If you have been a Pistons fan for more than a few seasons, are a fan of basketball or have just lived in the state of Michigan, you know that The Detroit Pistons set the bar for pre-game introductions. To most fans it was the show before the show that got you so pumped up you were ready to go to battle.
If you were lucky enough to attend a Pistons game during that time, you know that while they always looked great on television, nothing beat being there. The music thumped in sync to a video on-screen that played an amazing mix of highlights from what was the best of Detroit Basketball at the moment. Then right before Mason started to introduce the players live, one of the current players on the video would sledge-hammer the opponents logo until it shattered to the loudest indoor explosion you’d ever hear go off inside the building. The explosion coincided with the fire at both ends of the floor that could be felt from the upper deck of the Palace.
It was magical.
So magical that more teams than I can count started doing the same thing.
I’ve done a pretty good job of capturing the intro’s along the way from as far back as 2005, so when I went to the Palace on Saturday night to watch Detroit take on the Suns I revisited the archive of videos only to be saddened by what I saw.
Look, I understand that this Pistons team isn’t that interesting to the average fan in Detroit. I understand that the team isn’t making the money they once were. I can see that the Palace isn’t packing it in every time I’m at the game, but if the team can’t get the fans excited, nobody will.
The fire is gone, figuratively and literally at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Here you have them, the most depressing Pistons introductions you’ll probably ever see.
Quite different aren’t they.
Just look at Brandon Jennings, who looks so pumped for the game that he saunters out on the court after his name was announced. He looked more like he’d been called at dentist’s waiting room awaiting root canal rather than to starting a NBA game.
Give it to Charlie V who looks the most excited and he’s played about 45 seconds all season long.
It may change in the future, but for now I miss the good old days. Especially the last part of the introductions when Sheed would get his groove on.