The Detroit Pistons were formed in the 1948-49 season and have a rich 62-year NBA history. Originally the Fort Wayne Pistons, the team took on its current name in 1957. Among the best players in Detroit Pistons franchise history are 16 Hall of Famer members led by the team’s all-time leading scorer, Isiah Thomas.
The all-time leading scorer in Detroit Pistons is former “bad boy” Isiah Thomas. Thomas was the point guard of the Pistons in the 1980s, leading them to two NBA championships and nine consecutive playoff appearances. Spending his entire career in Detroit, Thomas averaged 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. His 9,061 assists rank sixth in NBA history and he made 12 straight All-Star teams from 1982 to 1993. Isiah Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000 – as a player only.
One of the best players in Detroit Pistons franchise history, Bob Lanier spent ten seasons with the team in the 1970s. Lanier averaged a double-double with the Pistons with 22.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, along with 3.3 assists and 2.0 blocks. He is second in Pistons’ history in rebounds, third in points, and third blocks despite their not being counted in his first three seasons. Lanier is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame.
One of the best players in Detroit Pistons franchise history, Grant Hill spent his first six and his best six years with the team. Hill won the co-Rookie of the Year Award, then made five straight All-NBA teams with the Pistons. In 435 games with the Pistons, Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. While injuries severely hindered his post-Pistons career, Grant Hill was a top-five NBA player in Detroit.
A Hall of Famer, seven-time NBA All-Star, and the current mayor of the city, Dave Bing is one of the best players in Detroit Pistons franchise history. Bing was a great combo guard and averaged 22.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in nine seasons with the Pistons. He won the 1967 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was named to three All-NBA teams while playing in Detroit. Bing was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
A Hall of Famer and one of the best players in Detroit Pistons history, Dave DeBusschere spent his first six and a half seasons with the team. DeBusschere made eight All-Star teams and six All-Defensive First Teams in his career. He averaged a double-double with the Pistons with 16.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. For a short time, DeBusschere was both player and coach of the Pistons; he also spent parts of two seasons playing Major League Baseball with the Chicago White Sox.
Other best players in Detroit Pistons history include Bailey Howell, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Dick McGuire, George Yardley, Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Kelly Tripucka, Gene Shue, Larry Foust, Ray Scott, and Jerry Stackhouse.