One of the best to ever wear a Detroit Pistons uniform, point guard Chauncey Billups joined Adrian Wojnarowski this past week on his ‘The Vertical Podcast’ show. Wojnarowski touched on many topics with Billups, one in particular stands out from the others. About a quarter of the way through the podcast, Wojnarowski brought up how the 2004 Pistons squad were the “anti-super team” and asked Billups if it gave him a ‘greater appreciation’ for what ended up happening in the Motor City after the 2004 name season came to a close.
He’d just gotten done with a touching on the topic of Kevin Durant and how the Golden State Warriors will now be looked at as a ‘super team’. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the ‘Big 3’ era Miami Heat teams were also involved in the conversation. Chauncey reflected on how he, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace ‘often talk in a group text’ about just how special the 2004 season really was. Regarded in Detroit as ‘The Best Starting Five Alive’, people tend to forget that all five were basically players that other teams simply just didn’t want. Who knew that when they all made there way to the Motor City that they would become champions.
We all remember when the Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in five games to become NBA champions in 2004. The Lakers were regarded as a ‘super team’ themselves with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton on the roster. Nobody, absolutely nobody seemed to give the Pistons any chance whatsoever to take down the almighty Lakers team. Detroit wasn’t scared, intimated or anything of the matter.
Rasheed reminded us all of that.
Classic ‘Sheed’ right there.
The 2004 NBA Finals matchup was truly a ‘David vs. Goliath’ type altercation between the Piston and Lakers. Detroit seemed to just punch Los Angeles right in the mouth, put them down for the count, en route to hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Doing it at home made it that much more special of a moment.
Other topics such as head coach Larry Brown‘s role in putting the Pistons over the top, how his experience will help him relate to players if he enters coaching and Chauncey’s memories of the infamous “Malice in the Palace” incident were spotlighted. The discussion about the ’04 team really stood above anything that was talked about between Wojnarowski and Billups. They really were the cinderella team that ended up doing the unthinkable.
There are so many memories from that special season in Detroit basketball and like ‘Mr. Big Shot’ said, what the ’04 squad did ‘will never happen again’.