Tales from the dark side....

Discussion in 'Pistons and Basketball Articles' started by G-man, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. G-man

    G-man Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    g & g gas station
    “In Detroit, it was horrible for me, a nightmare.”

    That’s the scary sound emanating from the trembling lips of the big Serbian formerly known as a Piston big. Thank god, the nightmare's over, his words not mine. But I had a bad dream too.

    My dream was full of floating decimal points and I kept seeing this ham like fist wrapping itself around wads of my cash. In my dream the room is hazy with stale cigarette smoke and I’m dressed up like a human cigar, a big tasty Macanudo. My ears are burning and faintly, ever so faintly I can hear Larry Brown’s voice, “Sit down you stupid bastard!”

    Then I woke up, drenched in cheap sweat, and I remembered I’m not getting 50k a night to play professional b-ball.

    It’s 2:45 in the morning. I’m sucking down my third Bavarian beer in an hour, it’s a Heineken knock-off. Looking out the window I can see my used Ford with the re-built tranny in the driveway. The remaining few hairs on my head are standing straight up at attention, each weak-kneed strand lying to me, pretending it’ll still be up there in the morning. My eyes are watery and red, real damn red. The calculator on my lap is pissing me off. It won’t give me the answer I want, the one that makes sense. I’m trying to rationalize the cost of a nightmare in today’s world.

    Here’s the gist of my late night angst, back in September of 2003, Joe Dumars inked the young Darko to a four year deal worth $16,815,062. Leaving the playoff games on the cutting room floor, my calculator says Blondie suited up for 223 games as a Piston. His contract was weighted, meaning each successive year he earned more than the previous one. My late night math indicates the big mans contract for 82 regular games this season was $4,135,200 or $50,429 per game. I’m a little queasy.

    Since last October he tugged those shorts over his big unmotivated ass in 59 games, he ham fisted $2,975,326. Let’s carry this spooky story a little further, over the roughly 30 months he was in Detroit, his 223 games cost the Pistons $10,436,556. He took home an average check of $46,800 after each game. That scares the hell out of me.

    In my world of cheap beer and used Fords I either give it my all or someone else comes and gets it. When I took my job I sat across from one serious cat, he said “The job pays this and you got to do that.” I wanted the money, I said yes. That’s the deal. It’s a simple one. Nightmare in Detroit? At $60 grand a year it would take me 166 years to earn what they paid him before his 21st birthday. What can’t be grasped about that basic concept?

    I pry the sticking Barco-loungers pleather off the bottom of my thigh and head back to the kitchen for one last beer. The big mans words, “horrible nightmare” is reverberating in my head. I’ve watched him in Orlando in the last couple games and its clear to me he sandbagged us. He ripped us off. He was pulling a Vince Carter job. He was working at not working for $50k a night.

    All week on different blogs and forums I’ve been reading the apologists, “he never got the chance” and “I wish him well in Orlando.” You know what I say? I hope he chokes on one of those big Florida oranges because he’s nothing more than a dry-gulching piss ant. He stole our money. He lied to us. We paid for his “A” game and he gave us a sandbag filled with stinking cat litter. We gave him 10 million bucks and he gave us the shaft. He flat out rim rolled us. Wish him luck?

    Personally, I don’t care about the damn ’03 draft. I don’t care about Carmello Anthony or Chris Bosh. I don’t care that Joe was blindsided by our less than stellar scouts or that his drafting capability rivals Anna Kournikova’s tennis career. The guy in the uniform cashing that big check still owed us something, an honest effort. A hard night’s work for a good nights pay, instead we were slow ladled stinking Serbian fish head soup.

    Its 3:10 in the morning and my sheets are still damp. Crawling back into bed, I’m going to try visualizing my dreams, good dreams that aren’t adorned in thick white political correctness. Solid mid-western blue collar dreams about new trucks and hair so thick it has to be combed with a sawed off yard rake. I’m going to dream about snaps and pops and ankles. I’m going to dream about 10 million rusty lead bone screws and a national anesthesia shortage….
     
  2. 16 Mile

    16 Mile Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Uh G, you've been smoking something. What you wrote is so far from the truth, I don't know where to begin.

