The Past and The Future

by | Jan 21, 2010 | 28 comments

It seems like just yesterday that Pistons fans were celebrating a Championship.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that Detroit had a starting five that were familiar, solid, loved and envied league wide.  It really was just a short time ago that we continually got ready for a long playoff ride filled with joy and anguish.

There are highs and lows with every team, in every league, but as Pistons fans we have come to expect excellence and comfort.

Comfort in a style of gritty play, comfort with the one of our own running things,  and comfort in an owner that we knew loved his team above all else.

Last night I sat in wonderment at the Palace of Auburn Hills as my team took on the Boston Celtics.  This would normally be a huge game, even without the fact the Rasheed Wallace was returning to Detroit, in green for the first time.  Instead the place was littered with empty seats and quite a few that were occupied, were donned in green.

I watched my ailing team, in heart and body, pull off a pretty inspiring win.  A win that they not only dearly need for the sake of moral and pride.  I watched a reborn Ben Wallace take charge on the defensive end and Rodney Stuckey do what he needed to do to lead his team to victory.

The highs of the big game come with bittersweet sadness as I watched Mrs. Davidson have a mini press conference at halftime in front of her very familiar courtside seat and announce that she’s looking for a buyer for the team.

It’s her team and she can do with it what she wishes.  We as fans shouldn’t judge her, we just have to hope that she hands over the team to someone who loves it as much as Mr. D did.

I may be a bit sentimental, but I can still see him sitting in his seat with his beige windbreaker enjoying his team.  I see him with a mini television in front of him watching his hockey team on their way to a Stanly Cup, while he was watching his Pistons win a championship.  I can see him standing on court with Ben, Rip, Chauncey, Tay and Rasheed as they raised his banner in the rafters at the Palace.

I can still see his face as he was getting doused in champagne in the locker room by Isiah Thomas during the Bad Boys Championships.

I watched him embrace Isiah on court, when it was clear his health was failing at the All Time Pistons Ceremony.

One of my favorite memories is looking at his face in 2004 when they were presenting the team with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.  He may not have been able to hold that beautiful gold piece of hardware over his head, but his team made sure he could.

And how can we forget his very “Detroit” styled parade speech.

He may not be with us anymore, but he will always be remembered.  The Hall of Famer was a pioneer in professional sports and in love for his team.   If the new ownership has one tenth of the love that Mr. D had for The Pistons, things will be just fine.


  1. Yasir Saleem

    I dont blame Mrs. D for wanting to sell the team.
    she said that she wants an owner that was as involved and loved the team as Mr. D did and she cant do that.
    I know that she’ll find an owner that Mr. D would like.
    after all, the team and the palace are, “Bill’s Babies”

  2. Jesse

    Ever since the impending sale has been made public, whenever I see Karen Davidson I think of the owner of the Indians in “Major League”…… I hope I’m way way off in that association though…

  3. Richie

    I’m sriously misty-eyed after this post. 🙁
    Here’s hoping for a superb new owner.

  4. Nik

    Very well written.

  5. Chris

    Wow, very well writen Nat.

  6. pistonsfan32

    Those pics make me want to cry. Thanks for the post!

  7. junior

    enough said guys u all hit it, a very well written emotional article. GO BILL DAVIDSON (GO PISTONS)

  8. tim*

    Nat, I feel a kinship with you over the Pistons. I have been a fan since I was a child as well, and follow them religiously. I am sentimental with my Pistons memories, but I know that times have changed as well. The Davidson era is over, but I think they will remain here. The Pistons have been quite profitable over the years, and it is only in recent years that the team has not been able to sell out games. Give the people a quality product they can relate to, and they will show up. It has been proven in Detroit. Also keep in mind that Palace Sports and Entertainment is not just The Palace and The Pistons, it is also The Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum (where the Lightning play). If a buyer can buy all that, why would they try to move when they have top notch arena at their disposal?

    And I hope that the new owners return to the Bad Boys jerseys and logo. I have always hated that the teal logo was carried over to the red white and blue colors.

  9. James (Australia)

    Nat, that was an amazing an article that brought a tear and a smile to this Pistons fan.
    Positives at least are that it seems unlikely the Pistons would leave Detroit, and therefore not leave the Palace.
    We salute you Mr D!

  10. Franz

    Thank you Natalie for sharing your thoughts.

    I may not be a long time Piston fan, but since 2001 when I moved to Detroit and then in 2004 moved back to Europe, I have felt and lived the Piston basketball heart.

    There hasn’t been one day since you created this site, that was not on my PC screen.

    The time in Detroit, I played basketball 1/2 an hour before a playoff game, thinking of how the Pistons would win the game. In the newspaper, I only searched for Pistons articles. I thought I could not be a bigger fan.

    But when I moved back to Europe, I realized that I was a even bigger fan than I thought of. It is hard to catch any NBA even european basketball on TV.
    When I said to basketball friends that I come from Detroit, they were impressed (2004 NBA Title). But ever since, when I said that Detroit is for me the best team, and that I would never stop rooting for them, they just started to laugh.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not 30 years old, but I think I will always feel something special that I did not have to any other team, even to the Red Wings, or any other pro sports team.

