How the Detroit Pistons went from the doorstep of a dynasty to over 10 years without a playoff win

  • Published on May 16, 2019
  • The Detroit Pistons and their president of basketball operations, Joe Dumars, had constructed a magnificent roster that went out every night and performed a beautiful hoops symphony of selfless ball with ferocious defense.
    They rode that to an NBA Championship, came excruciatingly close to repeating, leading to Dumars becoming irrationally impatient, losing his touch, and eventually trading his team’s leader and floor general for pennies on the dollar - and it sent them falling down a pit of despair of terrible hires, trades, signings, draft picks, even a mutiny against a head coach ... until they were nothing but unidentifiable rubble.
    Written and produced by Alex Rubenstein
    Shot by Michael Imhoff
    Edited By Jiazhen Zhang
    Motion Graphics by Michael Das
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Comments • 1 274

  • chester rockwell
    chester rockwell 21 hour ago

    Whatever. If the Lakers didn't collapse/choke these clowns wouldn't have a championship.

  • wanderlustwarrior

    Are you just TRYING to make me sad with this video?

  • Isaac Yescas`
    Isaac Yescas` Day ago

    Do one on the Sacramento Kings

  • Johnnion GT
    Johnnion GT 2 days ago +1

    If they were to take Wade or melo with the 2nd pick in the 2003 draft, they would have formed a legitimate dynasty, probably gonna beat the Spurs in 05'.

  • Mike Yacoub
    Mike Yacoub 2 days ago

    Letting Ben sign with the Bulls & trading Billups for Iverson is how the downfall of Detroit started and then after losing Rasheed & Mcdyess signing Gordon and Villanueva was the huge mistake, still suffering from it to this day

  • Jerald Polk
    Jerald Polk 2 days ago

    Thank you SB nation for reminding the world of what real defense looks like in the city of Detroit
    I never thought I would see an elite defensive team close to the BADBOYS until Joe D blessed us with the 2004 GOIN TO WORK Pistons . By the way Josh Smith’s contract comes off the books 2020. A new Hope and a new era of defense is coming to Detroit, Dwayne Casey sees it.

  • Kha'len McCoy
    Kha'len McCoy 2 days ago

    I love the commentary he gives as Brandon Knight gets yammed on at 11:44

    GATSBY 3 days ago

    That’s easy they should have never beat the real Lakers

  • Luis Bustos
    Luis Bustos 3 days ago

    The only reason they won a title was because of the issues between kobe and shaq..had to be said

  • Shivan Anirudhra
    Shivan Anirudhra 3 days ago

    I started watching the NBA in 2005... That pistons team was my first team I rooted for... They played so intensely and with humility... Miss that from the NBA these days

  • Adam Peterson
    Adam Peterson 3 days ago

    Now do the Tigers

  • Lucas Congdon
    Lucas Congdon 4 days ago

    Too bad I’m a Pistons fan born in ‘03 so I only got to experience Josh Smith playing for them

  • Evan Stowers
    Evan Stowers 4 days ago

    It's sad that what made them great is what made Dumars blind to their greatness: to him none of them were special...but all of them were special: they could all lead, teach, and even come off the bench when needed.
    Could have been the Spurs 2.0 with an even greater defense.

  • Christian Farkas
    Christian Farkas 4 days ago

    Can we get a Buffalo Bills collapse? As a Bills fan it would be great to see just how bad we've been for so long since the early nineties.

  • Feddy von Wigglestein

    There's a good amount of college football teams that would fit this series perfectly. All 3 major Florida teams have reached the highest heights and hit the lowest lows in the 21st century. Nebraska and USC would be relevant as well.

  • Feddy von Wigglestein

    "...some kind of truck for ants" gahahaha

  • Saitoki Myshkin
    Saitoki Myshkin 5 days ago +1

    The 04 pistons and the 01 Kings are my dream match-up

  • A_BruhMan
    A_BruhMan 8 days ago

    Shitty ass organization

  • CLyD E
    CLyD E 8 days ago

    04 detroit is like present raptors, they'll only have 1 championship year

  • Jay Lethal
    Jay Lethal 9 days ago

    Sadly its true 😔 my pistons went trash

  • Brent Caldwell
    Brent Caldwell 9 days ago

    Ugh. Tough to relive all of this lol. But well done.

