Feel the Bern: Detroit Pistons in Paris, au revoir

Detroit fell to Chicago 126-108

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: General view of play as Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls shoots during the third quarter of the NBA match between Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons at The Accor Arena on January 19, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) (Dean Mouhtaropoulos, 2023 Getty Images)

PARIS – On a gloomy Thursday afternoon, our viewing consisted of the Detroit Pistons facing the Chicago Bulls in Paris.

Vive la France! The NBA loves to play games overseas.

The late David Stern made the overseas game one of his building blocks for the league. And now the NBA can be seen all over the world.

It’s a terrific game, and sharing it with the world is both intelligent and financially sound. And make no mistake, finances are the big reason.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: General view of play as Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls shoots during the third quarter of the NBA match between Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons at The Accor Arena on January 19, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) (2023 Getty Images)

As for the Pistons, they are undergoing a rebuild which is picking up steam. But earlier this year, one of their key guards, Cade Cunningham, had surgery on his shin and lost nearly the entire season.

This is a critical time that a young player can never get back, so his development will slow a bit since he missed so much time this season and won’t return until next year.

Cunningham is the face of the franchise, so he is key.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, in street clothes, sits with his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The problem for Detroiters and the Pistons is the success of this franchise wasn’t that long ago. They won it all in 1989 and 1990 and again in 2004.

Most young fans may remember the bad boys. If they don’t, their parents do and probably have recounted those golden days to their kids. So when the level of success was winning it all, it’s tough to get excited by a team battling for the number one pick in the lottery.

But don’t lose hope, as this is the yin and the yang of the NBA. No one ever thought the Los Angeles Lakers would be ordinary when we watched them with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Pat Riley running the show.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: Former player, Magic Johnson looks on during the NBA match between Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons at The Accor Arena on January 19, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) (2023 Getty Images)

But they did get ordinary, very ordinary, although they did win the COVID bubble title a couple of years ago. All teams age and have to rebuild. That’s what the Pistons are going through now.

One day you’ll look back at these days and say, ‘Do you remember?’ Actually, scratch that. No one will want to remember these days.


About the Author:

Bernie brings sports to Metro Detroit. You can catch him on Local 4 News weekdays at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.