The 2005-06 Detroit Pistons: My Christmas Vengeance
Have you ever needed someone, (cough Detroit Pistons cough), to come through for your well being and protection? Christmas day 2005, I needed the Pistons. Don’t know if it should be this way, but the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons cemented a place in my heart for ever. A place that felt more reserved for family, than the sports teams I rooted on. It didn’t hurt that I got to tag along to the Palace of Auburn Hills with my pops. He often entertained corporate clients and obviously I was the reason the deals were sealed. The culture of the Detroit Pistons was embedded in me at an early age and has continued even today. So in 2005, coming off a gut wrenching series defeat to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2004-05 NBA Finals…
I absolutely needed a win on December 25, 2005. Didn’t care if it was for the championship, or not. I just wanted the Pistons to annihilate the San Antonio Spurs.
Why So Serious?
Yes, I am an all things Batman fan. But that story’s for another day. But allow me to explain why I needed vengeance by the hands of my Detroit Pistons.
My college roommate generally supported my Pistons fandom by rooting for Detroit’s home team. He didn’t have a “dog in the race” he would say as he was from the U.S. Virgin Islands. But when the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons met in the 2004-05 NBA Finals, he supported the Spurs. It was a shock to me! I even brought him to Detroit so we could experience it all ground level.
I was fortunate enough to go to one Finals game at the Palace that series and watched the rest from Chene Park. Now named The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater.
For each game the boats were outside. The aroma of all types of great foods filled the air, though I often opted for the classic coney at the hot dog carts. Even put my roommate on to coneys in addition to Detroit style pizza, Vernors, BetterMade and even watched a movie in the Renaissance Center.
I let this man stay in my home, meet my family and hang with my friends, girlfriend and I. He was fully initiated into my inner circle of trust. And then broke my heart as he let out the full brunt of his formerly suppressed fandom building up when Rasheed Wallace left Robert Horry open for three…
Though the series wasn’t yet over at that point, the ‘friendly’ hostility between my friend and I began.
This was the origin point of our budding college rivalry. All because Tim Duncan, was my roommates fellow U.S Virgin Island countrymen.
Detroit Pistons Christmas Day 2005: Vengeance
I started the social handle @DetroitKoolAid, because I will run through a brick wall for anything Detroit. Detroit got so much hate as I grew up in the 90’s and 00’s. Not just the sports teams but the city and it’s residents. So I began my attempt to be Detroit’s Gotham Night on the social webs. Running into every place I could find people hating on Detroit, and defend our honor (sorry Kelly B Stafford! I’ll explain in a later article!!).
Before that you could say I was Detroit Gatorade with the amount of salt I embodied after the Detroit Pistons lost the 2005 NBA Finals. I just remember my roommates antagonizing face and Virgin Island accent as he cheered on. Like, directly in my face.
So the Christmas game of 2005 held a little extra importance to us as bragging rights were now on the line.
The Pistons got off to a blazing 21-3 start. The Spurs came in with an impressive record, and title of defending world champs. And the better team.
Needed a win in the worst way, I was down bad in college over this.
Who would walk away with bragging rights? Which team would afford their fans the ability to taunt their college roommates?
The Spurs visited a sold out Palace of Auburn Hills full of anxiously confident fans looking to spoil Christmas. But the Detroit Pistons locked down defensively in a way that only the ‘Going to Work’ team is known for.
My roommate came in ready to reenact his Chene Park tom foolery, but I was afforded a small slice of victory pie. Not a championship, but at least a key battle in this war of roommates.
The Detroit Pistons defeated the San Antonio Spurs 85-70! What a score!
Chauncey Billups asserted himself in ways the former finals MVP had become known by. He put up twenty points in the effort while Ben Wallace added a mammoth sized double double. Wallace scored ten points and pulled down 21 rebounds to help the Pistons out rebounded the Spurs by 27!
It was a a great Christmas gift that afforded me the opportunity to taunt the way I wanted to months before in the finals loss.
I did feel a sense of hollow grandeur, a few weeks later.
But on that Christmas day, vengeance was mine and Christmas was saved.