Today's Piston Pieces 8/12/09

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by G-man, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. G-man

    G-man Starter

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    Roster spot still not guaranteed for Pistons' Deron Washington
    VINCE ELLIS • FREE PRESS

    "Rookie swingman Deron Washington has cleared a major step in his quest to be on the Pistons' opening night roster, but he has a little more work to do.

    He has signed a contract for next season, but only a small portion is guaranteed, meaning he has to make the team.

    Washington, 6-feet-7, was selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft and played last season in Israel in order to refine his skills. He played for Hapoel Halon and averaged 14.8 points and seven rebounds over 27 games. He shot nearly 50%, but made only 31% of his three-pointers.

    At the Las Vegas summer league last month, he made several eye-opening dunks that drew gasps from the crowd, but his offense was inconsistent.

    The Pistons believe the former Virginia Tech standout is already an NBA-ready defender but a work in progress on offense."

    Roster spot still not guaranteed for Pistons' Deron Washington | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press




    Grinning and winning are not mutually exclusive
    Gabriella Boston - Washington Times

    "What's in a smile? Apparently, nothing good -- at least not according to the Washington Wizards' new head coach, Flip Saunders, who earlier this summer admonished player Nick Young for smiling too much on the court.

    Mr. Saunders said he was looking for more "seriousness" and "nastiness" in his young shooting guard.

    However, while those two characteristics can be tools against an opponent, so can smiling. Just take a look back at NBA history, and you will find some greats with great smiles.

    One in particular comes to mind: "Baby-faced assassin" Isiah "Zeke" Thomas.

    "I wonder if [Flip Saunders] ever saw Isiah Thomas. He had a very disarming smile," says Christopher Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

    That smile didn't seem like a hindrance to the Hall of Fame point guard as he led his Detroit Pistons to the NBA championship twice (1989 and 1990); played in the NBA All Star game a dozen times and was named MVP both there (1984 and 1986) and in the NBA finals (1990).

    In fact, if anything, speculates Mr. Peterson, the smile befuddled his opponents, perhaps indicating that Mr. Thomas knew something they didn't, that a winning pass was right around the corner.

    Smiling has also been shown to relax the body and mind, which is of particular interest to professional athletes, says sports psychologist Charlie Brown (www.fps- performance.com).

    "I encourage my athletes to smile," says Mr. Brown, who holds a doctorate in psychology. "When you smile, it can trigger a different physiological state."

    As strange as it might sound, that different physiological state of calm and relaxation is what helps an athlete get into the zone, says Mr. Brown, who also agrees that "smiling screws with your opponent's head."

    Grinning and winning are not mutually exclusive - Washington Times




    Cummard, Plaisted, Toolson sign pro deals
    Jim Rayburn - Mormon Times

    "Three former Mormon college hoops stars -- Trent Plaisted and Lee Cummard of BYU, and Ryan Toolson of Utah Valley -- have signed contracts recently to play professional basketball in Europe.

    Originally it was reported that Plaisted had signed to play another season with a team in Italy. It was being reported on Monday, however, that he never did officially ink with the Italian squad and instead signed to play for BC Zadar in Croatia. According to reports, Plaisted was in negotiations with both BC Zadar and Reggio Emillia (Italy) and received a better offer from the Croatian team, where he'll compete in the Adriatic League.

    Plaisted, a 6-foot-11 center, played briefly for Angelico Biella in Italy last season before a back injury ended his year. His NBA rights are owned by Detroit and, recovered from his injury, he played with the Pistons summer league team in Las Vegas last month. Detroit team officials have said that they want Plaisted to spend another year overseas working on his skills facing the basket.

    Cummard, a 6-foot-7 guard who played briefly with the Phoenix Suns summer league team, signed a contract last week with Alba Berlin, one of the most successful clubs in the German League. Alba Berlin has won eight German National Titles and six German National Cups. Alba won seven straight national championships from 1996 to 2003 and claimed the 2008 title. The club's most recent German National Cup victory was in 2009.

