When was the last time you saw an NBA player forcibly knocked to the ground after going up for a lay-up or dunk? It rarely happens nowadays. But back in Bill Laimbeer’s playing days, it was comically commonplace. That was an era when the NBA game was a lot more physical. Such physicality is outlawed in today’s game. The Celtics played a physical game, which the Pistons picked up on and took it to another level, which eventually led to that style being phased out of the game.
Conceptualized and built in 1987-88, the Palace of Auburn Hills still is one of the best basketball venues in the NBA.Since it was built, another $141.5 million of upgrades have the building looking as vibrant and fan-friendly as the day it opened Aug. 13, 1988, when Sting performed to a packed house.
Since then, the Detroit Pistons and WNBA’s Detroit Shock have won championships in the building. Excited fans packed the joint while the Bad Boys and the Chauncey Billups-led Goin’ to Work teams ruled the Eastern Conference.
In 2009, the Pistons recorded their 259th consecutive sellout at the 22,076-seat facility — from Jan. 19, 2004 to Feb. 4, 2009.
Now it seems that the Pistons will move downtown to share the still-being-built Little Caesars Arena with the Detroit Red Wings. It would be hard to see them leave the Palace, but here’s a look back at some of the great Pistons events there: