February Pistons articles *Updated Daily*

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  1. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    February 16th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Pistons make Milicic disappear
    Magic get former No. 1 pick, Arroyo for Cato, No. 1 in 2007; Dumars now seeks point guard
    By Chris McCosky

    In trading center Darko Milicic and guard Carlos Arroyo to Orlando on Wednesday for center Kelvin Cato and a protected 2007 first-round draft pick, the Pistons took steps toward ensuring that Ben Wallace and
    Chauncey Billups remain Pistons for the foreseeable future.

    And they did so without jeopardizing their chances to win a third straight Eastern Conference title. Arroyo was averaging 12 minutes and Milicic was out of the rotation.

    "We have put ourselves in a position to re-sign both Ben (this summer) and Chauncey (in the summer of 2007), and we are getting a pretty good draft pick to fill in with another young guy in the next year or two," Pistons president Joe Dumars said. "I am very satisfied with how this turned out."

    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    He was the firecracker that we watched as kids, standing in a circle, hands in our ears. It fizzled. It went poof.

    "Is that it?" we asked.

    Darko Milicic never exploded. You knew it. I knew it. Anyone who watched him play over the years knew it. He looked tentative. He looked lost. With that long, nimble frame, you kept wanting him to turn into something great, someone worthy of being one pick behind LeBron James, so much so that any little move he made -- one dunk, one block -- was greeted with "Aha! There's the potential!"

    And there goes the potential -- after fewer than 100 regular-season games and a career average of less than two points a night. It was only three years ago that Joe Dumars and Rick Carlisle sat by a TV in a New Jersey arena and hollered with joy when Detroit got the No. 2 pick in the draft lottery. The two men walked down the tunnel high-fiving each other.

    DARKO DUMPED: Milicic, Arroyo traded to Orlando
    By Krista Latham

    For 2 1/2 seasons, the Pistons touted Darko Milicic as a long-term project. But Wednesday night, that unproductive and highly scrutinized project was abandoned.

    After a day of on-again, off-again negotiations, Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars finalized a trade sending Milicic and backup point guard Carlos Arroyo to the Orlando Magic for injured center Kelvin Cato and a top-five protected pick in 2007. The pick has no protection beyond that. Cato's $8.6-million contract comes off the books this summer.

    Hamilton wants shot in 3-point challenge
    By George Simple

    Sure, Chauncey Billups is deserving of a spot in the NBA three-point shooting contest. But Billups says teammate and fellow All-Star Richard Hamilton is just as qualified to take a turn shooting from the rack this weekend.

    "I'd love to see that," said Billups, whose .431 three-point shooting percentage is tied for sixth among NBA leaders. "I wish he was."
    Hamilton, who leads all qualified NBA players with a .456 percentage on treys, wishes he had the chance, too.

    "I'm kind of disappointed I wasn't invited to the three-point contest," Hamilton said. "It's a goal of mine."

    Hamilton said his success this season could be attributed in part to the flow of coach Flip Saunders' offense.

    "Last year, L.B. didn't want me to shoot them at all," Hamilton said, referring to coach Larry Brown. "The offense gives me a lot of wide-open looks."


    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Done deal: Milicic will get a chance to play in Orlando
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    The last image Detroit Piston fans will have of Darko Milicic as a Piston will be the four scoreless minutes he played on Sunday against New Jersey. It's only fitting considering the player who seemed to have such promise when drafted three years ago, never produced at a high enough level to please anybody.

    That was among the reasons the Pistons traded Milicic, the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA draft, and point guard Carlos Arroyo to the Orlando Magic for Kelvin Cato and a 2007 or 2008 first-round draft pick.

    The Pistons will get Orlando's 2007 selection if it's not among the top five, or they'll get the Magic's 2008 pick, which is unprotected.

    Saunders strives to keep Pistons on course
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    Unprecedented success is what distinguishes this Detroit Pistons team heading into this weekend's All-Star Game break from others.

    They have the NBA's best record (42-9), winning more games than any team in franchise history after 51 games.

    Head coach Flip Saunders was the Eastern Conference's coach of the month in November, December and January, an accomplishment no coach in NBA history can lay claim to.
    The Pistons have four players on the Eastern Conference all-star team, yet another franchise first.

    With all the Pistons have done so far, this team remains unsatisfied.


    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    See ya, Darko
    Pistons deal unfulfilled draft pick to Orlando
    By Dana Gauruder

    Darko Milicic is now Orlando's enigma.

    The Pistons officially waved the white flag on their disappointing third-year center Wednesday, shipping Milicic and backup point guard Carlos Arroyo to the Magic for center Kelvin Cato and a 2007 first-round draft pick. ​


    Orlando will keep the pick if it has one of the top five selections after next season. From that point, the Magic would have no protection on the pick.
    The trade ends a crashingly disappointing chapter in Pistons history. Milicic was the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft with expectations of becoming a franchise player. Milicic was drafted one slot behind LeBron James and ahead of such luminaries as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. But Milicic barely left the bench during his 2 1 /2 seasons in a Detroit uniform.


