Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Save The Kleenex: Pistons Dead, But May Be Re-animated

Here lies the Detroit Pistons. Rest in Peace. Once, they were a team to fear, a squad that smelled blood and came armed with hammers, ready to pound the nails into your coffin. Champions once, almost twice. Beasts of the East, if nothing else. Dead, at age seven, having finally succumbed to a long illness.

Their last words, according to those friends and family surrounding them as they passed away, were "I can't believe it's over."

The Pistons passed away last night, in Chicago of all places. The Bulls have killed the Pistons twice now -- once in the 1991 East Finals in Auburn Hills, and -- after the Pistons had been resurrected, a la Jason in a "Friday The 13th" movie -- they slayed them again.

The final, mortal blow came in rather surprising fashion.

The Pistons blew a 15-point lead with seven minutes to play. Or, if you like your obituaries REALLY ghoulish, they coughed up a 10-point lead with about three minutes left. When you can't even win the games that have already been won, then you know the end is near. And, just like that, the Pistons expired.

The Pistons are dead. Long live the new beasts of the East, the Boston Celtics. Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers, with their King LeBron, can overtake them. We'll see. But the playoffs will not include much drama from the Pistons, who will be the only team in the tournament to show up post-mortem.

Pay your respects as this season winds down. If you're a person of faith, bless their souls as they dissipate into the afterlife. The Pistons, as you once knew them, have passed on. It was inevitable. Death is part of life. Maybe they can once again make like Jason and re-appear for yet another sequel. We'll see.

The long illness to which the Pistons ultimately succumbed was a fatal bacterial strain of pouting players, rookie head coach, inconsistent rotation, loss of appetite, and hubris. Doctor Dumars tried a jolt to the cadaver with the Allen Iverson trade, but its effects were minimal. There simply, in the end, wasn't enough un-poisoned blood coursing through the team's veins to sustain life.

So no time for tears. This is a wake but it shouldn't be funereal. Just hope that Dumars can be The Reanimator and bring back his monster for another run. Last time the Pistons died, it took more than a decade to come back to life. It's unlikely to take that long again, what with all the marquee free agents available a year from this summer. So at least there's that, to get you through the grieving process.

The Detroit Pistons, Part II: 2001-2009. They'd only begun to live. But, at the same time, they seemed so old, too. Funny, huh?

No comments: