‘I Welcome All The Center Jokes’: Pistons GM Troy Weaver Embraces Twitter After Interesting Draft Plan
In the NBA, at least over these past few years, it seems the era of small-ball has taken over. Teams have been leaning towards developing rosters with position-less players who can shoot the 3-ball, spread the floor, and guard multiple positions. The era of the traditional center, or big man, seems to have been fading away.
That is until the Detroit Pistons all of a sudden this season picked up a center. Then another center. Then yet another center.
It had many wondering what in the world was going on. But, there was a specific method to the madness.
Pistons GM Troy Weaver has been wheelie’ and dealing’, basically restructuring the whole roster, returning only a handful of players from last season. This GM methodically made trades and signings to end up with three first round draft picks and a second round pick.
That’s right, three first round picks. I don’t know why the Pistons somehow flew under the radar on draft night in the national media but this was low key some shrewd, solid, strategic moves for this Pistons organization to pick up some great players who do fit the description of position-less, have length, and are able to guard multiple positions, as well.
The guys they traded away will be missed, especially Langston Galloway and Luke Kennard, but the players they picked up they are hoping can restore the “Bad Boys” era Pistons or even the 2004 Pistons champs teams.
Guys who can rebound, hustle, have grit, and even a chip on their shoulder with something to prove this year. Combine all that into one and you have a team that you don’t want to mess with.
But, insert the center equation here. As Sporting News said, “Twitter has jokes”, as they reported ” five new centers (were) acquired in a span of three days, to complement…power forward Blake Griffin. So much for modern basketball.”
That’s right, five new centers to the roster whether they were added via free agency, trade, or draft: Mason Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor, Dewayne Dedmon, Tony Bradley, and Isaiah Stewart per Detroit Bad Boys.
Bring on the centers. But, the Pistons wouldn’t keep all of them. They kept first-round pick Stewart and former Duke centers Plumlee and Okafor. And they waived and stretched out the contract of Dedmon and traded Bradley per Hoops Habit.
Here’s your newest Pistons centers, Stewart, Plumlee, and Okafor:
Okay, so now down to three centers. That makes sense. And all that matters is that it makes sense for Weaver and this organization as they try to embody what those ’04 Pistons and back-to-back ’89-’90 Pistons were all about. Rolling up your sleeves and going to work to win a title.
But Weaver was here for all the jokes, though, and talked about his specific strategy and importance for “bigs” on title teams.
“Let the record show, I know there was a lot about you were collecting a lot of centers,” Weaver said. “Absolutely, I love bigs. People always say they want the opposite. Guards want to be bigs. Bigs want to be guards. I love big guys.”
Weaver said he believes that’s the way you win, by “controlling the backboards”. AKA getting those rebounds.
“It’s held true,” Weaver said. “I’ve never seen a team win a championship without controlling the backboard. So, I welcome all the center jokes ’cause I do love centers.”
Well, here you go, Weaver.
Here were the center jokes (as collected by Sporting News):
“Last time I checked, the two teams here with the Pistons that were good, they had a bunch of bigs,” Weaver said. “Whether it was (James Edwards), Mahorn, Laimbeer, to Ben Wallace to (Mehmet) Okur to Rasheed Wallace. They had a lot of bigs. And guess what? We’re going to have some bigs, as well.”
For all you fellow Pistons fans out there, you can respect the fact that he’s trying to bring about that Pistons-winning culture to the city. Having guys that can do the dirty work getting to the glass, hustle, dive for loose balls, make plays that make your team better–that helps develop winning basketball, even in a day and age of small ball.
Weaver said all this in his opening statement to let the record be known before introducing two of the new center signings to the team, Plumlee and Okafor. Weaver he was excited to bring these two guys in.
Are you excited for the season? The NBA pre-season is already underway. Let me know in the comments if you like this concept of having some solid bigs to help you get to that championship.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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