    Toolson, a 6-foot-4 guard who once scored 63 points in a game for the Wolverines and finished his college career with 2,163 points, signed with Pinar Kariaka of the Turkish League. He flew to Turkey on Monday and will begin practice there on Thursday.

    "I hear it's a great league," said Toolson, who led the nation last year in free-throw percentage. "A lot of great guys play in that league every year and they make great money and have a chance to come back to the NBA."

    Utah Valley coach Dick Hunsaker says Toolson is making the right move.
    "I firmly believe Ryan is an NBA player; however, timing is everything, and right now I'm excited for him to prove his abilities in Europe," Hunsaker said."

    MormonTimes - Cummard, Plaisted, Toolson sign pro deals




    The NBA’s Cuisine Consultants.
    FreshPrinceofThe Blog (OLD COMMERCIAL VIDEO)

    "Ohhhh man!!! Talk about some classic material!
    Here’s an old NBA commercial from the late 90’s starring former Detroit Pistons Grant Hill and Jerome Williams.

    Long live the teal Pistons jerseys, I don’t care what anyone says, I love those things!"

    The NBA’s Cuisine Consultants. « freshprinceoftheblog.com




    Signing Ben Wallace Was A Great Move
    Dan Feldman - PistonPowered

    "I wasn’t happy when Ben Wallace left for the Bulls. He was my favorite Piston, and I wanted him back.

    I was sure he would return, and that just made the parting worse. Detroit’s championship window was wide open, and there were no suitable replacements on the market. (The Pistons’ consolation was Nazr Mohammed).

    I thought Detroit would have to pay Ben whatever he wanted. Sure, he’d be overpaid, but that’s the price of a title. Joe Dumars had given the Pistons flexibility. It was time to take advantage.
    But he decided to let Ben go.

    It was the right move

    Ben quickly went from my favorite to least favorite player in the league. He was a traitor.

    But deep down, I didn’t blame him.

    Sam Smith chronicles Ben’s struggles after taking the money. The presumption is he would have been better off taking less in Detroit.
    But who says he would have been happy here?

    Piece of mind with the Pistons was far from guaranteed. The contract was.

    Flip Saunders’s system obviously didn’t fit him. He clashed with Rick Carlisle, too.

    Maybe it’s a Ben thing not a Chicago/Cleveland thing."

    PistonPowered » Blog Archive » Signing Ben Wallace was a great move




    Net Worth - Central Division - Detroit Pistons Going Back To Work
    From The 3's

    "Are the Pistons back in contention or finding a different way to maintain the status quo? Active isn’t even close to describing the Pistons offseason. Heading into free agency, the Pistons were one of the few teams with a plethora of cap space. Free agent forward Charlie Villanueva agreed to a five-year contract at approximately $35 million. Prior to that, The Pistons and guard Ben Gordon agreed on a five-year contract worth $50 million. In the 2009 draft, Detroit selected Gonzaga forward Austin Daye with the 15th pick, and Georgetown forward DaJuan Summers in the second round. For frontcourt depth, Chris Wilcox signed a two-year, $6 million deal, and Ben Wallace for the veteran’s minimum of $1.3 million. That’s a lot of spending, and on top of the new faces on the court, there are a couple on the bench.

    The Pistons hired John Kuester as their new head coach, signing a deal for two-year with a team option for a third season. Kuester will be paid $1.5 million per season, and becomes the fourth coach since 2005 to man the helm. The Pistons also brought in tenured coach Brian Hill as an assistant for head coach John Kuester. Hill, once upon a time, took the Shaq/Penny Hardaway Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in the 90’s, and has 36 years of coaching experience. While always challenging to be a new head coach in the NBA, the extreme personalities of Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson have now departed. Kuester’s biggest challenge will be figuring out how to play the current roster.