    ~ Orlando Sentinel ~

    Magic gain Milicic, Arroyo from Pistons
    By Tim Povtak

    In search of something -- anything -- to shake up a roster gone bad, the Orlando Magic acquired much-maligned forward Darko Milicic and backup point guard Carlos Arroyo from the Detroit Pistons Wednesday.

    The Magic gave up little-used and often-injured center Kelvin Cato and a future first-round draft pick.

    Although the Pistons are expected to waive Cato -- getting him only for his expiring contract -- the Magic have plans for Milicic, who has been a bust since the Pistons used the No. 2 pick of the 2003 draft to select him.

    "He's a young big guy with a lot of potential,'' said Otis Smith, Magic assistant general manager. "If you're going to take a run at a player, you want to make that run at a 7-foot player.''

    ~ Florida Today ~

    Magic trade for Milicic, Arroyo
    BY JOHN DENTON

    The Orlando Magic took a gamble Wednesday on unproven Darko Milicic, trading Kelvin Cato and a conditional 2007 first-round pick to the Detroit Pistons for the power forward and guard Carlos Arroyo.​

    While most of the buzz about the trade centers around Milicic, the second overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, it's the addition of Arroyo that raises red flags about Steve Francis' future with the Magic. Orlando, which now has five point guards, has talked to New York, Denver and Minnesota about a potential blockbuster involving Francis.

    Magic assistant general manager Otis Smith admitted talks of a multi-team trade are on the table, but he continued to say a deal involving Francis is still a long shot.
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Detroit Bad Boys ~~

    Darko’s magical journey
    by Matt Watson

    Have you seen the irony yet?

    The last time the Pistons sent a supposed "cornerstone" player to the Magic, they received Ben Wallace in return. This time around, they're doing it to clear up enough money to re-sign Big Ben.

    But whereas trading Grant Hill for Wallace and Chucky Atkins was about getting the most value out of a player that was going to leave anyway, giving up Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo for Kelvin Cato and a future first-rounder is utterly and completely about money.



    Deal is done–I’ll shut up now
    by Ian Cameron

    According to A. Sherrod Blakely at MLive and WDFN, the deal is done.

    Darko and Arroyo for Kelvin Cato and a top-5 protected pick in 2007 (the pick is unprotected thereafter).

    Expect a number of people to rail against this trade (including the ever-insufferable Eric Pate on WDFN earlier tonight) citing the possibility that Orlando could improve next season lowering the draft pick. Accepting a pick that far into the future is a risk, and the chances of coming up snake-eyes are probably greater than the chances of getting as lucky as the Pistons did in 2003.


    Update: All Darko, all the time!
    by Ian Cameron

    So first Marc Stein was convinced that the Darko/Arroyo trade was just about a done deal, right? But then Stein backtracked today in his online chat for ESPN Insider. Check this out:

    Marc (Sterling Heights, MI): Do you think Joe Dumars' unwillingness to trade Darko has more to do with his pride and him not wanting to admit that he screwed up big time in that draft? If Darko can't play now for the Pistons, why would he be able to play next year or the year after that? Shouldn't Joe get this deal done ASAP?


    ~~ Hoopsworld ~~

    Orlando's Deal for Darko Complete
    by Hoopsworld Wire Services

    The Orlando Magic have traded center Kelvin Cato and a lottery protected first round draft pick to the Detroit Pistons for center Darko Milicic and guard Carlos Arroyo.

    Milicic has averaged 1.6 points on 33.9 percent shooting in 96 games throughout his career. With the move to Orlando is his playing time is expected to rise heavily, as 5.8 minutes per game is meager for the second selection of the 2003 NBA Draft. This season he has recorded 1.5 points on 51.5 percent shooting.


    Motown Soundtrack: What’s so good about goodbye?
    by Adriano Albuquerque

    Call me crazy, but I’m sad.

    I never wanted to see Darko Milicic go.

    Back in 2003, I believed fiercely that the then only 17 years old Serbian with the blonde hair was gonna be the next great thing. In fact I was totally off back then – to my mind, Carmelo Anthony would totally overshadow LeBron James and Chris Kaman would just be another Chris Mihm or Joel Przybilla.


    Mitchell & Ness Throwback: Adrian Dantley
    by Bill Ingram

    When a discussion comes up about the great forwards to play the game of basketball, the Utah Jazz expect to be right there at the top of the discussion. Young fans today will assume that the discussion will focus around the great Karl Malone, but the fact is that before Malone became a force in professional basketball it was Adrian Dantley who struck fear into the hearts of Jazz opponents.

