Detroit Pistons Fans Once Again Proving to Be the Fair-Weather Kind

December 1st, 2012 by Greg Eno Leave a reply »
Life on the road in the NBA is supposed to be a battle of attrition, fraught with jet lag, living out of suitcases and sleeping in airports. It’s supposed to be filled with games in enemy arenas tilted with unfriendly whistles and acerbic leather lungs in the champagne seats.

There are supposed to be no gimmes on the road in the NBA. Even the dregs of the league can manage to play at least .500 ball in their own building.

That’s the way it is, pretty much, for visiting teams. Until they come to Detroit, er, Auburn Hills.

They’re papering the houses for Pistons games again. Just like they did when the team got dropped off on Detroit’s porch by owner Fred Zollner in 1957, when he moved his Pistons from Fort Wayne, IN.

First at Olympia Stadium, then at Cobo Arena, the Pistons would be lucky to fill a third of the building. Phony attendance figures would be announced over the PA. Even among the puny crowds, a good portion of them got in for free or at reduced rates, thanks to all the coupons floating around town.

When the Pistons grew up enough to build their own basketball Palace back in 1988, it was t ...

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