Move to DetroitThough the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, Fort Wayne’s small size made it difficult for them to be profitable, especially as other early NBA teams based in smaller cities started folding or relocating to larger markets. After the 1956 – 1957 season, Zollner decided that Fort Wayne was too small to support an NBA team and announced the team ...
Pontiac SilverdomeThe Silverdome (formerly known as the Pontiac Silverdome) is a formerly domed stadium located in the city of Pontiac, Michigan. The stadium complex, which opened in 1975 and had its first closing in 2006, sits on 127 acres (51 ha). The Silverdome hosted the Detroit Pistons from 1978 till 1988. The Detroit Pistons also set numerous NBA attendance records during ...
Back to Detroit: Palace of Auburn HillsThe Palace of Auburn Hills (commonly referred to as The Palace) is a sports and entertainment venue in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Opening in 1988, it is the home of the Detroit Pistons, of the NBA. From 1957 to 1978, the Pistons competed in Detroit’s Olympia Stadium and Cobo Arena. In 1978, owner Bill Davidson elected not ...
NBA Finals Winner 1989NBA Finals – 1989 The 1989 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1988 – 1989 NBA season. The series was a rematch of the previous year’s championship round between the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA Finals Winner 1990NBA Finals – 1990 The 1990 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1989 – 1990 NBA season. The series pitted the Detroit Pistons (the previous year’s champions) against the Portland Trail Blazers. This was the first NBA Finals since 1979 not to involve either the Lakers or the Celtics. The Pistons became just the third franchise in NBA ...
NBA Finals Winner 2004NBA Finals – 2004 The 2004 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2003 – 2004 National Basketball Association season. The Finals were between the Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference and the Detroit Pistons of the Eastern Conference; the Lakers held the home-court advantage. The series was played under a best-of-seven format, so the first team to ...
History of the Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. The team has been around since 1941 and is currently part of the Eastern Conference Central Division. They have won three NBA championships (1989, 1990, and 2004), five conference titles, and nine division titles. They have also made it to two other NBA Finals series (1988 & 2005).
The Pistons' success can be attributed to some great players who have worn a Piston jersey over time, such as Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, and Dennis Rodman. Their "Bad Boys" teams of 1989-1990 were especially memorable for their hard-nosed defense that helped lead them to back-to-back championships during those seasons. In the 2003-2004 season, with Chauncey Billups at point guard leading a solid core group including Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Wallace, and Rasheed Wallace, they went on a fantastic run through playoffs culminating in winning the championship against Los Angeles Lakers.
In recent years, however, there has been much less success for this franchise which hadn't had a playoff appearance since 2009 when they lost out in seven games against Cleveland Cavaliers. Even though things haven't gone quite according to plan recently, there remains hope with young talent like Andre Drummond promising future glory days ahead. If he can reach his potential alongside new coach Stan Van Gundy, bringing fresh ideas into the mix, then maybe we will see Detroit Pistons returning into contention soon enough!
Fort Wayne - Detroit
1949 – Present / National Basketball Association
1948 – 1949 / Basketball Association of America
1941 – 1948 / National Basketball League
1957 – Present / Detroit Pistons
1948 – 1957 / Fort Wayne Pistons
1941 – 1948 / Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons
Pistons - The Detroit Pistons are one of the most storied franchises in professional sports. With a long history from 1941, the team has established itself as an iconic part of American basketball culture. But what many fans may not know is how this legendary franchise got its nickname: The Pistons.
The story starts with Fred Zollner, who purchased an NBA expansion team for Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1941 and named it after his company’s product - piston rings. He chose this name because it represented strength and power - two qualities he wanted his new basketball squad to embody on the court.
Zollner moved his franchise from Indiana to Detroit in 1957 due mainly to financial reasons but kept the same name for continuity purposes; thus began a decades-long tradition of calling them “the Pistons” by both their fans and opponents alike! The moniker stuck so well that when they eventually changed their logo from piston rings into flames during the 1971 season (a move intended to make them look more intimidating), people still referred to them as "the Piston." This shows how deeply ingrained this nickname has become within our collective consciousness over time!
So next time you cheer on your beloved Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena or anywhere else around town, remember – they have been known as “the Piston” since before anyone can remember – let's keep up with tradition by continuing to call them such!
NBA Championships 3
2004, 1990, 1989
2016 – Present / Little Caesars Arena
1988 – 2016 / The Palace of Auburn Hills
1978 – 1988 / Pontiac Silverdome
1961 – 1978 / Cobo Arena
1957 – 1961 / Olympia Stadium
1952 – 1957 / Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
1941 – 1952 / North Side High School Gym
2011 – Present / Tom Gores
2009 – 2011 / Karen Davidson
1974 – 2009 / William Davidson
1941 – 1974 / Fred Zollner
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
1 / Chauncey Billups
2 / Chuck Daly
3 / Ben Wallace
4 / Joe Dumars
10 / Dennis Rodman
11 / Isiah Thomas
15 / Vinnie Johnson
16 / Bob Lanier
21 / Dave Bing
32 / Richard Hamilton
40 / Bill Laimbeer
– / William Davidson
– / Jack McCloskey
*Blue is this team’s history