If you’ve ever seen NBC’s reality show, “The Biggest Loser”, then you’re fully aware that the biggest loser is actually the biggest winner. The object, of course, is to lose the highest percentage of weight thus becoming the biggest loser. The Pistons are a different kind of “biggest loser.” Of all of the wretched teams in the NBA this season—including the near historically bad New Jersey Nets—the Pistons are, without a doubt, the biggest collection of losers in the group. While every other horrible team is spreading minutes to younger players and ethically tanking the remainder of the season, the Pistons have decided it’s time to showcase the $20 million of wasted money they had the misfortune of acquiring last summer. The only thing worse than Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon hibernating through the entire year is for the dreadful duo to wake up just in time to ruin Detroit’s only ray of hope in an otherwise miserable season. Thanks, guys. I didn’t think there was any way you could prove to be a bigger waste of roster space than you already had over the first 76 games. Clearly, I was wrong.
The Pistons were in the Cadillac of draft positions just three days ago. With the first and second positions locked in place weeks ago by New Jersey and Minnesota, the Pistons were standing at the top of a massive heap of teams in the battle for the 3rd position. Thanks to the strength of an 11-game losing streak, the Pistons were just a week from securing a 15.6% chance of winning the NBA Draft Lottery. At the very worst, they were guaranteed the 4th overall pick meaning John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, or DeMarcus Cousins was on his way to Detroit. That’s when Villanueva and Gordon decided that they were going to extend their lead as the most worthless players in the NBA. Not only are they largely responsible for Detroit’s inflexible cap situation and its worst record in 15 years, they also cut the team’s chances of winning the NBA Draft lottery by nearly 250% in just 24 hours.
The idiocy began on Tuesday night when Villanueva erupted for 25 points off the bench to lead the Pistons over the Sixers. Villanueva hadn’t scored 20+ points in a game since January 12th. Over that span, he averaged a whopping 9.3 points per game. Gordon—obviously unhappy at the prospects of Villanueva singly handedly pissing off every Pistons fan in the universe—decided that he wanted to wake up from his long winter’s nap against the Hawks on Wednesday night. Gordon came off the bench to score 22 points to lead the Pistons to victory. He hadn’t scored that many points since February 5th. Over that span, he averaged a Villanueva-esque 9.4 points per game.
I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that the Pistons have been nauseatingly unwatchable this season, the fact that Villanueva and Gordon sabotaged Detroit’s draft, or the fact that we’ll undoubtedly have to endure Joe D telling us that these worthless wins are a sign that this team has started to gel. This team couldn’t gel if it were the Jonas Brothers at the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. Unfortunately, a lack of quality hair product and bucket of slime is only part of the problem. Perhaps the biggest problem is that this team has no future. Villanueva and Gordon are the equivalent of a pair of anchors buried in the concrete floor of cap space hell. Thanks in part to Joe D’s regrettable decision to sign them to longterm contracts last season, the Pistons not only find themselves the proud owners of a pitiful basketball team, but the proud owners of a pitiful basketball team for what appears to be a long, long time. They are already on the hook for $51.40 million next season. As bad as the Nets, T-Wolves, Kings, and Wizards have been this season, none of the four are on the hook for more than $36 million next season. At least they have the funds to do something about their futility not to mention improved draft position courtesy of Deeetroit Basketball’s awesome two-game winning streak. All of this makes the Pistons the “Biggest Losers” of the NBA.