    (article slanted towards his Jazz Throwback Jersey, but AD was truly a super Piston back in the day)
  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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  4. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    http://sportsinferno.com/viewheadline.php?Headline=139

    Can you imagine Tayshaun Prince coming off the bench for Wade? Now that is nasty.
    The reason I bring up Wade’s name is because the Pistons were debating whether to draft Milicic or Wade and not Milicic or Anthony as many believe. Just think of where this team would have been if the debate had swung the other way.
  5. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    February 17th -

    ~ Detroit News ~

    Dynamic duo
    All-Stars Rip, Chauncey play as one in backcourt
    By Chris McCosky

    Chauncey Billups was barreling toward the Orlando basket, on his way to what appeared to be an uncontested layup. He had taken a long outlet pass from Rasheed Wallace and was behind the defense when Magic guard DeShawn Stevenson appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, to cut him off.​

    Without looking, without really seeing if any of his teammates were trailing the play, Billups calmly flipped the ball behind him and into the hands of Richard Hamilton who laid the ball into the basket.

    "I knew Rip would be there," Billups said, smiling. "I didn't have to see him. I knew he would chase the ball. I could have thrown it anywhere, and he would have sniffed it out."

    It was a remarkable play, but Hamilton didn't think much of it.

    "We do that all the time," he said. "Me and Chaunce, man, we're like one."

    Dumars: It was time to move on
    President took a chance in drafting Milicic, but is big enough to admit his mistake and move on
    By JoAnne C. Gerstner

    Pistons president Joe Dumars knows the Darko Milicic debate, in some ways, will never die.

    But the Milicic experiment is over after he was traded Wednesday to the Orlando Magic.

    The Pistons also sent Carlos Arroyo to the Magic for Kelvin Cato and a protected 2007 draft pick.

    "When I get to the point where I think it's probably not going to work, then I tend to not to hold on to it and force it," Dumars said Thursday.

    "I don't mind taking chances and coming up short. That's the only way you can be great at something, is if you're willing to take risks, get out there and see if it works or not. And if it doesn't, I'll be the first one to stand up, raise my hand and say it didn't work."

    Vartan Kupelian and Mike O'Hara: Behind the Scenes
    Blame falls on Milicic's shoulders
    Youngster didn't take advantage of opportunities

    It is fair to fault Pistons president Joe Dumars for drafting Darko Milicic second overall in 2003 when he could have had Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony -- or passed and saved the aggravation of answering questions about Milicic for three years.

    It is fair to fault former coach Larry Brown, who didn't want to give Milicic the playing time needed to develop his game.

    So much for blaming others for Milicic's failure.

    Most of the blame rests with Milicic. When he went into Tuesday night's game against the Nets -- his last with the Pistons -- his expression and body language said everything. He was a guy who didn't care about playing. He launched a three-pointer that missed everything, and the twitters from the crowd didn't seem to bother him a bit.

    Bottom of the second: Around the sports world
    NBA aces playing card deal

    I've got two pair -- two 'Sheeds and two Bens.

    Huh?

    Well, thanks to AllPro Deal Inc., you can plan your Texas Hold 'Em night with the Pistons and NBA All-Stars Shaquille O'Neal , Kobe Bryant … and more.

    The company has produced casino-quality playing cards that feature caricatures of NBA players. Each player is assigned a specific card based on his voting popularity and performance.


    ~ Detroit Free Press ~

    Pistons may deal Cato for a guard
    Dumars: Darko's agent wanted trade
    By Chris Silva

    Kelvin Cato, an injured forward acquired in the Darko Milicic deal, won't be waived immediately by the Pistons, though he might be used as trade bait.

    Cato, limited to 23 games this season because of a cracked bone in his right foot, is expected to report to the team Monday, when the Pistons will give him a medical evaluation. The Pistons acquired Cato, 31, and Orlando's first-round draft pick in 2007 or '08 for Milicic and backup point guard Carlos Arroyo.

    Cato could remain with the team awhile, or the Pistons might use him and his expiring $8.6-million contract to get another point guard before the NBA's trade deadline, which is Thursday.

    Dumars is proud parent of four stars
    By Krista Latham

    Joe Dumars is a calculating man. But he's also honest.

    That's why he will admit he didn't see this coming when he made deals that brought Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace to the Pistons.

    Four All-Stars in one season?

    It happens. Eight other times in NBA history, it has happened.

    But never with a point guard that five other teams had discarded, an undrafted center, a power forward labeled more trouble than he was worth and a shooting guard deemed too soft.


    ~ Booth Newspapers ~

    Dumars' mistake would have been keeping Milicic
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    This just in: Joe Dumars is not perfect. ​

    The way he has out-smarted teams in the past for talent, one might think the man can walk on Lake Michigan with barely a ripple forming.

