The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Eastern Conference Central Division. The team plays its home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The team was founded over 160 miles away in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons in 1941, as a member of the National Basketball League (NBL). The Pistons joined the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1948. In 1949, the NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA, and the Pistons became part of the merged league. Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won three NBA championships in 1989, 1990 and 2004.
The Pistons name originated from the team’s then owner Fred Zollner who named the club after his personal business. When the team moved to Detroit in 1957, Zollner dropped his name from the nickname but retained Pistons.
The first of the Pistons’ three Championships was in 1989. The Pistons had been the outstanding team in the Eastern Conference as they won no fewer than 63 games during the regular season. Their route to the finals took in sweeps against both the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, followed by a best of six games win over the Chicago Bulls. This brought them straight back to the NBA Finals where they had fallen foul of the Lakers in a tough, seven-game series. This time the Pistons astonished the Lakers who had swept their way to the finals by beating them four-zero.
Because of the physicality of their play and their arrogance, Pistons' center Bill Laimbeer nicknamed the team 'The Bad Boys'. The name became an unofficial 'slogan' for the Pistons throughout the next season as well. 1990 saw a second consecutive Championship win, this time a 4-1 win against the Portland Trail Blazers. The key moment in Game 5 of the Finals was Vinnie Johnson's series-clinching shot in the final seconds. Johnson landed a 14-footer in the last second, beating Portland 92–90 in Game 5 of the Finals, thus giving Detroit the World Championship.
Their latest win to date was 2004 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers who held home court advantage, played under a best-of-seven format. Most people expected the Lakers to win the Pistons came out on top by a 4-1 margin to win their first title since 1990 and their fifth overall, made up of three in the NBA and two in theNBL. Piston point guard Chauncey Billups was named the Finals MVP of the series. The series will be remembered for the underdogs lording it over a star-packed Laker team.
Currently the Pistons’ future looks highly promising and they are a team well worth watching.
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