game in a Detroit uniform. He had been rumored to be close to being traded, but the deal fell through. As a result, the team has opted to bench the disgruntled veteran in an effort to give extra playing time to younger players. The team has even moved him to the inactive list, meaning he will be in dress clothes during games.

Many players have voiced their frustrations throughout the season regarding not only Hamilton’s situation but even the constant shuffling of the rotation.

“That’s none of my business,” McGrady says. “I mean, really, I don’t get involved in that. But at the end of the day, we support Rip.”

“It’s tough, but it’s part of being a professional,” adds reserve guard Will Bynum. “We get paid a lot of money to play this game, so all I can do is stay ready…I’m 100 percent behind it.”

Kuester insists he’s just searching for the best combination of players throughout his entire roster.

“Anybody that wears a uniform in the NBA (has) to be ready to play…” Kuester says. “…We’ve talked about this throughout the season. Sometimes you’ve just got to have a gut where you’re gonna ride the people that are playing well.”

“We have so many weapons on this team,” adds forward Charlie Villanueva. “Sometimes, we’re going to need something from each and every guy.”

Though the team has essentially gone with a youth movement, the Pistons haven’t completely given up on all their veterans. Besides Wallace, they have depended greatly on the guidance of McGrady and longtime forward Tayshaun Prince. Prince has been Detroit’s best all-around player, while McGrady has become the team’s primary ball-handler and floor leader.

“He’s really done a nice job of keeping the pace of the game,” Kuester says of McGrady. “That’s one of the things I love about him…he’s always probing the court to see where there’s a mismatch.”

T-Mac’s conditioning continues to improve, as he said it would when he first signed with the Pistons this past summer.

“My legs are starting to feel normal,” he says. “I feel like I’m getting my bounce back, so it’s starting to show a little bit.”

“I think one of the things that’s evolved about him is, listening to him, how he talks to his teammates,” Kuester explains. “The other thing that’s very impressive is he was a superstar, and he has checked his ego. He really doesn’t care whether he scores. He wants to make sure that everybody’s involved.”

As the organization continues to steer itself into a new direction, the goal remains to compete for a postseason berth in a weak Eastern Conference. As up and down as the Pistons have played this year, they still have a chance to finish the season strong.

“Momentum can change like that,” Kuester says. “Momentum can change from play to play, to quarter to quarter, to a half, to a game and then all of a sudden things change.”

“For us to make a playoff push, we’ve got to step it up,” adds McGrady. “We’ve got to play a lot better on both ends of the court, and the effort’s definitely got to be there.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


In Play Magazine

All Proceeds Help Pay for Memberships and Programming for Youth in Need

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the 2011 Pistons Care Telethon benefiting all Boys & Girls Clubs in Michigan will take place on Friday, March 18. The team is devoting the entire day leading up to the Pistons game against the New York Knicks, including their in-arena presentation and game broadcasts, to raise money for Boys & Girls Clubs. The telethon begins at 5 a.m. with live radio and television broadcasts at The Palace and runs throughout the day, culminating with the Pistons-Knicks game at 7:30 p.m., broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket.

Boys & Girls Clubs will utilize all proceeds from this year’s telethon to funding memberships, programs and initiatives to help children enhance their lives in the areas of character and leadership; education and career development; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and health and life skills. Many Michigan children struggle with the effects of single-parent households and families dealing with economic struggles, substance abuse, violence and poverty. The team and the entire Palace Sports & Entertainment organization are asking for the support of the Pistons community.

“We are excited to announce the Boys & Girls Clubs of Michigan as the beneficiary of the 2011 Pistons Care Telethon,” said Karen Davidson, owner of the Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment. “Bill Davidson’s legacy of philanthropy lives on through Pistons Care and Pistons-Palace Foundation’s community outreach efforts.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan reports that its members have a proven track record of excellence both scholastically and professionally with 90% of members graduating from high school and 95% of those members going on to higher education. Furthermore, Club alumni report earning an average household income that is 39% higher than the national average. The cost of an annual membership for a child is only $50, however the actual cost of delivering a year of service is $500 per child. Members can participate in many programs and activities with each receiving the individual attention they need when they visit their Club, which is often the third most frequented location in that child’s life besides their home and school. Members are given the opportunity to interact with professional staff that serve as much-needed role models and mentors and encourage them to set goals, build on their strengths and fulfill their potential.

“We have a unique opportunity as a professional sports organization to give back and make a consequential and lasting impact on people’s lives,” said Alan Ostfield, President & CEO of the Pistons and PS&E. “Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe and developmental environment for kids when they need it most and The Palace family is dedicated to providing services for youth statewide during the 2011 calendar year."

Donations can be made immediately by visiting and clicking the “Donate Now” button. Online donations will be accepted until March 18. Donors interested in participating on the day of the telethon will be provided a toll free number to call throughout the day. To learn about other fundraising programs that allow individuals, businesses, schools or churches to get involved, please call the Pistons community relations department at 248-377-0100.

“We would like thank the entire Pistons organization for its commitment and dedication in supporting Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state of Michigan as this year’s beneficiary of the Pistons Care Telethon. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs across the state serve some 100,000 children annually, ages 6-18, 1st -12th grades,” said Len Krichko, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan.

In 2008, the Pistons became the first professional sports team in Detroit and in the NBA to present an entire home game as a charitable fundraiser and since then has raised more than $1.3 million in pledges through the annual Pistons Care Telethon.

Monroe Selected For Rookie Challenge

Steve St-Pierre
Sports Writer
In Play! Magazine

The NBA has announced that Pistons rookie center Greg Monroe has been selected to play in the 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at NBA All-Star 2011 in Los Angeles. The game will be played on Friday, Feb. 18 and televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET.

The participants in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. Monroe will represent the Pistons a year after Jonas Jerebko helped lead the rookies to their first win over the sophomores since 2002. Monroe, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, will likely come off the bench in favor of DeMarcus Cousins, the fifth overall pick this past summer.

Monroe continues to produce for the Pistons this season in a starting role. He appears set to remain in Detroit's starting five going forward.

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