No Big Ballers or Foxes patrolled the Palace on a quiet Saturday afternoon.
That’s because the Pistons did everything they could to win games and settled for the 12th pick of the draft and a 6-foot-5 shooting guard in Luke Kennard who won’t make a major impact immediately on this team.
The best of the best were shipped off to Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia.
And that’s the way it will remain for the Pistons. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy stated that neither he, owner Tom Gores or any of the Piston players will try to tank games for better draft positions now or in the future.
It goes against the grain of athletics where the elite fight for every game and fight for every inch of turf.
“I’ve never met or seen a coach that is tanking,” Van Gundy said. “I think organizations do based on sitting players who are on your roster. But once the game starts everybody is trying to win. Nobody is trying to lose a game. Even in Philly Brett Brown was trying to win every game. They were giving him players he couldn’t win with. That is how you lose games. Coaches don’t tank.”
Now that the NBA draft is behind him Van Gundy can attend more Tiger games at Comerica Park. He remains a Tigers fan and hopes the team can rebound from its last place status in the American League Central and make the playoffs.
He was thrilled to see that General Manager Al Avila did not throw up the white flag of surrender on the day he released pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. Some Tiger fans have given up and hope the team trades away some of its assets for younger players that can help down the road.
Van Gundy is not one of those people.
“That’s always crazy,” Van Gundy said. “I am a Tigers fan. I watch. They are still in the race. There’s time. I think fans get that way before we (coaches) do. We still think we are going to turn it around. Fans think when things go bad let’s tank and get a higher pick.”
I don’t like tanking. When a sports fan shells out money for a random Tuesday night Red Wings or Pistons game, they deserve an honest night’s effort. They also want their team to win. I’ve interview hundreds of professional athletes (siren) and they expect to win every time they step on the floor or field whether they are facing Tom Brady, LeBron James or Clayton Kershaw. That’s why they are professional athletes.
“I am always a buy guy,” Van Gundy said. “I am a different guy. I am always saying let’s get better.”