    First, how did Darko shaft us? We never played him. VC was getting 35 mpg and blew it off. Are you going to compare Darko blowing off garbage time to that? I cant recall one person, not even LB, saying Darko blew off practice. From what I can tell, he practiced hard, he worked hard, he just got upset during games when he couldn't play, and blew off garbage time.

    Are you telling me you'd prefer a guy that was getting paid, and was happy he never got into the game?

    Are you saying Darko pretended to be bad just to get out of Detroit? Huh? All he asked for is PT. I cant imagine a #2 overall pick that just wants to play.

    Now as far as not busting his ass, and this is the most important point. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY!!!!!!

    If Darko was not busting his ass day in and day out for 3 years, and never played any meaningful minutes in a game, explain how after only a few games, he's become Orlando's best player? (Don't believe me, check out 82 games). Or are you suggesting, his natural talent is so high, he could blow off 3 years at Detroit, and just step into Orlando and turn it up? He aint no long time Vet, who's already developed his game and shut down to get out of a bad situation, he was a 17 yo rook, with no real game experience that came to Detroit.

    So once again, if he wasn't busting his ass the past 3 years, how is he doing so well now?

    Total bs. How bout LB stealing his paycheck with Knicks? You don't seem to upset about that. Ran out on Detroit, where's you paycheck stealing post then?

    This is the reality, LB hated Darko, didn't play him out of spite. Flip has the ghost of Minnesota on him, and has no time for anyone but the 5 and 1, Joe gave up trying to get his coaches to play his guy, and Darko and his agent realized that Darko deserved a Max level contract, but was never going to get the chance to show it in Detroit.

    Speaking of money, by forcing the trade, Darko has probably doubled the size of his next contract. I guess you'd work for half pay for a boss that treats you like crap, just because it was in the D. I know I wouldnt.
     
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    20,766
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dagobah
    Nice piece G. Exactly how I feel. This cat held out in Summer League (look at his turnaround at Eurobasket), and held out most of this season.

    His teammates endorsed him, and he tanked to escape.

    Joe and Bill D. got tired subsidizing a kid with a money grubbing agent (see Samuel Dalembert negotiations).

    With the paycheck comes an obligation. You gotta play and play hard (even in garbage time), or you shouldn't be taking the check. Bottom line, he didn't. But he kept cashing the checks.

    Like 16 said, he's doubled his money by leaving, a smooth financial move, paid for by the fans of the Pistons.

    I wish him many losses and a max deal. There is a Raef LaFrentz future awaiting him. Reap the whirlwind.
     
  4. bricalz

    bricalz First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cebu City, Philippines
    A well written piece on how G hates Darko so much. Nice G nice, I respect your opinion.

    And yes, I too am not paid that much to play pro ball.

    My thoughts are that back then, if fortune would have it that I was in Joe Dumars' shoes, I would have made the same draft choice -- Darko Milicic, a raw, young big from Serbia -- over his contemporaries Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

    The thing is, Darko, like most immature young guys drafted at such a high position feel like they are entitled to something (example is Kwame Brown) LeBron of course is mature enough to know how to work. Darko was given a chance to show that he had the work ethic to devote himself to his profession. But sadly he did not show it.

    After his first season under Larry Brown, he understandably pouted a lot but that should have changed under Flip Saunders when he was given a shot at playing time.

    But I don't think he changed. And like most of us here read, it seemed like he was biding his time when he would be out of Detroit, away from the pressure of living up to his draft status, and the dwindling excuses for not putting in the time and effort.

    Joe did the right thing in trading him. For the team and for the player.

    He had to get something for Darko. His best mistake brought us a championship because there was no way of knowing anybody in that draft would have made the (non)impact Darko had.

    So off goes Darko to the Magic, his chance for redemption.

    I feel that Joe saw right in Darko as evidenced by his better performances in Orlando. He will be a good player in the coming years.

    Unfortunately, he will see formidable opposition in the Detroit Pistons, the team he quit on. Which I hope will always kick his big Serbian behind.
     