  • spurs fan here
    spurs fan here 10 days ago

    I remember those Spurs Detroit battles real well. Thank god for big shot Rob.

  • Gabriel Rodrigues
    Gabriel Rodrigues 11 days ago

    Not american sports but Barcelona's collapae afete winming the UCL would be great

  • NateDawg920
    NateDawg920 12 days ago +1

    It's crazy how long Dumars lasted. Basically living off of his success early on. And then in the end he wasn't fired, but stepped down?? That's crazy. I've never seen a President/GM stick around after so many massive blunders. Not taking Wade, Bosh or Carmelo was bad enough, but he was lucky that happened when they were so dominant. I forget which teams pick they had which landed them that 2nd overall. That was when Lebron went 1st I think. I just remember that draft in particular being maybe the best top 5 ever with LBJ, Wade, Carmelo and Bosh. And Dumars took Millitech or whatever his name was lmao! That should've been an early red flag, making that mistake. They wouldn't have lost to Miami in '03 if they took Wade. That team could've been a dynasty with the addition of someone like him who can create his own offense for a team lacking in players who can do that.
    Side note: The Malice at the Palace effected the Pacers so much that season and probably was the biggest reason Detroit maintained their spot over Indiana. That Pacers team was so good. Rich with talent on both sides of the ball. Their best offensive players were also their best players on D and if I remember correctly, they were off to a fast start that year and Wallace was boiled over with frustration going after Artest. NBA players need to see that and what came of it, so they can best handle things that happen to them in the moment.
    Kyle Lowry for example, handled his situation perfectly in game 3 at Oracle. When a fan puts hands on you and curses you out, unfortunately you can't give the guy a much deserved smack. You're better off realizing there's cameras everywhere and that fan, or minority owner ffs lol, will be dealt with. Putting hands on him only helps him out.

  • John David
    John David 12 days ago

    As an Iverson & LeBron fan as a kid this is my first team and favorite team in the nba and Ben Wallace blue Detroit Jersey is my favorite to wear

  • matthew carran
    matthew carran 13 days ago

    dumars lasted to long

  • Ufk BYR
    Ufk BYR 13 days ago

    Ben Wallace deserved to be the Nba Final Mvp 2004.

  • BPS Sports
    BPS Sports 14 days ago

    Joe dumars should have just played

    LUCAS LOVEKIN 15 days ago

    they didn’t really collapse like some of the other collapse videos. they made 6 east finals in a row but their guys got old and drummond greg monroe and brandon knight weren’t as good of a core as they thought

  • dwade11chief
    dwade11chief 16 days ago +4

    They should've fired Dumars 😭😂 before it really got nuclear. How the hell did he keep his job so long.

  • dwade11chief
    dwade11chief 16 days ago

    All the future gane changing All Star players they passed up 😭😂😂 Jesus! Nah man. Pistons gotta be up there wit the Knicks but atleast that got that chip over the Lakers to remember

  • dwade11chief
    dwade11chief 16 days ago

    Lmfao called Tracy McGrady's stint as a washed up hasbeen. Ouch!

  • LEX .P
    LEX .P 16 days ago

    Dam i forgot a.i played for the pistons lol!!!!

  • meg
    meg 17 days ago

    4:46. Do your homework or pick up a ball. If they were flotsam like you say, they wouldn't have had all those successful CAVS seasons. You're the same type of media that will say a guy like VanVleet is flotsam for being undrafted. I'm sure Steph Curry and Klay would disagree. Media like you... smh. Fake media.

  • Traugott Müller
    Traugott Müller 18 days ago

    Questionable drafts and trades is the downfall of the Pistons. Allen Iverson might have been a PR stunt, but Darko Miličić sure was a huge, HUGE mistake, especially when you consider how Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade could've ended up in Detroit and could've helped build a dynasty. Or at least something much better than what followed after 2004.

  • Great Singaporean
    Great Singaporean 18 days ago

    Oh yeah, not to mention Pistons always got sweep by Utah Jazz every season, presumably a revenge from the Mail Man home team after they didn't give a chip on his hand.

  • Míchele Cobré
    Míchele Cobré 19 days ago

    Joe dumars ruined it by trading Chauncey to Denver

  • Míchele Cobré
    Míchele Cobré 19 days ago

    Will we ever bounce back?

