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Top Ten Detroit Pistons of All-Time

detroitpistons old logo

We’ve hit the dog days of the NBA summer.  All the big name free agents have been snatched up.  Summer league is over.  Training camps are still months away.  So, now is the perfect time to reminisce a bit.  The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Denver Nuggets (nee Fort Wayne Pistons).

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog, Don from With Malice, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily and Diego from Leaving It All On The Court.

10) Richard Hamilton – Detroit Pistons – 2002 – present

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of one NBA championship team
- led NBA in three-point field goal % in 2005/06
- three-time NBA All-Star

“He’s stick-thin and wears a goofy facemask with a headband on top of it – not exactly the first guy you’d pick for your squad in a pickup game.  But make no mistake about it – Rip Hamilton is possibly the best player to play off the ball in the NBA since Reggie Miller.” – Jeff Fox

9) Dennis Rodman – Detroit Pistons – 1986 – 1993

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of two NBA championship team
- fourth all-time in offensive rebounds in the NBA
- tenth all-time in rebounds per game in the NBA
- led NBA in games played in 1988/89, 1989/90 & 1990/91
- led NBA in field goal % in 1988/89
- led NBA in offensive rebounds in 1990/91, 1991/92 & 1992/93
- led NBA in defensive rebounds in 1991/92
- led NBA in total rebounds in 1991/92 & 1992/93
- led NBA in rebounds per game in 1991/92 & 1992/93
- two-time NBA All-Star
- two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- five-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- one-time All-NBA selection

“Before he went totally cuckoo bananas, Dennis Rodman was just a hardworking, board-crashing, lockdown defender for the champions Pistons.  Someone vote this man into the Hall of Fame.” Jeff Fox

8) Bill Laimbeer – Detroit Pistons – 1982 – 1994

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of two NBA championship team
- jersey number (40) retired by team
- Pistons all-time leader in rebounding (offensive, defensive & total)
- NBA leader in games played in 1983/84, 1984/85, 1986/87 & 1990/91
- NBA leader in total rebounds in 1983/84 & 1985/86
- NBA leader in defensive rebounds in 1985/86
- NBA leader in rebounds per game in 1985/86
- four-time NBA All-Star

“His physical play overshadows his skills, but Laimbeer brought a lot to the game. He was one of the first centers to have a perimeter game and won the rebounding title in 1985 and ’86.” – Diego Quezada

“I think the Beastie Boys perfectly summed up Bill Laimbeer in their song ‘Tough Guy': Butcher Me On The Court/ Too Many Elbows To Report/ Now You’re Poking Me In The Eye/ Bill Laimbeer Motherf**ker, It’s Time For You To Die/ Tough Guy, It’s Time To Check Yourself/ Dribbling The Ball Like The Biz Can Be Bad For Your Health/ Tough Guy, What You Got To Prove/ Moving Like An Elephant, That’s Your Favorite Move/ Tough Guy, Your Sh*t Is Going Out/ Box Me Out With Your Fat Ass/ Throw Me Around Like A Bounce Pass/ You’ve Got A Tombstone Hanging Over Your Dick/ Cause A Minor Earthquake When You Throw A Moving Pick/ Tough Guy, You Think You’re Like The Shaq/ Keep Running Around, You’ll Catch A Heart Attack/ Tough Guy, What Are You Giving Me/ The Way You’re Playing Ball, You’ll Stop Me From Living B/ Tough Guy, Tough Guy/ Tough Guy, Your Sh*t Is Weak/ Tough Guy, You F**king Freak/ Tough Guy, I’ll Stick Your Sh*t/ Tough Guy” – Jeff Fox

7) Ben Wallace – Detroit Pistons – 2000 – 2006, 2009 – present

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of one NBA champions
- Pistons all-time leader in blocks
- NBA leader in games played in 2005/06
- NBA leader in offensive rebounds in 2002/03 & 2005/06
- NBA leader in defensive rebounds in 2000/01
- NBA leader in total rebounds in 2000/01 & 2002/03
- NBA leader in blocks in 2001/02
- NBA leader in rebounds per game in 2001/02 & 2002/03
- NBA leader in blocks per game in 2001/02
- four-time NBA All-Star
- four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- five-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- five-time All-NBA selection

“A journeyman until he arrived in Detroit, Ben Wallace turned into the top defender of his era while in Motown.” – Jeff Fox

6) Grant Hill – Detroit Pistons – 1994 – 2000

grant hill pistons dunk

Pistons accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1998/99
- five-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- five-time All-NBA selection

