Detroit Pistons fill need with KCP draft pick

By Rob Parker - Sports Columnist
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DETROIT - In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday ...

There's weren't any franchise-changing players in this year's NBA draft.

That's why the No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Bennett, was such a shocker. Most had no idea the Cleveland Cavs would select him on Thursday night.

The Pistons did the best thing they could with the No. 8 pick in the first round, selecting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a shooting guard from Georgia.

KCP, as he has been dubbed by the media already because it's easier than his full name, is what the Pistons need -- a shooter. The 6-foot-5 KPC averaged 18.5 points as a sophomore last season. He was the SEC Player of the Year.

Some fans, of course, wanted the Pistons to take one of a few point guards who were still on the board when it was their time to pick, including Trey Burke, the former Michigan standout.

But the Pistons passed. And for good reason.

First, the Pistons have a point guard in Brandon Knight, a guy they drafted two years ago and still have plans for in this rebuild process.

Plus, many NBA scouts weren't sure if Burke would have the same impact on the NBA level because he's undersized.

And it showed where Burke was drafted, ninth overall by Minnesota and then traded to the Jazz. He wound up slipping there despite being the college player of the year and leading the Wolverines to the NCAA championship game.

Nonetheless, the Pistons did what they believed was best, not going for the popular pick in an attempt to sell tickets.

"Trey is an excellent player, somebody that I know extremely well and am very close to," Dumars said to the media after picking KCP. "But we have specific needs that we had to fill and the draft really doesn't come down to a popularity contest, it comes down to teams tyring to fill their needs.

"So that's what we did tonight. That's the decision we made tonight, that we were going to fill our needs."

Tigers Recent Play Disturbing

Sure, everyone believes the Tigers will the Central Division, mostly by default.

But coming into the season, it wasn't about winning the division, it was about winning the World Series.

On Thursday, the Tigers were swept by the LA Angels and looked bad losing all three at Comerica Park.

Despite their star-filled lineup and stellar rotation, the Tigers don't look like a true contender to win the Fall Classic because of their bullpen.

After a lousy 4-6 homestand, they hit the road for 10 games, starting in Tampa Bay tonight.

This team is too good to play as poorly as they have recently. This will be a telling road trip. Watch it closely.


The news that Kevin Durant is joining rapper Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports means the tide is turning.

And that's a good thing.

Without question, Jay-Z is a force already in the agent game. First, he landed Robinson Cano, a star's star in baseball. And now, Durant, another A-lister.

Not bad for just getting involved in this business not long ago. For sure, agents out there are shaking in their boots. They, too, must be scared they could lose their cash cow as well to see the two stars that just walked to brother-up with Jay-Z.

This revelation is bigger than just Jay-Z, trying to get a percentage of those mega-million dollar deals being signed all over Sports America.

It's more about African Americans having a chance to land some of the biggest and best athletes out there.

At one time, there weren't many black agents out there. Today, there are more. But there aren't any black super agents. Although still early, Jay-Z is on the way to being that.

It also signals that today's black athlete is looking different at the black agent. It's a vision of both power and pride between the two groups.

 Baseball's super agent Scott Boras. He's been involved in three of the four 200-plus million dollar deals in sports history. (Prince Fielder's $214 and Alex Rodriguez's $252 and $275)

The idea that Cano, who is in line for an eye-popping contract as he enters free agency this coming offseason, signed with Jay-Z is amazing. It's breaking down a barrier.

First of all, baseball owns 15 of the top 16 biggest contracts in the history of sports. Only Floyd Mayweather's $180-million deal with Showtime ranks on that list tied at No. 8.

Baseball doesn't have many black agents, none in on such a deal that could approach $200.

If Robinson gets the deal he deserves, it could open the floodgates for others to go another route come money time.

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