  • Míchele Cobré
    Míchele Cobré 19 days ago

    You brought me back to my teenage-hood man (lol)

  • Derek Jones
    Derek Jones 19 days ago

    This team was arguably the best defensive basketball team ever.

  • Jay Woods
    Jay Woods 19 days ago

    Joe need 2 fall bak money wins championships! Spend the money cheap ass joe

  • Benjamin James Welch
    Benjamin James Welch 19 days ago

    Robert Horry

  • Raymond Solis Jr.
    Raymond Solis Jr. 19 days ago

    Larry Brown was a horrible coach. If you can't control your players you have no reason coaching. They were nothing but a bunch of thugs.

  • Kurt Wagner
    Kurt Wagner 20 days ago

    Man Dumars was a shit GM

  • vincent raymundo
    vincent raymundo 20 days ago

    Joe Dumars lol pistons sucks until now

  • vincent raymundo
    vincent raymundo 20 days ago

    charlie villanueva garnett says he is a hangover recovery from cancer brutal

  • vincent raymundo
    vincent raymundo 20 days ago

    horror story of pistons and still continuing until today hahahaha

  • Toddy Kwest
    Toddy Kwest 20 days ago

    Only thing scarier than Ben Wallace is my mom when I don't do the dishes

  • Lemance Moss Jr
    Lemance Moss Jr 21 day ago

    I’m a LeBron fan so Seeing Kawhi with that damn Pacers hat on just scared tf outta me. Imagine if they kept this dude and he still blossomed to be who he is today 🤦🏾‍♂️ Paul George and Kawhi on one squad, especially with the team the Pacers had. They mighta been like ‘03-‘06 Detroit on STEROIDS

  • joshua nored
    joshua nored 21 day ago

    I'm from the city and I can tell you this video makes me hate Joe dumars look at all the drafts he's wasted on clearly better talent out there it started with not getting Carmelo and he just never got it right

  • Rodrick Ray
    Rodrick Ray 21 day ago

    The pistons could have been the 90’s possibly. All they had to do was draft Carmelo Anthony

  • Rustic
    Rustic 21 day ago +1

    2024 is our year

  • ponyboy616 funk man
    ponyboy616 funk man 21 day ago

    U can tell artest was ready for an ass whoopin big Ben just should be a boxer

  • 2smokesletzgo
    2smokesletzgo 21 day ago

    Billups was the core of the team, trading him was just the worst lol

  • Renz Adam Dela Cruz
    Renz Adam Dela Cruz 22 days ago

    Mostly similar to Raptors nowadays..

  • Zack Morris
    Zack Morris 22 days ago

    If they drafted melo, aw man 😔

  • J'Hue Casey
    J'Hue Casey 22 days ago

    Biggest factor in their post 04 struggles was probably the lack of bench depth. After the championship, they lost almost the entire bench. And that unit was stacked when they won. Okur went on to be an all star in Utah, Mike James put up 20 a game for Toronto, Elden Campbell retired, and the previous year's sixth man, Corliss Williamson was let go too. We lost over 40 points per game in talent off that bench and only replaced it with McDyess who was great and Carlos Arroyo, who was terrible most nights. I think Joe D was looking for Spursian magic with the Arroyo move and it just didn't pan out.

    That starting lineup was stacked, but they needed a bench and without one, they were just worn out and too shorthanded come the later rounds in the playoffs all the way up until their last run in '08 when they finally got some young talent to go with the veteran stars.

  • Davonte Tate
    Davonte Tate 23 days ago

    Joe Dumars stupid ass.

  • Davonte Tate
    Davonte Tate 23 days ago

    This shit fucked me up man smfh, being from Detroit we witnessed this same downfall with all of our Sports Franchises..