    He makes mistakes, but drafting Darko Milicic three years ago wasn't one of them. It's easy to look at the individual success of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, all players Detroit passed on in the 2003 NBA draft to select Milicic, and point out the obvious: They could have been doing the same for Detroit, right?


    ~ The Oakland Press ~

    Darko was ready to go
    By Dana Gauruder

    Darko Milicic couldn't take it any longer.

    He had waited for 2 1 /2 seasons to gain playing time with the Detroit Pistons. All he saw were giant roadblocks in the form of All-Stars Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace and super sub Antonio McDyess.


    That message was passed along by Milicic's agent, Marc Cornstein, while he dined with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars in a New Jersey restaurant on Jan. 30, the night before the Pistons played the Nets.

    From there, it was simply a matter of when, not if, Milicic would be traded. Dumars pulled the trigger Wednesday night, dealing his would-be franchise player along with point guard Carlos Arroyo to Orlando for center Kevin Cato and a 2007 first-round pick.

    Pistons need to make another move now
    By Pat Caputo

    Cato is "The Human Salary-Cap Dump." It's unlikely he will contribute much to the Pistons' playoff run, but his nearly $9 million salary comes off the books after the season. That, along with losing the salaries of Milicic and Arroyo, gives the Pistons a healthy $15 million or so of wiggle room in the future. It will help them resign Ben Wallace this summer and Billups the summer after that, keeping their nucleus intact, and allow the Pistons to add a solid veteran or two.
    But what about now? This is essentially a six-player team. The Pistons are banking heavily - too heavily - on Lindsey Hunter rounding into form to make it seven.

    Dumars must make a move or two to help the Pistons now. It is extremely difficult for an organization to get into legitimate contention for the NBA title. The Pistons, as they stand, are about as legitimate as it gets, but must remember that the competition is fierce.


    ~ FoxSports.com ~

    Milicic era puts a black mark on Pistons
    By Mike Khan

    Finally, they are done with Darko.

    The debate has raged on and off nationally for nearly three years, but will perhaps last for eternity in Detroit Pistons lore.
    What if the Pistons hadn't drafted Darko Milicic with the second pick of the vaunted 2003 draft, instead going with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade with the selection immediately following LeBron James?
    Well, it mattered little then and even less now.


    ~ CBSSportsLine.com ~

    Prince the Pistons' All-Star non-All-Star
    By Tony Mejia

    Prince the Pistons' All-Star non-All-Star
    By Tony Mejia

    The Detroit Pistons are in Year 4 of an ever-growing dynasty. Under their third coach during this renaissance, they look destined to reach their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals and are an overwhelming favorite to reach the championship round again.

    But before the season began, the clamoring out of Motown was that their team got no respect because of a lack of star power. Now, with four-fifths of the lineup headed to Houston for the 2006 All-Star Game -- not to mention all the face time they've gotten during the past couple of postseasons -- that argument can't be made.

    Well, except by the one starter not going: Tayshaun Prince.
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Detroit Bad Boys ~~

    One step forward, two steps back?
    by Ian Cameron

    With Carlos Arroyo being shipped to Orlando in this week's deal, the Pistons find themselves with Lindsey Hunter as their lone experienced backup point guard. Perhaps in part because he knows how terrified I get at the thought of Lindsey running the offense, Joe D gave indications immediately following the deal that the backup point position was not settled and that another move was imminent. Alas, he now seems to be backing off of that statement.


    ~~ Blue Collar Blueprint ~~

    A Little Rain Must Fall
    by Eli Zaret

    It’s so hard to always keep the big picture in mind. That’s why the events of the last few weeks were bound to alarm some Pistons fans.

    * The Pistons went 5-4 after a 36-5 first half of the season

    * Eastern rivals Miami and New Jersey have beaten them in the last few weeks

    * San Antonio is threatening to overtake the Pistons for the best record in the league

    We must all remember that there is ebb and flow with all athletic performance and that all things are in flux in big time sports.


    ~~ Free Darko ~~

    I hear it's all just a horizontal myth
    by Brown Recluse, Esq

    Please, if you will, kindly follow my footsteps into the year 2012. Gongs clang harmoniously, dogs howl in the throes of love, basketball reins the world over. Football has gone the way of the Republican Party, whose values fueled its brief stranglehold on the American market; baseball, once this country’s dearest love, has drained itself of brawn-enhancing juices and crawls ever closer to a standstill; soccer, once the international pastime, cannot match roundball’s swirl of activity and canny dread of futility. Yet at the heart of it all, a lone figure looms over this new full-court order. Seven feet, one inches, from the palms of his feet to the blonde frosted tips of his hair, he has in less than a decade ascended from a running joke amongst sports fans, to basketball’s elite superstar, uplifting with him an entire generation of non-American ballers who would each aspire to be king on their own terms as well.

