|Founded||1941 (joined NBA in 1948)|
|History||Fort Wayne Pistons |
|Arena||Palace of Auburn Hills|
|City||Auburn Hills, Michigan|
|Colors||Royal Blue, Red, White|
|General Manager||Joe Dumars|
|NBA D-League aff.||Fort Wayne Mad Ants|
The Detroit Pistons began their basketball life as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, members of the National Basketball League (NBL). Fred Zollner, owner of the team from its formation in 1941 until 1974, played a key role in merging the NBL with the BAA (Basketball Association of America), which created the NBA in 1948. The Pistons moved to Detroit in 1957. The Pistons have won two NBL titles and three NBA titles.
For a detailed account of the Pistons over the years, read the Detroit Pistons Franchise History.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
The Pistons have a long history, dating back to the National Basketball League (NBL). They have had their ups and downs, but no one can argue that they have not been successful. A few numbers say a lot:
- two NBL championships
- four NBL Finals
- three World Tournament championships
- three NBA Finals championships
- five Hall of Famers
The Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons joined the NBL in 1941. They met with immediate success, advancing to the league championship series their first four years in the league. They came up short in 1942 and 1943, but took the title in 1944 and 1945. They remained an NBL power through 1948, but never won another NBL title.
The Zollner Pistons won the World Professional Basketball Tournament three years running, 1944, 1945 and 1946. That invitational tournament brought together the best basketball teams in America, regardless of their league affiliation or the skin color of their players. A different Zollner Pistons player was selected tournament MVP in each of those tournaments.
In 1948 the Pistons jumped leagues and joined the young Basketball Association of America. After a weak first season, they made the playoffs every year, making it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1955 and 1956.
While the team was successful on the court and in the hearts of many fans, owner Fred Zollner made the difficult decision that Fort Wayne was just not big enough for his NBA team. After the 1957 season, the Pistons moved to nearby Detroit.
The franchise was founded in Fort Wayne, Ind., as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League (NBL) team. Owner Fred Zollner ran a foundry that manufactured pistons primarily for car, truck and locomotive engines.
In 1948, the team dropped "Zollner" from the name and became the Fort Wayne Pistons, competing in the Basketball Association of America. In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table.
Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, their city's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city that hadn't seen professional basketball in a decade. When the team relocated to the Motor City, the name Pistons was still appropriate in the nation’s automobile capital.
"Since I've been here, we've never considered changing the team name," President and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment Tom Wilson said. "Mr. Davidson would say that it was, is and always will be the name. Just like the Lakers, Warriors, and Hawks, who all moved from different cities -- it is what it is. Last but not least this team is awesome hahahaha im the awesome one.
|Detroit Pistons Arenas|
|North Side High School Gym||1940-1952 (Fort Wayne)|
|War Memorial Coliseum||1952-1957|
|Olympia Stadium||1957-1961 (Detroit)|
|Palace of Auburn Hills||1988-present|
|Detroit Pistons Depth Chart|
|Center||Greg Monroe||Ben Wallace|
|Power forward||Chris Wilcox||Charlie Villanueva||Jason Maxiell||Jonas Jerebko|
|Small forward||Tayshaun Prince||Austin Daye||DaJuan Summers|
|Shooting guard||Ben Gordon||Richard Hamilton|
|Point guard||Rodney Stuckey||Will Bynum||Tracy McGrady|
William Davidson - Owner
Tom Wilson - President & CEO
Joe Dumars - President of Basketball Operations
John Hammond - Vice President, Basketball Operations
Alan Ostfield - COO & Assistant General Manager
John Kuester - Head Coach
#2 Chuck Daly
#4 Joe Dumars
#10 Dennis Rodman
#11 Isiah Thomas
#15 Vinnie Johnson
#16 Bob Lanier
#21 Dave Bing
#40 Bill Laimbeer