With a shortened game week due to All Star Weekend, this was supposed to be yet another quiet week for the Pistons in terms of losing more games and continuing this forgettable season.
However, Ed Stefanski had other plans. Those “plans” had me confused beyond belief.
Welcome back to POP On the Clock. It’s time for another rant.
The Week In Games:
There couldn’t have been a better way to start the week than playing the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pistons were losing by 29 at halftime, 70-41. Eventually, we’d go on to lose to the NBA’s best team 126-106. The Pistons followed that with a close loss to Portland, 107-104 in Oregon.
Pistons News of the Week
An era was ended this week, as the Pistons decided to buy out the remainder of Reggie Jackson’s contract. Jackson would proceed to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, bolstering their bench depth. This was the end of a five-and-a-half year tenure with the Pistons, where many memories were created at both the Palace and LCA.
Additionally, Markieff Morris was released as well, joining Reggie’s new crosstown rival, the Los Angeles Lakers. After being limited in game appearances as of late, it was expected that a move would be made for the Morris twin to be moved out of town.
(Rant incoming, this is a long one)
That being said… I have two issues here.
First, the amount of disrespect I’ve seen on my Twitter timeline towards Reggie Jackson is absolutely ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
I’m not going to pretend like he deserves to have his jersey in the rafters, or even contend that his contract was that fair. But for Pistons fans to step to the plate and call Reggie a “ball-hog” or say they’re glad he’s gone need to get a grip.
Jackson helped us get to two playoff appearances during the 2010 decade. While those were both first-round sweeps, that was progress that no other guard on our roster for the entire decade could make.
In 2016, the first year we made the playoffs with Jackson on the roster, he averaged 19 points and six assists a game. Those numbers aren’t necessarily All-Star numbers, but they’re numbers that significantly contributed to wins for this roster.
Reggie was on an upward trajectory after that series, but the injury bug took him out of much of the season. When Reggie went, so did the rest of the Pistons’ season. Injuries are to blame here, not Reggie.
If you’re angry with where the Pistons are, I’m with you wholeheartedly. But blaming Andre and Reggie for this isn’t the right thing to do. Look at our front office during their times here, who missed out on countless all-stars and strong role-players through both the draft and their own trade mistakes.
I guarantee that had we kept Khris Middleton, believed in Spencer Dinwiddie, drafted Devin Booker or made one of the 100 moves we could’ve made to save the last decade from being the failure it was, Reggie and Andre would be heroes to this city. When you surround them with Henry Ellenson, Stanley Johnson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, you’re setting them up for failure.
The front office has been the issue this entire time, trying to play it safe year-after-year when there’s no reason to be safe at all. That transitions into my second point. How did we NOT get any draft picks for Keif or Reggie?
I’m not even arguing a first-rounder here. You’re telling me that these guys weren’t even worth late 2nd-round picks? ANYTHING?!?!?! Well, that’s not what Ed Stefanski thought apparently.
Ed… you good?
These are picks that could be used in trades, or better yet, what if we could get steals with these picks? You know… like Bruce Brown, who was picked 42nd overall? What about Spencer Dinwiddie and Khris Middleton, who were both picked 38th and 39th, respectively?
Maybe you’re afraid of trading away your 2nd rounders for nothing only to see them blossom too. But how are you not even going to take a chance here?
Enough playing it safe. It doesn’t even make sense in a rebuild, and what do we have to lose at this point? Other than even more games?
Game of the Week: Pistons lose to Portland, 107-104
Well, I guess we get entertaining games while we tank too. Double whammy!
Play of the Week:
Player of the Week: Christian Wood
Wood had another strong week, dropping 18 points and 11 rebounds against Milwaukee. He followed that with a stellar 26 points and nine rebounds against the Trail Blazers.
The POP Podcast:
This week’s podcast can be found here. The guys discuss their faith in the Pistons organization, including head coach Dwane Casey.
The Pistons continue on a three game Western Conference road stretch, playing Denver, Phoenix and Sacramento.
(Featured image by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)