    (micro: vulgar/inside joke intro aside, this piece is brilliant IMO)
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Detroit Free Press ~~

    Pistons get rock-star treatment
    Detroit All-Stars are media darlings -- even 'Sheed
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    HOUSTON -- The Pistons can deny it all they want. But these days, it's mighty hard to play the disrespect card they love so much.

    They certainly couldn't Friday, not when four Pistons -- and coach Flip Saunders -- rolled into a media session to discuss Sunday's All-Star Game, where they will represent the Eastern Conference.


    NBA ROUNDUP: Billups, 'Sheed say Darko's got game
    by KRISTA LATHAM

    HOUSTON -- The Darko Milicic trade buzz followed the Pistons to All-Star weekend Friday, and his former teammates gave him high endorsements. They called him a future star, a highly skilled player and a great shooter and shot blocker. But they all had the same problem.

    "He's very skilled," point guard Chauncey Billups said. "Very skilled. He's got a good opportunity. The only thing that I was ever frustrated with was when he was on the floor and he just looked like he didn't care. He looked a little disinterested. At the same time, I understood that as well because he wasn't getting an opportunity to play."


    ~~ Detroit News ~~

    Is team play coming to the All-Star game?
    Pistons coach ready to put his four on the floor
    by Brian Mahoney / Associated Press

    HOUSTON -- Sometime during the first quarter of the All-Star game, Flip Saunders is planning to send his four Detroit Pistons in together.

    The Western Conference might have five international players waiting for them.

    From sound of things Friday, teamwork might be set to take over what is supposed to be the NBA's showcase of individual talent.

    The All-Star game has always been about showmanship and creativity, and much of the focus Sunday night will likely be on the high-scoring stars such as Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and LeBron James.


    ~~ Booth Newspapers ~~


    Hamilton enjoying first All-Star selection
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    HOUSTON -- The Detroit Pistons quartet of All-Stars tried to leave the interview room as a group, but there was one straggler, Richard Hamilton.

    As children and adults approached the first-time All-Star, he couldn't resist signing autographs, shaking hands with folks congratulating him.

    "I'm gonna carry this as long as I possibly can," Hamilton said.


    Saunders' season magical so far
    by A. Sherrod Blakely

    HOUSTON -- A magician's life consists of using skillful tricks and deceptions to create entertainment and baffling effects. Pistons coach Flip Saunders dabbles a bit in magic, but there's no trickery to the job he has done with the Detroit Pistons.

    The Pistons have secured their fifth straight winning season with a league-best 42-9 record heading into the All-Star break. It's the kind of gaudy start that's reason enough for Saunders to feel pretty good about himself and the job he has done.

    Talking to him about the team's success and his role in it, you discover he knows a thing or two about the art of misdirection, yet another trait all magicians have.
  8. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/ian_thomsen/02/16/notes/index.html

    go to the second page:

    THE DARKO TRADE

    Five thoughts on Detroit's decision to unload Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo to Orlando for the expiring $8.7 million contract of Kelvin Cato and Orlando's top-five protected pick in this year's draft:

    1. The Pistons essentially are trading Milicic for Ben Wallace.

    The high price of victory

    Which teams are getting the most for their money?

    The average cost per victory, as of Wednesday, was $2.4 million (based on player salaries totaling $1.88 billion this season divided by the 777 games played thus far).

    The leader is no surprise: The Pistons are spending $1.4 million per victory, followed closely by the third-place Spurs at $1.6 million per win.
  9. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Interesting - no relationship between how much you spend and how many wins you get.

    I forget, what was the salary cap supposed to do?
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Detroit Bad Boys ~~

    Paul Pierce is kinda, sort of a Piston
    by Matt Watson

    We already knew that Flip Saunders intended to put the four Piston All-Stars on the floor at the same time on Sunday, but we didn't know who the fifth guy would be. Luckily, instead of going with Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh — which would have been a cruel, cruel trick to play on the fans back at home — he opted for a more neutral player...


    ~~ SI.com ~~

    SI Players Poll
    [Based on a survey of 248 NBA players]


    ~~ ESPN.com ~~

    Curious Guy: David Stern
    By Bill Simmons

    Last week, I trekked to New York City to interview David Stern and write a magazine column about the experience. Since I tape-recorded the conversation, we thought we would run the transcript as a special edition of "The Curious Guy."


    ~~ Washington Post ~~

    All-Star Game Has a Detroit Flavor
    By Michael Lee

    HOUSTON, Feb. 17 -- Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups were about to walk out of a ballroom at the Hilton Americas Hotel when they suddenly stopped. The Wallaces turned around, standing side by side like two enforcers, and gave a straggler the same intimidating look often reserved for anyone foolish enough to drive into the lane.