    The team’s core will be Villanueva, Gordon, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, and Jason Maxiell. The 5 spot on paper will be a rotation of Kwame Brown, Wilcox, and occasionally Ben Wallace. Wallace is more of a mentor to the youth at this point in his career, and will be more of a locker room presence than a day to day contributor. Daye figures to learn a lot in his first year, and will see limited minutes as he spells Prince who will still see 35 or more minutes per game. The most intriguing storyline in Detroit will be the guard minutes. Stuckey, the incumbent starter, hasn’t proven he can be a floor general after Chauncey Billups’ departure, but has the talent to become a quality starter. Distributing the ball to Hamilton & Gordon will be his biggest challenge, as each member of that duo will need to get a lot of shots. Gordonwas considered by most to be a questionable signing, as Hamilton has been the Pistons starting and clutch shooting guard for the past seven seasons. It’s unsure if Hamilton will be moved as a result of the Gordon signing, as he recently signed a hefty $34 million dollar extension through 2013. The Pistons need to sort out all of these issues in order to improve on their 39 win season. Detroit has reloaded, and now it’s time to go back to work."

    Net Worth – Central Division – Detroit Pistons going back to work | From The 3s
     
  2. G-man

    G-man Starter

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    My Favorite Deron Washington Flush
    Toasterhands - LifeOnDumars (VIDEO FLUSH)

    "Surprise, Surprise, Deron Washington is officially a Piston.

    My take on this is simple. Deron is obviously an intriguing, young prospect that brings excitement to the hardwood. I don’t see him playing a whole lot this season, but not many expected Will Bynum to play much last year either. The best player comparison that comes to mind is James Singleton (some great YouTube vids of James out there). Both are uber athletic wing players and both played overseas to refine their perimeter shooting skills.

    When shall Pistons Nation begin campaigning for Deron to be in the Slam Dunk contest?"

    Life On Dumars | A Detroit Pistons Blog
     
  3. G-man

    G-man Starter

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    Ben Wallace signs one-year deal with Detroit Pistons
    A. Sherrod Blakely - Mlive

    AUBURN HILLS - Ben Wallace's return to the Detroit Pistons became official this morning after the 13-year veteran signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract.

    Wallace, who will be 35 years old in September, spoke to the media afterward.

    "I'm excited to have an opportunity to come back here," Wallace said. "My career really took a turn for the best, when I came here. And having an opportunity to come back, it's exciting."

    Ben Wallace signs one-year deal with Detroit Pistons - MLive.com
     
  4. aurora

    aurora Bench Warmer

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    Allen Iverson, the first superstar casualty of the "expiring contract" era

    Posted by Pardeep Toor | It's Just Sports August 12, 2009 14:30PM

    It's August, more than a month after the dawn of free agency and transactions have hit a standstill. The majority of NBA teams have established their rosters, some content with mediocrity (Philly, Utah, New Orleans) others making a realistic push for a championship (Celtics, Spurs). For most, all that remains is nitpicking to find the best cheerleaders to compete for the 11th and 12th spots on the roster. There is one glaring exception ... a barely six-foot unbreakable man of steel ... Allen Iverson.


    Before you dismiss my thoughts as just another "pro-Iverson" piece, I beg you to hang on for one second. Iverson's cultural significance, accolades, faults and authenticity have already been articulated by much more accomplished and knowledgeable authors than me. At this point, we know who Iverson is, perhaps thoroughly, but mostly speculatively.


    There's no need to embellish what Iverson was but rather what he is right now - the first casualty of the "expiring contract" era. At the helm of the guillotine were Joe Dumars and Michael curry.


    Until Iverson, the "expiring contract" has been an imaginative conception in the hard salary cap era. It permeates dreams of exchanging dead weight for a franchise-altering player (even though it rarely ever comes to fruition) and reeks of infinite possibility.