  5. G-man

    G-man Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    g & g gas station
    16 & Bric,

    Altruism starts at home. If you believe that, you should be upset with what your witnessing. You're willing to hold everyone accountable for his 30 months of performance except him, whats wrong this picture?

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. We're either witnessing a miracle or we got sandbagged, there is no in-between cause the "lack of performance Vs sudden performance" is indicative in and of itself.

    I like the idea of toothfairys but I don't believe in them. I like the happiness the Easter Bunny brings to a childs life, but I know the whole easter bunny gig was created by the egg lobby.

    I don't fall for the smoke and mirrors and I'd advise ya'll need to stay away from poker tables.

    The DMC guy shanked the org. It's plain as the fogged lenses on your rose colored glasses. You can shoot the messenger but the message stays the same..
     
  6. 16 Mile

    16 Mile Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY, NY
    Sandbagged? WTF? At what point did he sand bag? All of the Pistons said he was the real deal. That means he wasn't sand bagging in practice. In what little real game time he got at the beginning of the season, he did OK. He had one real bad game and never played again. <br><br>How do you sandbag in garbage time? JMax has done nothing but jack up shots in garbage time. No rebounds, no defense, just catch and shoot. Is that sandbagging.

    Give me an example fellas. Saying something over and over again doesnt make it true.

    Face facts. Our coaches choose to play lesser talent over better talent.

    If you guys were the hot shot new hire for a lawfirm, top law school credentials, and some idiot who happened to be the brother in law of the president made partner before you, do you think you'd keep trying hard?

    This is why we lost Darko, and will lose Delfino, and probably will lose Acker and Johnson. As far as JMax, he sucks, so we'll probably keep him.
     
  7. max

    max All-Star

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7,446
    Likes Received:
    446
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    my bunker in the Carribbean
    Main thing I will not miss is all the guessing. Obviously the coach is not going to bench a player for one bad game. Something happened in practice. Darko lost his 5-10MPG off the court somehow. I don't know how. All I know is Dumars proclaimed Darko needed to go someplace where he could play 20 MPG.

    All we need is one more year for Orlando to flounder. Then we can get hopefully get a 6th or 7th pick in the projected deep 07 draft. That would not be so bad.

    It is a good piece. Pistons did spend a lot of resources on the kid. Not only financially with all the coaching hours put in. I am sure they had better things to do with their time. Pistons were Orlando's farm system.
     
  8. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    618
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Lunas, NM
    Re: Tales from the dark side....G-mans nitemare

    Good work G-, but I think I know where your nitemares come from...
    They come from trying to make sentences from these words, " instead we were slow ladled stinking Serbian fish head soup" :laugh:
    I didn't see much of Darkos play. But if he was a team player , when he got double teamed at NY and no teammate looked for his pass, it would seem they abandoned him. Maybe they were trying to get him to finish, whatever, but if you got a 7 ft. rockin' body you don't need to take any
    CRAP !:mad:
     
  9. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    So, I take it all of you "Darko got shafted" people honestly believe that Darko had a right to play uninspired when he got in the game. The paycheck was not enough incentive for him to play hard all the time? Again, had Darko dominated his competition while he was in the game we wouldn't even be having this discussion. At Darko's best, he played mediocre for us during the regular season....period. That angers me.
     
  10. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    You've got to be kidding me! Some of you guys are beyond unbelievable.

    Sandbagging!?! Sandbagging? Is that what you guys are resorting to now? How in the heck can any of you people claim that Darko was sandbagging? That is totally preposterous. The problem with you guys, is that you just weren't paying attention, and even the times you did, you just dismissed what you saw.

    The simple fact is, Darko showed that he could play like this plenty of times this year, as well as last.

    He took the preseason by storm, even led the entire preseason in blocked shots, from the bench! He showed he could play then, but the nonbelievers wrote it off as "it's just the preseason, it doesn't count."

    Then went on to say, "let's see him do it in the regular season." Which he did a few times early on, even Flip Saunders went so far as to say how well Darko had played and that he has to find him some minutes. His words, not mine. (Go look it up in the article section in the archives) Only for Saunders not to follow through, and instead he just left Darko glued to the bench.