    "C'mon, Rip," Ben Wallace shouted at Richard Hamilton. "Let's go, man," Rasheed Wallace said.
  11. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    ~ The Detroit News ~​


    HOUSTON -- It's paradoxical, really. At some point late in the first quarter of tonight's 2006 All-Star Game, four Detroit Pistons will step onto the court together for the Eastern Conference, thus inserting a team element into the ultimate showcase of individual talent.


    HOUSTON -- Tayshaun Prince might not be here in body, but he is certainly here in the hearts and minds of his four teammates. "Me and Chauncey were talking in the locker room," Rasheed Wallace said. "We are trying to figure out some way to recognize him."

    ~ MLive.com ~​


    HOUSTON -- Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton have each been overlooked and tossed aside before, only to overcome the setbacks and reach heights few believed the players would attain. Those struggles helped shape who they are now, and in a sense, strengthen a bond that began four seasons ago when they came to Detroit.


    HOUSTON -- Born just seven days apart, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace share more than just a surname and Zodiac sign. They each come into tonight's All-Star game as examples of how being a good defender can be rewarding.

    ~ The Oakland Press ~​


    Richard Hamilton could tell right from the start. So could Chauncey Billups. On the basketball court, opposites attract. They knew at first glance this was a perfect union. Hamilton brought the catch-andshoot release and the cheetah-like quickness. Billups brought the court vision, the brute strength and the spot-up shooting ability.

    ~ Boston.com ~​


    ".... For me, it validates who I always thought I could be as a player," he said. ''So, being an All-Star means something, but it's not going to make me feel the way I felt when I was on that big stage in the Finals and we won the championship. It won't give me that feeling, but it's up there because it validates what I always felt about myself."
  12. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    ~ The Detroit Free Press ~​

    Pistons spark East's victory
    .... When Billups went to the free-throw line with less than a minute into the fourth, he tied the game at 97. That prompted Cleveland forward LeBron James to shout from the bench, "It's a game, boys!"

    ~ The Detroit News ~​

    Pistons lend spark to East's victory
    ...When the four Detroit Pistons -- Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton -- entered together with 3:38 left in the first quarter they didn't generate much buzz from the sold-out, star-studded crowd at the Toyota Center on Sunday night. But that changed late in the third and early in the fourth quarter when the Pistons indelibly put their stamp on the game, helping to rally the East to a 122-120 victory, the second straight for the Eastern Conference.

    Playoff format might get tweak
    "I think the one thing there might be some interest in would be to maybe look at how you seed the top four teams," Granik said. "One thing that we have kicked around is whether you might say, all right, those same four teams are going to get the top four seeds, but maybe you do it in accordance with their records."

    ~ The Boston Herald ~​

    C's captain eats up role: fills in well with Pistons
    ...“My plus-minus number is way up now, baby,” he said with a laugh. “That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?” Spoken like the role player Pierce never has been during his career.

    ~ The Washington Post ~​

    East Gets Serious in the 2nd Half
    ...The game took a turn at the start of the fourth quarter, when East Coach Flip Saunders of the Detroit Pistons changed the pace by putting in the group of players who knew each other better than any one else: the Pistons. Saunders sent out Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace -- the first group of four teammates in the all-star game in eight years.

    ~ The New York Times ~​

    James Leads and East Follows on Way to Victory
    ...With James on the floor with the four Pistons — the first time in eight years that one team had four All-Stars — the East suddenly had a direction. Even though the Pistons have been the biggest story of this season, running away with a 42-9 record, point guard Chauncey Billups seemed more in awe of his teammate for the night. "It's crazy, watching him is unbelievable," Billups said of James. "I'm glad I can be this close to him. He's got a chance maybe to be the best ever to lace them up .... James sent the accolades back to the Pistons. "To have those four guys out there, all on the same team, it was awesome to see," James said.
  13. Media Guy

    Media Guy First Round Draft Pick

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    All Star Game Videos

    Miami's Dwyane Wade drove the lane and hit the tough leaning scoop for two points.
    Click to View


    East starter Shaquille O'Neal was wired for the 2006 All-Star Game.
    Click to View


    All-Star MVP LeBron James followed up on an Allen Iverson miss with a big two-handed slam.
    Click to View


    NBA TV's Rick Kamla interviews MVP LeBron James on the court following the East's victory in the 2006 All-Star Game.
    Click to View


    Dwyane Wade's hoop with 16.6 seconds left gave the East a 122-120 victory over the West in the 2006 All-Star Game.
    Click to View


    TNT's Inside the NBA from halftime of the 2006 All-Star Game.
    Click to View
  14. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    ~ MLive.com ~
    To Hamilton, more hoopla for this than title games
    .... Cleveland's LeBron James on the Pistons: "They're like a Transformer (toy). Remember, you had five different Transformers and they just come together to make one big Transformer? That's the Detroit Pistons. One big Transformer."