  • Jay
    Jay 23 days ago

    As a Piston fan this hurt my soul

  • James Worthy
    James Worthy 23 days ago

    “washup has-beens” ouch ! and its crazy how the pacers trade kawhi leonard. him & pg would of dominate the east

  • Quinton Alford
    Quinton Alford 24 days ago +14

    It would've been fun to watch the 04 pistons vs 17 warriors

    • amy lover
      amy lover 9 days ago

      04 Pistons would put a spanking on the Warriors.

    • Quinton Alford
      Quinton Alford 10 days ago

      @Donovan Pitts I know but the joy would come from watching all the so called media pundits scramble for excuses why

    • Donovan Pitts
      Donovan Pitts 10 days ago

      Quinton Alford they woulda locked the warriors up

  • Ismoy Smallboy
    Ismoy Smallboy 24 days ago

    Still have my #22 Tayshaun Prince jersey and Chauncey has and was still my Friendster profile pic; Chauncey was the one guy that could have get them back together; he was the leader, the brain that could have injected sense into Dumars about picking up players in FA and drafts; but for all you Detroit fans, how could you bring in Allen Iverson (which is one of my favorite players all-time) to lead a defending NBA Underdog Champions when he was already of age? Look, he can’t even get passed Shaq & Kobe when he was blitzing fast as lightning! Gaddddddddddd,. I’m pretty sure Rip wud still be Rip maybe now an Asst. Coach or a shooting coach maybe, Big Ben a Defensive coach; and who else can run the show better than Chauncey as the Head Coach and maybe President of Basketball Ops rather than Van Gundy; damn those Pistons; till now a Pistons fan

  • Davodd M
    Davodd M 24 days ago

    Dumars didn’t lose his touch. Just unable to adapt to the change of the game.

  • HippoTitties
    HippoTitties 24 days ago

    11:27: Think he meant Mark Ruffalo.

  • Ronald Harvey
    Ronald Harvey 24 days ago +1

    I still can't believe they passed on Carmelo. I know Melo extremely wanted to go to Detroit.

    • J'Hue Casey
      J'Hue Casey 22 days ago

      The story for Detroit and for Melo would be way different if they'd drafted him like they should've.

  • Abraham Sheinkman
    Abraham Sheinkman 25 days ago

    You guys need to do a collapse on the Lakers next. How they went from one of the primer teams in basketball, to becoming a doormat after the Dwight trade, Kobe’s injury, and Magic Johnson’s failed presidency.

  • Chuck Chilla
    Chuck Chilla 25 days ago

    If that brawl wouldn't have happened the Pacers would've won the Chip that year.That team was stacked but losing Artest and Jackson was a huge blow.Reggie Miller would've gotten his first ring so i kinda feel bad for him

  • U-Bezerk
    U-Bezerk 25 days ago +1

    I blame Joe Dumars I'm patient ass and that Billups trade was the beginning of the end.

  • YK 15
    YK 15 25 days ago

    Ben Wallace isn’t that tall but he’s a beast in the paint. I’m a 90s Bulls fan (who isn’t) but really enjoyed this Pistons team.

  • Jonathan Constant
    Jonathan Constant 26 days ago

    next week: the Lions collap..... oh wait.

  • roynell Morris
    roynell Morris 26 days ago

    Gordon Hayward ain’t a star

  • FCN Videos Pt2
    FCN Videos Pt2 26 days ago

    Dumars destroyed this team, he was horrible GM/President

    STEVEN B. 26 days ago


  • Aldrin Borja
    Aldrin Borja 26 days ago

    How i wish they won back to back championship that would be totally memorable. Same situation with 2007 Celtics.

  • Wawa E
    Wawa E 26 days ago +3

    Why detroit never got their title back?
    Long hair Ginobli happened
    All Star Miami happened
    Lebron happened

  • Shawn Guron
    Shawn Guron 26 days ago

    I feel like Joe Dumars either got lucky with his early success or just lost his mind lol

  • endub42
    endub42 26 days ago

    This was the pinnacle of my nba fanaticism. Was a loyal Pistons fan, and that year I got to go to 30 home games, and a few playoff games. I'll honestly say it was a fluke, both in the personalities, and the era in whivh they were allowed to play the style that made them a championship team. This was the last that teams were allowed to play physical defense, and they were bruisers. The four offensive threats they had were just enough to cover up Big Ben's offensive weakness. I'm probably very biased, but this was the most entertaining team of my generation.