“The next Michael Jordan? Not quite, but Hill had his best years in Detroit. He was a multifaceted player who could play the point forward position and be a dominant scorer.” – Diego Quezada

“If it’s hard to remember the player Grant Hill was prior to career-threatening injuries, it’s a little understandable.  But Hill was one of the most exciting players in the NBA when first he joined the Pistons and won the 1995 Rookie of the Year.  He then went on to make five straight All NBA teams.  Immensely popular, Hill even beat out Michael Jordan on the fan balloting for the 95/96 All Star game.” – Don

5) Chauncey Billups – Detroit Pistons – 2002 – 2008

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of one NBA championship team
- NBA Finals MVP
- three-time NBA All-Star
- two-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- two-time All-NBA selection
- sixth all-time in three-pointers made in the NBA
- tenth all-time in three-pointers attempted in the NBA
- sixth all-time in free throw % in the NBA

“A journeyman who Larry Brown turned into a leader, Billups was a strong point guard who could hit the open three, finish over contact and defend with tenacity. On the 2004 Detroit Pistons championship team that didn’t feature a superstar, he emerged as the best player.” – Diego Quezada

“Billups was never much about stats. But he and Ben Wallace really embodied what those 2004 Pistons were. They were gritty, tough and determined. But more than that, they were poised. And it started with Billups. His influence on the team clearly helped steady the ship as the Pistons eliminated the Heat in 2005 and helped withstand Kobe and Shaq’s last stand in 2004. That title was won on Billups’ broad shoulders.” – Philip

4) Bob Lanier – Detroit Pistons – 1970 – 1980

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of the basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (16) retired by the team
- seven-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“Career he averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.  Averaging a 20/10 double for a decade is indicative of a great player.  Had the biggest feet of any player in his era (size 22).” – Don

3) Dave Bing – Detroit Pistons – 1966 – 1975

dave bing  lenny wilkens

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of the basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (21) retired by the team
- NBA leader in games played in 1972/73
- NBA leader in field goals (made & attempted) in 1967/68
- NBA leader in free throws (made & attempted) in 1970/71
- NBA leader in points in 1967/68
- six-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- three-time All-NBA selection

“Named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team, Bing was one of the first point guards who successfully blended playmaking skills and scoring prowess. Few since him have been able to find the right mix.” – Diego Quezada 

2) Joe Dumars – Detroit Pistons – 1985 -1999

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of the basketball Hall of Fame
- member of two NBA championship teams
- jersey number (4) retired by the team
- Pistons all-time leader in games played & three-pointers (made & attempted) 
- NBA Finals MVP
- six-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- five-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- three-time All-NBA selection

“Michael Jordan said that he never faced a better defensive player than Joe Dumars, and Joe D embodied the Pistons’ defense during the Bad Boy Era. Dumars was also a threat on offense, scoring 16,401 points throughout his career.” – Diego Quezada 

“Overshadowed by his more boisterous teammates, Joe Dumars quietly went about his work every night, locking up the opponent’s top guard, handling the ball, setting up teammates and pouring in points of his own.  Everything you’d want in a teammate.” – Jeff Fox

1) Isiah Thomas – Detroit Pistons – 1981 – 1994

magic-johnson-isiah-thomas-kiss

Pistons accomplishments:

- member of the basketball Hall of Fame
- member of two NBA championship teams
- jersey number (11) retired by the team
- Pistons all-time leader in minutes played, field goals (made & attempted), free throws (made & attempted), assists, steals & points
- NBA Finals MVP
- NBA leader in games played in 1983/84
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1982/83
- NBA leader in assists in 1983/84 & 1984/85
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1984/85
- 12-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- five-time All-NBA selection
- sixth all-time in assists in the NBA
- fifth all-time in assists per game in the NBA

“Thomas and his teammates became the “Bad Boys” of the NBA and won two championships in 1989 and 1990. He was one of the greatest players in NBA history, and his competitive fire was always at a high level.” – Diego Quezada

“As bad as he was as a GM, he was that good as a player. Score 25 points on the road in the NBA Finals on a sprained ankle? No problem. Freeze Michael Jordan out of an All Star game? No problem. Be the most hated man in basketball throughout the 1980s and early 1990s? Sure, why not? Make everyone forget about how good of a basketball player you were by driving one of the highest profile franchises in to the ground? Hey, Thomas IS a Hall of Famer with two rings.” – Philip

 

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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