It is no surprise this team has changed. Attendance is up, attitudes are growing more positive, Brandon Jennings is playing out of his mind, and the owner is in the building. That’s right, there’s been a Tom Gores sighting. Gores attended Wednesday’s game and watched as his Pistons beat the Orlando Magic for their 12th win in 15 games. This team is trending on the upswing and there are no signs of stopping.
Gores was very active last night as he was seen not only at halftime but in the Pistons locker room after the victory as well. Interviewed at intermission with the Pistons holding on to a comfortable 65-48 lead, Gores had nothing but positive words for his entity.
“I’m just happy really, honestly, for our fans, for the city of Detroit,” Gores said. “For me, I feel like I was brought in as a new owner to deliver something, and I feel like I’m at least delivering a part of what fans expect. I’m really proud of this team, the way they’re fighting. I’m proud of Stan (Van Gundy) for not giving up.”
Orlando overcame a 21-point deficit in the third quarter and whittled the Pistons lead to two at one point. Brandon Jennings, however, restored order in the fourth, totaling 24 points and 21 assists while ushering in a wire-to-wire victory for the Pistons. The play of Jennings has been nothing short of phenomenal and Gores decided to pay the team (and Jennings specifically) a visit after the impressive game.
“Tom came in and talked to the team after the game, and he’s very excited,” coach Van Gundy said. “He thanked them for not giving up on the season when it was 5-23, and he talked about how much that means to him and to the whole city. He talked to the coaches as well, and there wasn’t a single time where he tried to take any of the credit. He’s unselfish, but we all know that he’s the catalyst for what we have started to do here.”
As a devout fan who endured the horrid post-Flip Saunders years, it is a happy sight to see an owner and a coach so appreciative of each other’s commitment and work. The winning helps, but this positive vibe is infectious and seems to be leading to a very bright future. Good for Gores to be showing such great support for his team and good for Van Gundy for embracing his boss’s vision with such passion and drive. The Pistons still have a steady climb, but I’m growing more comfortable relying on these two men to get us to the top.