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First known as the Fort Wayne Pistons before making the move to Michigan, the Detroit Pistons have a history dating back to 1941 and are the second-oldest team currently in the NBA behind the Sacramento Kings. Originally a member of the National Basketball League and then the Basketball Association of America, the team joined the NBA in 1957 when the 2 leagues merged. Though the team hasn’t always been a top performer, they’ve taken home 9 division titles, 7 conference championships, and 3 NBA Finals victories in nearly 80 years. With former All-Stars like Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, John Salley, and Dennis Rodman, the Pistons have earned a reputation for their highly physical—some might say unapologetic—style of play that has often caused drama on the court. Detroit fans aren’t complaining, however, and they rush to get tickets to see this iconic team battle it out to win at any cost.
Debuting in Fort Wayne, Indiana as part of the National Basketball League, the Pistons saw early success, winning 2 NBL championships and 3 consecutive World Professional Basketball Tournaments in the mid-1940s. They found a winning formula in Fort Wayne and continued their dominance even after moving to Detroit, appearing in 13 NBA Playoffs between 1950 and 1963, taking the Western Conference Championship in ‘55 and ‘56. Unfortunately, the team fell into a 20-year period of decline beginning in 1964, returning to the playoffs only 5 more times and never making it past the Semifinals.
But things took a sudden turn for the better in the mid-1980s after the signing of superstars Thomas, Lambier, Dumars, Salley, and Rodman. Together, they adopted a hard-hitting, defense-focused style of play that earned them the nickname “The Bad Boys.” Their efforts paid off with appearances in the playoffs for 9 straight years beginning in 1984, ultimately taking back-to-back championships in 1989 and ‘90. The Pistons were then hit with another decade of struggles but worked their way back up the ranks by the early 2000s. Between 2002 and 2008, the team—led by MVP Chauncey Billups and powerhouse Ben Wallace—took 6 division titles, 3 conference championships, and won the ultimate victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004.
Since the 2008–09 season, the Pistons have struggled once again, only returning to the playoffs 2 times. Today, under Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, the team is attempting to rebuild its talent, bringing on All-Star forward Blake Griffin to round out a roster that includes Andre Drummond, Jameer Nelson, and Reggie Jackson. Grab Pistons tickets today to watch this legendary team fight to regain their place at the top as they take on rivals like the LA Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and the Chicago Bulls.Back to top