    The same thing Larry Brown did last year more than once. The exact same scenario, so much so that it's almost like déjà vu. Darko plays well/Saunders-Brown acknowledge it and say they've got to find him minutes to reward him/only not to follow through. The previous is all true, and all in the archives in the articles. For those that claim they don't remember or can't recall it.

    Then the players have been on record since day one, claiming that Darko can indeed play. But you guys wrote them off too, saying "of course that's what they're going to say...they're his teammates, they're not going to drive down his value...Etc."

    It's always something isn't it fellas? You never wanted to believe he could play. Even Micro went so far as to post comments about what John Thompson said. Which of course was "If he could play, they would play him." And I posted then, what a fool Thompson is.

    The simple truth is Darko has always shown he can play like this, all he needed was extended minutes on the floor to show it. You'd think the haters/nonbelievers who've just simply been so wrong about him and dogged him over the past few years crying "bust, lazy, unmotivated, talentless etc." would just simply acknowledge that they were dead wrong on Darko and just eat their serving of crow. Instead of that though, we now get that he was "sandbagging."

    Unbelievable.

    Who you people need to be mad at is the Pistons head coaches that wouldn't play him, even when he clearly showed that he deserved playing time. Or you could even blame Joe for not forcing the issue. But to go so far as to claim that Darko was sandbagging is a far reach people, and frankly I don't know where you get the nerve.

    He's shown these talents plenty of times while in the Pistons uniform. It's a shame that you missed out on it.
     
  11. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    20,766
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dagobah
    Zo,

    I think you missed the point of that article completely. It's a trend with the hardcore Darko fans. They launch into the same old story, the emotional baggage that every Pistons' fan is supposed to be saddled with.

    If Darko wanted to play, he would have stayed in Europe for a couple years. But he rode the hype to a big paycheck and a lot of bench.

    After seeing the money that Tayshaun re-upped for, that's gotta send a shockwave to DMC. WAIT A SECOND??!! I LEFT SERBIA FOR THIS?!?

    Yep, his earning potential was in question. IT's obvious now, he's a max deal stud. But he would NEVER have earned that in the Motor City.

    So he tanked. All the evidence he tanked is there. He isn't developing in Orlando, he's actually trying really hard for the first time since Eurobasket. Because he looked NOTHING like this in a Pistons uniform, even 5 months ago in the preseason.

    So please, spare me the Pistons are bad, coaches are bad, starters are bad, NBA is bad, John Thompson is bad rhetoric.

    DMC could have given like this, HELL he was supposed to give like this because he cashes those checks, but he didn't.

    It will be VERY interesting to see what Darko does when he becomes a restricted free agent. VERY interesting. It will also be interesting to see how he responds to any playing time bumps in the road.
     
  12. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    20,766
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dagobah
    OH, and I'll admit, Darko is one hell of a player. He could be a super great one. But not in Detroit. The #s weren't right.
     
  13. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    I am willing to go on record right now. The young Serbian learned something else in Detroit.

    When his contract time comes up, he will not go for the max contract. He has learned that it is important to build something and both he and Dwight will take less than the max to stay in the building mode as long as he is still getting the respect and PT that it takes to get it done.

    I still think Memo did the same thing. He did not go for the max contract; he went for the PT and the chance to help build something. BTW, he had 29 last night.
     
  14. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Re: Micro

    Excuse me... "spare you." Spare you the facts? Because that's what they are.

    That is total BS Micro, I'm not missing the point on anything. This is exactly what he looked like in preseason, I still have the PM's from our conversation about Darko's play in the preseason, remember when we spoke about his fine play in the preseason? and you went and posted "Zo's been telling me that Darko and Delfino are kicking butt and taking names in the preseason. Is this true fellas?" as a matter of fact I recall in that conversation we were having. You even said that you didn't see hardly any of the preseason games. (I could go check, though)

    So how can you sit there and say "he looked NOTHING like this in a piston uniform. Even five months ago in the preseason."?? when it's quite the contrary. He played really well back then.

    He's shown these exact skills, plenty of times, while in a piston uniform. Just not in garbage time that you guys seem to hold so near and dear.

