We look back and reminisce at seven moments that defined the Goin’ To Work Detroit Pistons era and made them so fun to watch.
More than 10 years after the Bad Boys era, the Detroit Pistons once again endeared themselves to the locals with hard work and an underdog attitude on and off the court.
It began in the summer of 2000 with trading away superstar Grant Hill for little-known Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. Things progressed two offseasons later when Joe Dumars added Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince. Rasheed Wallace filled the remaining hole a year and a half later.
The Goin’ To Work Pistons era was born.
And go to work they did.
Between 2003 and 2008, the franchise saw unprecedented success. On the strength of their earlier acquisitions, the team appeared in six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. They won a championship in 2004 and were a Robert Horry shot away from repeating in 2005.
Success came in a rugged, blue-collar way that befit both its nickname and the city that it called home. None of the teams had a real MVP candidate. No one ever threatened to win a scoring title. Rather they worked hard and in tandem much like the parts of a car produced in Detroit.
Ben Wallace became a transcendent defensive force. His frontcourt partner emerged as an emotional leader. The backcourt carried the offense with a steady hand missing in other parts of the roster. A young, defensive-minded Tayshaun Prince changed playoff series when called upon to shut down the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and others. The bench units matched the starters’ energy and attitude.
Coaches and players came and went. But the heart and attitude of the team remained for a long, glorious stretch and gave the entire state of Michigan memories to last a lifetime.