    Most expiring contracts are humorous. What? Somebody gave Erick Dampier a bajillion dollars over a kazillion years? Awesome (Andrei Kirilenko's contract might be the greatest expiring contract of all-time ... if it ever ends). It's good fun to mock the likes of Raef Lafrenz and Wally Szczerbiak. They still get paid an insane amount of money to sit on an NBA bench for 82 games. Think about it - they get paid just to sit there and watch basketball. It's OK to poke fun. I doubt they are complaining about how hard their work life is.


    But with Iverson, Joe Dumars took it too far - crossed the line of respectability by using the positive misfortune of a huge contract against a NBA icon and first-ballot Hall of Famer. Under the guise of change, Dumars traded for not the player in the jersey but the little tear away stub at the end of the paycheck showcasing deductibles and taxes. Which is fine, I don't have a problem with taxes or expiring contracts but it was sold to us differently - sold to us with dignity but ended with negligence.


    Allen Iverson, the first superstar casualty of the "expiring contract" era - It's Just Sports
     
  5. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I don't think that guy really thought it through.

    If Joe was using AI for his expiring contract and disrespecting him, then why did AI win the starting spot and force Rip Hamilton to the bench?

    AI got a lot of burn. He wasn't just brought in for the accounting. Joe had been talking about trying to get AI for years. He loved his heart and his superstar-like abilities.
     
  6. aurora

    aurora Bench Warmer

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    Yeah, that article is an example of something reporters do all the time. You could say it's endemic in sports journalism or journalism of any kind. They warned us against it in journalism school in college: reaching too hard for a narrative story line and then lining up the facts to fit it.

    I don't think Joe got AI only for the expiring contract and not the player himself. I don't think Joe knew absolutely for sure the team was going nowhere. I certainly don't think Joe though AI was going to ruin the team or that he thinks AI did ruin the team. All this is just so much malarkey. I don't think the team would have played that much better under Chauncey, at least better to the standards that we on the forum would have wanted them too with Chauncey and the main core still intact. So I'm fairly at peace I guess with the AI Fiasco except for one thing: he doesn't have a team to play on. That concerns me.

    I say there are two reasons for this. He is and has been unfairly scapegoated for the Pistons horrifying season last year. This is patently unfair. And if most of us meaning the fans can see that (even if the media with their love of drama can't) one would think the GMs could. And secondly, and it burns my chaps to says this because God and this forum know I love AI more than any other sports figure of my time, his very vocal and determined refusal to come off the bench in any capacity would give most coaches and GMs pause I think. It's hard for me to imagine that an entire league has unilaterally decided that Allen Iverson no longer has got any game left in him. This I don't buy.

    Anyway, I agree with TaShawn's disagreement with the writer saying Joe just got AI as a cold blooded financial move. I think he always wanted him and the stars aligned with the capspace in kind of a riskfree move in terms of the rebuild. I'm not sure I agree with what he's done with all that AI money, so far it doesn't translate into puzzle pieces that fit together very well IMO (Rip and BG and RS? Hello?) buy hey maybe he's not done yet. At least we can recognize the spiritual seed of our team in Big Ben sitting on the bench. That's something anyway.
     
  7. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Great post Kimmie.
     
  8. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    Yes.

    As soon as they sniff out a good story line everyone jumps on board...facts be damned. Particularly in the case of Iverson, I think folks who really didn't watch him play last year are making up things that didn't happen.

    He came here and played hard. He tried to sacrifice and defer to the established members of the team. He played for a clueless coach..he got hurt it didn't work out.

    The big mistake he made was sitting out the season after his injury was healed. There is no excuse for quitting...and that's his legacy with the Pistons.
     
  9. Nemo

    Nemo Fantasy-Football Snub Forum Donor

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    The X-factor here for me is the clueless coach. I believe that most coaches coulda made this situation much better than it was. Coaches like Flip, Cola, and LB woulda got 50-60 wins out of that team. It seems to me that Curry is the one who messed this up for AI...
     
  10. MACKSnare519

    MACKSnare519 First Round Draft Pick

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    Definitely, because on paper that team wasn't a 39-win team, not by a long shot.
     

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