Joining the BAA the Pistons are starting over again as they drop the Zollner from their nickname. However, Fred Zollner remained a virtual part of the development of the league as he helps provide transportation arrangements for the entire league. In their first year in the BAA, the Pistons would struggle to finish in fifth place in the Western Division ...
Though 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 ...
History of the Pistons
The Fort Wayne Pistons were one of the original National Basketball Association (NBA) members founded in 1946. The team had a long and successful history, winning two championships during their tenure in the league. They also produced some of basketball's greatest players, including Hall-of-Famers George Yardley and Bob Cousy.
The Pistons played at North Side High School gymnasium for most of their time in Fort Wayne before moving to Detroit after the 1957 season due to financial difficulties. During those 11 seasons, they made six playoff appearances and won two NBA Championships (1955 & 1956). In addition to these successes on the court, many notable figures from basketball’s early days spent time with the organization, such as Bill Sharman, Larry Foust, Andy Phillip, and Dick McGuire, who all eventually entered into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame as coaches or players later on the down the line.
In 1987 an effort began by local fans called “Bring Back The Pistons” aimed at bringing professional basketball back to Ft Wayne but unfortunately never materialized due to lack of funding or political willpower needed to achieve that goal. Regardless, Fort Wayne Pistons remain an essential part of NBA history, having been the first-ever franchise to become a member association over 70 years ago. Though they no longer exist physically, legacy Fort Wayne pistons live through hall farmers; they produced well achievements earned while playing under banner city Fort Wayne Indiana.
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 Fort Wayne Pistons are an iconic basketball team with a long and storied history in the NBA. The team was founded in 1941, making them one of the oldest teams in professional basketball. While their name may sound like it has something to do with cars or engines, its origins lie elsewhere.
The nickname “Pistons” dates back to when they were known as the Zollner Pistons from 1941-1957. Fred Zollner was a local businessman who owned an auto parts plant, and a semi-professional baseball team called the Fort Wayne Kautskys (later renamed for him). He invested his money into buying an NBA franchise named after his company – The Zollner Pistons!
This name stuck until 1957 when owner Fred Zoliner sold off part ownership of his beloved franchise and changed its name from “Zollners” to just “Pistons” – paying homage not only to Mr.Zoliner but also acknowledging that this new era would be about more than just one man's business venture but rather about creating a successful sports dynasty that could stand on its own two feet!
From there on out, "Pistons" became synonymous with success - winning multiple championships between 1988–2004 under head coach Larry Brown while becoming household names such as Isiah Thomas & Chauncey Billups during those years, all while remaining true their humble roots by keeping up their original moniker: "Fort Wayne Pistons." So next time you hear someone talk about this legendary organization, make sure you know why they're called what they are - because it's where everything began!
NBA Championships 0
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