    Mr. Davidson, man he (still) IS one of the really bigs. I didn’t know a lot about him, but I really respect the man. How he was “obsessed” with his teams.

    So it shocks and makes me even more confused how after his death, his wife, who should best have known, how her husband felt, trying to sell the team. On the other side, yeah, if you don’t celebrate and root for your team, like she seems to do, I would sell it to a real “fan”.

    I’m saying, you can have as much money as you want, you can still root for a team, like a real fan…

    Good luck and good night, hoping this team will find a Piston fan…

  11. Marcell

    Really nice story and I appreciate you taking the time to post it

  12. Kristen

    Beautiful….thanks for sharing, it made me smile 🙂

  13. Lori

    That is so touching that I’m teary eyed. What a great and devoted man Mr. D was. I hope we get a new owner who loves the Pistons as much as he did.

  14. Jess

    wow. an amazing read…brought tears to my eyes

  15. detroitMONSOON

    the only other thing I add to your beautiful words is when they dedicated the court as the William Davidson court…it seems so moot now in light of everything that’s going on with the team, but to the Pistons family it means a lot. I add that moment as the last great Mr.D moment.

  16. Sidney James

    I still Believe we can do it now. if Mr. Dumars make moves as far as trades go. we know what we need.and if i could i would motivate the new pistons team to play your best like your last,and i would tell big ben, to keep up the good work and i respect they strength for holding the team. im a true pistons representative and i still believe we can do it once we stay healthy and make a changes. we beat Boston,Atlanta, and Orlando. an i feel we can beat any team if we keep focused and play every game like its they last but will see!

    i believe the pistons is 09-010 champions through the up and downfalls but they will rise (believe that)

    Sidney James
    Founder Of PROPHET LIFE 7

  17. Adam B

    Natalie, I love my Pistons and I’m glad you took the time to reflect on things. I’m tired of the things being said out of frustration as we rebuild from all over the league and beyond. I hope we can appreciate how great things were and believe things will be great again. Honestly, the wins this season mean even more now than they did in previous seasons. What made the seasons leading up to our ’04 championship was the improvement we showed year after year. We get to relive it all over again with new guys. We got spoiled after awhile. But man, did we have fun!

    P.S. That moment with Zeke and Mr. Davidson was special. Back when I was on the playground courts I wanted to be Zeke and tried to play just like him. I haven’t lost any love for him. Really, really missing Mr. D right now.

  18. anchunger

    well said natalie. 2004 was one of the greatest years for detroit and especially for mr. d.

  19. NYPistonsfan

    Great job as usual Nat

  20. joeyK

    damn natalie…you hit the heart all the time! :”)

  21. terry

    Great timing, this article needed to be done and I believe you are the first to do it. so kudos to you. I feel a sort of desperation (for lack of a better term) in Karen Davidson in selling everything her husband took a lifetime to acquire. It is her prerogative to do what she wants with her money. My only fear is, and I feel that she will make the deal with the first person who shows up with the money when it comes to selling the Pistons, and that could be bad news for the organization which she appears to have no feelings invested in. I just hope this team can get it together before the sale so a new owner thinks they have to come in with a bunch of sweeping changes, like some of the more short sighted fans would suggest. Oh man, I’m biting my nails again…..

  22. terry

    Insert doesn’t between “new owner” and “think”

  23. Friggins

    Very nice, Nat. We Piston fans forget that, along with the great players we’ve enjoyed through the years, we’ve also enjoyed stable and exellent ownership. I hope that continues.

  24. janssenjairal

    may god bless you and the detriot pistos players is ok no sheed and billups bet there is ben,hamilton,gordon,stuckey,prince
    go for the championship!

  25. T1theinfamous

    This was very well written and almost made me cry. I pray that the team stays in the city and that the new owners love the team the same way the Mr D did. I also pray that we dont get an owner like the clippers have

  26. Diogenes

    We simply should not let teams go where they want to. The city invests heavily in these teams – financially and emotionally. Look what happened in Seattle. If the Pistons move out of Detroit I swear I will never watch another NBA game again. It’s enough that I pay 200 bones a year for league pass, that I buy their clothes, etc. to line the pockets of who? A billionaire that wants to move my team??? What the hell is wrong with me? Man I knew I sniffed way too much glue in the 80’s.

    The seats are empty in the Pallace? The Pistons need to return the loyalty of the fans with a commitment to stay in Detroit. I encourage all fans to boycott the Pistons until we get a public commitment from Mrs. D that she will not sell the team outside of the D.

  27. Vince Prygoski

    As a heartbroken fan of the Detroit Shock, and of Deanna Nolan (who is a million times the woman that Gold digger Karen will NEVER be) i can and will judge Trophy Wife Karen for both giving away the team i loved (The Shock), turning the Pistons into losers, and basically destroying everything that Mr. D worked so hard to build.

    She needs to sell the Pistons to someone who cares, apologize to Deanna and her teammates as well as all Shock fans including me, and get out of Michigan.



  1. Piston’s Glass Half Empty or Half Full? | Life On Dumars | A Detroit Pistons Blog - [...] Natalie Sitto about the past and the future of the organization (excuse me while I fetch a tissue) (link) [...]

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