For years, the Detroit Pistons have been an NBA laughingstock.
They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2018-19 season, and they haven’t won a playoff series since 2008, when they had one last hurrah with the core that won them the 2004 championship.
But the Pistons have a rookie in Ausar Thompson who appears to have star potential, and it sounds like he’s focused on more than simply doing well individually.
He said recently that he wants to “bring championships to Detroit,” according to NBA on ESPN.
Ausar Thompson wants to bring championships back to Detroit 🏆 pic.twitter.com/67QAld2Xrk
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 10, 2023
Although the Pistons have won three Larry O’Brien trophies, outside of the late-1980s and the mid-2000s, they simply haven’t been very competitive, as those two brief glorious eras have been sandwiched by longer stretches of ineptitude.
Detroit currently has Cade Cunningham, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft but hasn’t panned out, yet Thompson could be their best player already.
Thompson, who spent the last two seasons with Overtime Elite (OTE), a young pro basketball league in Atlanta, has flashed his promise during summer league play, and on Sunday he had 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocked shots.
The 6-foot-7 wing has lots of athleticism and defensive potential, and while he isn’t a good outside shooter, he can get buckets by being active off the ball.
His twin brother Amen Thompson was taken just before him in the draft at No. 4 by the Houston Rockets, and both could turn into studs for their respective teams.
It will take a while, but perhaps there is just a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for the Pistons.NEXT: James Wiseman Shows Off Key New Skill In Summer League