- NBA Championships: 3
- Last NBA Championship: 2004
- Claim to Fame: The Bad Boys clawed and elbowed their way to back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990.
- Claim to Shame: The Pistons made the most regrettable draft day decision of all time in 2003 when they selected Serbian big man Darko Milicic ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
Contrary to popular belief the Pistons didn’t spring into existence in the Motor City. This longstanding franchise was actually founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and played one lackluster season in the now defunct BAA before jumping ship and joining the NBA in 1949. The Pistons remained in “Summit City” for eight more seasons, during which time they went to the NBA Finals twice in 1955 and 1956.
The Pistons had trouble turning a profit in Fort Wayne and headed down the highway to Detroit in 1957. The move helped their bottom line enormously, but the team struggled to win and didn’t become a major force until the early 1980’s after drafting Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Dennis Rodman and acquiring bruising center Bill Laimbeer from the Cavaliers. That fearsome foursome formed the core of the team’s Bad Boys roster that helped them unseat the Celtics and Lakers and win back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990.
The Pistons added a third title in 2004 when they defeated the heavily favored Lakers in just five games. The victory was all the more surprising given the fact that LA’s starting lineup featured four first ballot Hall of Famers in Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal. Detroit returned to the Finals the following year, but lost a hard-fought seven game series to the Spurs.
The Pistons have missed the playoffs in each of the last two years and finished 19th in offensive rating and 11th in defensive rating in 2017-18. Their poor performance led to the ouster of head coach Stan Van Gundy and the hiring of 2018 NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey. The Pistons are hopeful Casey will be able to get the most out of underperforming stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin and push the Pistons back into the postseason.