With no Tigers playoff baseball and the Lions off to a winless start, many Motown sport fanatics turned their attention this October to the dawn of a new Pistons season. This year, there is a lot to cheer for. The Pistons are returning two all-NBA rookies in Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, adding 2021 number one pick Cade Cunningham, and welcoming back fans at full capacity for the first time since March 2020.
“My last time being in Little Caesars Arena was about a year ago. It feels great to be back here in the atmosphere. It’s a blessing to be back,” said Steven Lucas, 22.
Fans were treated to tightly contested Deeetroit basketball in the season opener as the Pistons hosted the Chicago Bulls. The back-and-forth battle included ten ties and eight lead changes, but the Bulls pulled away late to a 94-88 victory.
Despite the loss, James Pitchford Sr., 65, was encouraged by what he saw.
“It’s a new team with new life on the bench. It’s great to see,” said Pitchford. “It’s beautiful…I think we will make the playoffs. I really do. We got a good team. It was a good game tonight.”
Pitchford’s son, James Pitchford Jr. agreed and said the full crowd was electric.
“It was amazing. The whole vibe and atmosphere was crazy. It really felt amazing to be back here.”
Not only were fans thrilled to be back, but Pistons players were also happy to play for a full arena again. Pistons Center Isaiah Stewart said,
“I think we by far have the greatest fans. Having them back in stadium this year is great. We feel their energy every game, so we’re looking forward to the season having them in the stands…We’re definitely excited.”
There were some notable faces in Little Caesars Arena for the home opener including rappers Kash Doll, Big Sean, and former Pistons Ben Wallace and Richard “Rip” Hamilton sitting courtside.
Despite the Pistons coming up short, fans still left the arena with smiles, optimistic about this young Pistons team embarking upon a new year. If game one is any indicator, fans’ presence will be felt at every home game this season.