It doesn’t take much to get Pistons fans feeling all nostalgic and whatnot. Following Detroit’s recent seven game win streak, we’ve fielded more than a handful of comments recently that read along the lines of, “I’m starting to get that 2004 feeling, all over again.”
We get it. Two weeks of winning, after over five years of futility, is a nice change of pace. But don’t get it twisted, the 2004 Pistons were a culmination of failure, development, winning, failing again, a little luck, a lot of luck, and then the ultimate reward. These 2015 Pistons pups would be best served proving their worth through an entire month of basketball before we begin drawing any drastic conclusions.
But back to the matter at hand. Today’s throwback clip is about triumph. The 2004 Pistons overcame well-documented odds to shake off the star-laden Los Angeles Lakers in what basketball culture has dubbed the NBA’s first “five-game sweep.” Prior to their championship victory, the Pistons were known as a team full of pretty good role players. After they’d been crowned champs, suddenly every member of their starting five became known as an all-star caliber player. Oh how perceptions so readily change.
One member of the national media who stuck in Detroit’s corner throughout their run in ’04? That’d be Stuart Scott, who tragically lost his extended battle with cancer earlier this week. In the midst of a country-wide campaign to disparage the Pistons’ lesser-paced, gritty, grind-it-out playstyle as being an example of poor skill that’d become exposed against a high-powered team out west, Scott was there to hold it down for the Motown crew.
Most notably, Scott let his personal support of the Pistons’ hard work seep through while reporting on their Game 2 Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Indiana Pacers. During a then-rare live broadcast of Sportscenter, Scott spoke highly of Tayshaun Prince’s game-saving block on Reggie Miller, declaring, “You will not see a play with more hustle than Tayshaun Prince had on a game saving block.”
He would continue, “For all you cats out there, who were crying about ‘Oh Detroit plays ugly basketball. It’s not good basketball.’ This was a hell of a game.”
So today, we celebrate our Pistons, but we also honor Mr. Scott. Rest well, good sir. And holler at a player when you see him in the street.