  15. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Denver Post ~~


    Kobe no Mr. Popularity
    by Marc J. Spears

    Houston - The two questions posed to several NBA all-stars were simple. The answers, however, were quite deep about how many of them view Los Angeles Lakers all-star guard Kobe Bryant.

    First question: Other than a teammate, who is the NBA's most talented player?

    Phoenix's Steve Nash and Shawn Marion, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio's Tony Parker, the Los Angeles Clippers' Elton Brand, Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal and Washington's Gilbert Arenas all chose Bryant. Seattle's Ray Allen, a Bryant rival, chose Cleveland's LeBron James. After some prodding, San Antonio's Tim Duncan chose Minnesota's Kevin Garnett. In all, seven of the 10 polled chose Bryant.


    Billups brings friends along
    By Marc J. Spears
    Denver Post Staff Writer

    Houston - As if being an NBA all-star for the first time wasn't good enough, Denver's Chauncey Billups has his Detroit Pistons teammates along to make the honor even more special.

    The Pistons earned the rare opportunity to have four players, all reserves, on the Eastern Conference roster for tonight's All-Star Game at the Toyota Center. Pistons coach Flip Saunders will lead the squad after building the best record (42-9) for an East coach this season. Joining Billups, a former University of Colorado and George Washington High School star, are Detroit teammates Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace.

    ~~ Arizona Republic ~~


    Colangelo finalizing U.S. roster
    by Paul Coro

    HOUSTON - Jerry Colangelo took in a preview this weekend of what Las Vegas will look like.

    Not the 2007 All-Star Game in Las Vegas, but the USA Basketball camp this summer to prepare for the World Championship in Japan.

    Colangelo, the senior men's national team executive director, watched a good chunk of his USA team and its competition, but he will not make a series of staggered announcements of groups of players starting this week, as originally planned.


    ~~ New York Daily News ~~


    Dumars: Darko before the dawn
    by Mitch Lawrence

    Darko Milicic couldn't cut it for Larry Brown and had an even tougher time making any progress under Flip Saunders. When Dale Davis, soon to be 37, jumped ahead of Milicic in the Pistons' rotation, team president of baskeball operations Joe Dumars faced facts and got rid of his worst drafting mistake.

    Dumars took Milicic at No. 2 in 2003, ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Bosh and Wade are here this weekend for the Eastern Conference, and Anthony could have been selected this season for the West. He'll play in a bunch of All-Star Games before it's over, while there is considerable doubt whether Milicic, who turns 21 in June, will ever make it to this game without having to buy tickets.


    ~~ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ~~


    Part of Hawks’ problem: Woodson
    by Jeff Schultz

    Two losing coaches had dinner Sunday night and split an order of misery, well done.

    Of course, once you get past the malnourished win-loss percentages and the dueling hang-in-theres, there’s really only so much that Larry Brown and Mike Woodson have in common. The New York Knicks can morph into a Toronto Raptor starter kit and Brown isn’t going anywhere. Brown doesn’t get fired. He promises his undying love for a team and then quits, or he coaches one in the NBA Finals while negotiating with another. It’s the benefit of not having a conscience.
  16. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Beyond The Arc ~~


    Dumars, Darko and the draft...oh my.
    by Lee McPherson

    In the aftermath of the trade that sent Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo to Orlando Wednesday, there was some pretty tense fan debates raging about Joe Dumars' draft history and whether or not picking Darko was a mistake, and how that ultimately plays into the big picture for the Pistons.

    A familiar refrain from some is that when it comes to the draft, Dumars sucks, and the nearly comical failure of Darko to produce anything at all isn't the only evidence of that, just the most obvious example, given his high draft status in a class that's already produced three All-Stars out of the top five players selected (LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade), and one other player that probably should've been picked this year (Carmelo Anthony).
  17. Media Guy

    Media Guy First Round Draft Pick

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    More News

    ~~ Detroit Bad Boys ~~


    Crunching numbers on Billups and Arroyo

    Has Chauncey Billups been the best point guard in the NBA so far? Was Carlos Arroyo really a liability? It's difficult, if not impossible, to objectively and definitively answer either question, but that's precisely the daunting task that one of the guys over at PistonsForum.com is trying to in one of their reader contributed articles. [...]
    Read More


    Vote on Carlos Delfino’s nickname!

    Ian suggested last week that Carlos Delfino needs a nickname, and based on all of the suggestions in the comments, it appears a lot of our readers were thinking the same thing. After selecting some of our favorites, we're putting it up to vote — go pick your favorite in the poll on the right!
    You [...]
    Read More


    FreeDarko on Darko’s freedom

    FOXSports.com's Peter Schrager caught up with Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko fame — the result is a meandering Q&A that occasionally stayed on the topic of basketball but often strayed in the direction of, well, the strange:
    PS: It's almost Oscar season. If Darko were to star in a movie, what kind of movie would it be? [...]
    Read More



    ~~ Detroit News ~~

    Joanne C. Gerstner's Top 5: Super sophomores

    Sometimes NBA players can't follow up on strong rookie performances. Their sophomore year can be a slump, weighed down by high expectations. These players have found a way to excel:
    Read More
  18. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ The Detroit News ~~


    Is the best yet to come?
    Wade thinks Pistons can't play any better, but Saunders might have a few tricks up his sleeve.
    by Chris McCosky

    AUBURN HILLS -- Just so you know, Shaquille O'Neal has seen how this season is going to wind down.