    And it's not an excuse when people say that it got to the point that he just quit trying in garbage time because he knew that it would never transpire into more game time. No matter how good he did. So why even try? Nothing was ever going to come from it one way or the other. That was obvious. Simple as that. And you can't argue against that. If he never got more time after playing really well in meaningful minutes, why on earth would he believe it would be any different from his garbage time performance? the truth is that it wouldn't have. And you call that sandbagging?? It wasn't sandbagging, he was just simply beaten and just gave up.

    And now that he finds himself getting force-fed the minutes that he should have been getting in Detroit, he's ecstatic and rejuvenated. It would be the exact same situation if we would've played him here. Look man. The kid wants to play, he doesn't want no part of a championship that he has nothing to do with, heck who would?

    Oh, and he could have been a great player with Detroit, if only the coaches would've played him.
     
  15. G-man

    G-man Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,423
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    g & g gas station
    Its a crazy backwards world..

    "So why even try?" (say what..?)

    Besides being hired as a professional - I can think of 10 million immediate reasons why he should've tried.

    How anyone can say (with a straight face) he had a right to give anything less than 100% from the minute he pulled on the jersey is totally beyond my understanding. What world are you living in? What do you do all day? He learned team play? Say what? When did isolating your game become team play?

    All of the guys that hung like lint off his jock aren't vindicated by his current play, you've been violated! It's just the opposite. He never gave at the Pistons office.

    He had two viable choices, work his ass off to out-play the other bigs or work his ass off and out-wait them. He chose neither.

    Instead he stunk the joint up during any game time he was given. No sane person can revisit his Pistons history to re-write the script, it's in the frickin record books. He tanked his game time to get out'a dodge. Everyone knows it and everyone acknowledges it.

    The fact that other players said he could play only proves he made no real effort on the floor. It substantiates the opinions of all those that said he wasn't making a real effort, that he wasn't giving us fans or the Pistons his best game. Those are the only opinions being vindicated by his current play.

    He murphyed all the lintballs and now they want to lay claim to some hidden knowledge. What is it? That he lacks personal integrity? That he has the soft underbelly of lazy housecat? That you're willing to sway in the wind like a roadside weed to defend a guy that just sucker punched you in front of the whole world?

    Joe d and an assortment of others all said he had game. We paid for his game but what we got was gamed. This isn't rocket science and the earths rotation isn't spinning backwards.

    Sorry but you can't claim victory when your pants are hanging down around your ankles, especially when it's your guy that tugged them down. The emotional investment some have made to defend this cats honor after he 'Vinced" us borders on insanity.

    Now take off your Piston wear and go sit in the corner cause you've earned a lengthy timeout...:)
     
  16. linwood

    linwood All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I'm really having a very hard time buying this conspiracy theory. Coaches (all coaches) play to win. They put the players on the floor who give them the best chance to win. Period. Not just the American players. Not just the black players. The best players to win.

    Darko was here for almost three years. I started out as a big supporter. I remember seeing him come for out of nowhere his first game or so and get some rediculous blocks. I couldn't believe it! Fast. Lightning Fast. Not to mention 7 feet tall.

    On many a lottery team, he would have instantly been given playing time. Everyone agrees on that. But he wasn't on any lottery team. He played for a team Contending for a championship, and on this team, the coach plays the players that give the team the best chance to win. So despite Darko's amazing talent, he was obviously not the best option to win.

    Which doesn't excuse his lack of effort! The guy signed a contract, cashed the checks, and gave almost nothing. Yeah, I remember the blocks in preseason. I remember the Darko crossover driving the lane (that was insane!). But I also remember Darko not trying to get a rebound. Not even lifting his hands. I saw him duck from a rebound once. I saw him step aside when a guard was charging the lane. Just get right out of the way. "Here ya go. It's garbage time, who cares!"

    As for the lawyer analogy someone made earlier: when I graduated from college I had a well respected degree and a couple of years of experience working as a college intern. I had letters of recomendation from professors I had worked with on research projects. I came to my first job well qualified. And for the next six months I worked the copy machine, did the coffee runs, and handled the mail. Certainly beneath my abilities. But they were paying me, and that's what they wanted me to do. It was a test. A test to see if I really wanted the job. A test to see if I was a team player.