  • Hunter Davidson
    Hunter Davidson 26 days ago

    RIP Uncle Bill 🙏🏽🙌🏽

  • Sergio Fernandez
    Sergio Fernandez 26 days ago

    Jordan could have never taken that sorry ass Cavs team to the Finals. Boobie Gibson was starting point guard.... LBJ is the GOAT

  • Joey S
    Joey S 26 days ago

    Why do pistons suck 😭

  • CezrDaPleazr
    CezrDaPleazr 26 days ago

    Man what a time

  • Paul Cotton
    Paul Cotton 26 days ago

    Joe dumars really screwed us over big time.

  • Muhammad Rahman
    Muhammad Rahman 27 days ago

    This was so painful to watch.....devastating from who we were to what the hell we've become now! cant believe it's been 15 yrs already since last championship!!!

  • AbsolutelyAndre
    AbsolutelyAndre 27 days ago

    The Iverson trade was the beginning of the end

  • Michael Roxas
    Michael Roxas 27 days ago

    Failed to retain the roster of the championship year and firing of coach brown i think the reason they have not maintained their status.

  • Luis Angel Silva
    Luis Angel Silva 27 days ago

    Pistons collapses, Red Wings collapses, Tigers collapses, Lions...... well, you know, same Lions!
    Do something Detroit! WTF!

  • Toua Vue
    Toua Vue 27 days ago

    Detroit management is garbage. Draft picks are wack, only good one was Drummond. No one wants to sign with us in free agency. They traded away and let go multiple good pieces for scraps.
    Blake is the only thing we have going for us. Even that is sad.
    Pistons needs to stop living in the past and start realizing that the game changes.
    The SVG era was literally the recreation of the Orlando magics and Dwight howard days.
    Gave away chunks of money to mediocre players, thats why Pistons remain mediocre.

  • jasunn dakidd
    jasunn dakidd 27 days ago

    As a motherfucking SPURS fan to the core... I'll say this .... that 2005 finals was the only finals i actually tought my spurs weren't good enough to beat the defending champs pistons

  • Pronob B
    Pronob B 27 days ago

    Dumars was great for us in the early 2000s. Once we lost Ben, it was all downhill from there. He made way too many mistakes

  • Q-Dot
    Q-Dot 27 days ago


  • cyberjunk
    cyberjunk 27 days ago

    lmao blue collar...

  • ForeverIrish494
    ForeverIrish494 27 days ago

    *insert Camby gif here*

  • Jazz Cook
    Jazz Cook 27 days ago

    Really hated seeing Ben Wallace leave. Chicago's offer was only slightly higher than the Pistons.

  • RJ Macready
    RJ Macready 27 days ago +1

    I think that was Lebron's greatest game he ever played

    • Chuck Chilla
      Chuck Chilla 25 days ago

      RJ Macready They should've been ashamed they couldn't stop that dude.They was suppose to double team Lebron bcuz Tayshaun couldn't hold that dude 1 on 1.The Spurs were laughing at them and couldn't wait to see him in the finals.They swept the Cavs easily and its crazy bcuz i think the Pistons would've beat the Spurs that year but they looked over Lebron foolishly

  • Thomas Berryman ll
    Thomas Berryman ll 27 days ago +6

    The real death of the Pistons was drafting Darko over Carmelo, I honestly think Carmelo would still be playing if he got drafted by the pistons

    • Chuck Chilla
      Chuck Chilla 25 days ago

      Thomas Berryman ll Them foreign players was the shit back then everybody was looking for the next Dirk Nowitzki.What hurt them now is they've continuously have passed up all stars players for average ballers.The last one was Jason Mitchell.They need to get that bum Reggie Jackson outta there and trade Griffin and Drummond while they're still in their prime for some draft picks

  • Brian Stairiker
    Brian Stairiker 27 days ago

    Please do the rise and fall if the Iverson era Sixers

  • V Longj
    V Longj 28 days ago

    Can u do the 2011 Dallas Mavericks

  • Navaro Palm
    Navaro Palm 28 days ago +1

    Pistons lost their chance b/c NBA changed the rules in 2004 to dumb the defense down for more entertaining offense-oriented basketall, and that's trouble for Pistons whose whole system was built upon strong defense.

    • trademarktaz
      trademarktaz 27 days ago

      Navaro Palm You are correct, the Pistons were a special team because of that reason. The way the NBA is played changed a lot.

  • Asif Munir
    Asif Munir 28 days ago

    I miss those teams, they were special