    He sees the Pistons and Heat meeting again in the Eastern Conference finals, and he sees the Pistons going into that series with home-court advantage.

    "I don't see them going on a 15-game losing streak, or even a two-game losing streak," O'Neal said during All-Star Weekend in Houston.


    Dumars not desperate for deals
    by Chris McCosky

    Burning questions after a star-filled weekend:

    Q . How close is president Joe Dumars to making a deal for another point guard?

    A . He's continuing to sift through options, but as of Monday, nothing was imminent.

    It's not like he's desperate to get a deal done. If the worst-case scenario is Alex Acker, Tayshaun Prince and Carlos Delfino have to work in as the No. 3 point guard, Dumars will live with that.

    Also, the Pistons want to give their medical staff time to make a complete evaluation of Kelvin Cato's health. He's got a twisted right ankle and a cracked bone in his right foot. Orlando's last medical report said he wouldn't be able to start running on the foot until the end of this week.


    Curry is management-ready
    Former Piston could be in line for a job with Raptors
    by Chris McCosky

    The Toronto Raptors are in the process of realigning their basketball operations staff, and it looks like they are leaning toward keeping Wayne Embry in control.

    Good move. But they also know Embry is 69 and will need some young legs and minds to help him run the show -- someone Embry himself can groom to replace him.

    Here's your first, and perhaps best candidate -- Michael Curry, who spent six seasons with the Pistons and one with the Raptors.



    Alley oop to ... Pistons assistant coach Don Zierden
    by Joanne C. Gerstner

    Q . What's the worst way your last name has been mispronounced?

    A . It was 1985, and I was named the Minnesota high school coach of the year. That was a pretty big deal to me, I had my family and friends there at the banquet. When it comes time for them to announce me, I was all excited, the guy says, 'The 1985 Minnesota coach is … Dan Zeery.' Man. My buddies still tease me about that today.

    Q . Did you imagine going from being a high school coach 20 years ago to now being in the NBA?



    ~~ Detroit Free Press ~~


    Opportunity knocks for Pistons' Acker
    February 21, 2006
    by GEORGE SIPPLE

    Pistons guard Alex Acker has the confidence. He apparently now has the opportunity.

    A rookie from Pepperdine, Acker hasn't made his NBA debut. He has been on the active roster for a couple games this season, but he might be closer to playing now. A roster spot is open after the trade that sent Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo to Orlando for Kelvin Cato and a draft pick.


    ~~ Booth Newspapers ~~


    First game after break `kind of like a new start'
    By A. Sherrod Blakely

    AUBURN HILLS -- The calendar says tonight's game against Atlanta will be No. 52 of the regular season for the Detroit Pistons.

    However, in many ways, it's just the beginning.

    It's the Pistons' first game after the All-Star break, a time when teams that have struggled -- like tonight's opponent, the Atlanta Hawks -- are trying to salvage whatever they can from what has been a disappointing season.


    ~~ The Oakland Press ~~


    Hunter is ready to contribute
    by DANA GAURUDER

    AUBURN HILLS - As the Pistons racked up wins before the All-Star break, they had the luxury of bringing Lindsey Hunter along slowly from his ankle injury.

    A week and a trade later, Hunter has returned to his former status of vital contributor. With backup point guard Carlos Arroyo included in the trade that sent Darko Milicic to Orlando, Hunter re-inherits the role of Chauncey Billups' caddy.
  19. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    ~~ Philadelphia Inquirer ~~

    The Pistons, almost unbeatable, are the epitome of teamwork
    By Stephen A. Smith

    HOUSTON - Their starter at center is as well known for his 1970s-style Afro as he is for being part of the compensation the Detroit Pistons had to accept for losing Grant Hill.

    His teammate is a power forward whom some would have equated to Ron Artest before the Brawl.

    There's the point guard nicknamed "Mr. Big Shot."
  20. Media Guy

    Media Guy First Round Draft Pick

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    [Detroit Bad Boys] Back to the grind

    [Detroit Bad Boys]


    Back to the grind

    So much for the festivities.
    The Pistons are back in action tonight against the Hawks, and they had best hit the ground running. With 8 games in the next 12 days–including 5 road games, 3 home/road back-to-backs, and 6 opponents that either would be in the playoffs (as of today) or are within a Ben [...]

    **Link**
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