    Darko failed the test. :mad:
     
  17. linwood

    linwood All-Star

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    4,452
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Oh yeah. Another thing. I never thought the guy was sandbagging. I thought he might be retarded. (I'm serious) I coulnd't figure out how a guy that tall, that quick, with those great passing instincts could stink it up so bad. I figured he was just slow and couldn't figure out how to play the game. Kinda like rainman with a jumpshot.
     
  18. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,158
    Likes Received:
    0
    So much for thinking that the trade would restore the peace around here. ;)

    Meanwhile it's a great kick to visit Orlando forums and watch guys frothing that "Darko is better than Howard." They're already counting championships over there, but the Magic keep losing and Darko still does a couple of bad things for every good thing, as he did in last night's game against the Suns.

    At the heart of this whole puzzle is a missing piece -- without which we are as helpless as Kennedy conspiracy buffs without the Zapruder Film. I refer to Darko's legendary "Chad Ford Workout" at John Jay College. Doesn't it seem at least a LITTLE bit likely someone would have taped it for future reference while sizing up draft prospects? Hmmmm ...

    My current take on all this is that the Pistons saw a passionate talent who was actually just passionate about getting out of Serbia. Now he's got the playing time he wants, the good money, the Florida coastline for his jet ski. I think he will be a good player in the league as he gets more comfortable with his skills, but never the player that fires up so many imaginations. Which will suit him just fine.
     
  19. Jackattaq

    Jackattaq First Round Draft Pick

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Warren,Mi
    Just how long does that test need to last? If you were still grabbing coffee and making copies after 3-4 years would you still want to be at that job?
     
  20. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    20,766
    Likes Received:
    2,614
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dagobah
    Considering this point, each of us has to raise their game. To think above the same emotional arguments we get caught up in everyday. The coach did this, or it was hopeless, or Joe wasted the pick etc.

    As Pistons fans, we're blessed with a team that is considered (along with the Spurs) a model for NBA unselfishness. It's not the norm, it's the exception.

    Ben is grossly underpaid, has been for years. Chauncey is playing at bargain bin prices for elite PG performance. Sheed actually re-signed a smaller deal AFTER WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP.

    Joe has built a culture here. Not every player fits. Not every need is met. The only consistent theme in Detroit for the last 3 years has been, "Do you want to win?". That's been the selling point to guys like Davis and Dice. The reason why Flip took the high pressure job for a negligible pay increase.

    Do you want to win? Will you sacrifice minutes to win? Will you pass up a big contract, to win?

    Aguirre did it. When Jack traded A.D., Aguirre was a cancer in the Mavs organization. A true "me first" player. But when placed in a situation, with great players who demanded accountability, and a winning attitude, he was even willing to let the younger Rodman play chunks of his minutes, because it gave them a better chance to win. That was the same sacrifice that Dantley complained about, even as the Bad Boys were getting closer and closer to being World Champs. "The Teacher" couldn't see the bigger prize. Immortality. Universal respect.

    Darko's not unique in this. Baron Davis tanked in New Orleans. Zo tanked in NJ and refused to report to Toronto. Carter basically sold his soul to escape the Great White North.

    All 3 resurrected their careers with new teams.

    Joe's message when drafting J-Max that he was looking for Pistons DNA was pretty obvious. He'd lost Memo, and he had to have the feeling that the Darko pick might not work out either. Not because either player didn't have talent or were bad people, but that they might not be willing to compromise their earning potential to maintain a high work ethic and settle for less minutes.

    As a Pistons fan, Joe's unique house is dependent on all of the pieces being in it for the same reasons. That's hard to do. Incredibly hard. Everyone has an agenda, and Joe can only cater to so many of those individual agendas before the whole thing starts to unravel.

    Would I take $4 million a year to play garbage time? Absolutely. That's why we love these guys. It's a working class team, for working class folk. We can identify with them. We understand what it is like to be cut, or traded, or rejected. Deep down, we all have a sense of pride that has been trampled or overlooked.

    That's why we raise our game, and that is why they raised theirs.
     

Share This Page