It's hard to believe, but the NBA season is just around the corner. Let us celebrate with five tiny tidbits on each team. Today we continue with the Central Division, so do us a favor and send us your tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 1. The Pistons Are to Blame For Dickie V, Apparently. After Dick Vitale guided the University of Detroit Titans to the NCAA Tournament in 1977 (where they lost in the Sweet 16 to then No. 1 Michigan, which wouldn't schedule the Titans), he was hired to try and turn around the struggling Pistons. Vitale guided Detroit to a 30-52 record in 1978-79 and then to a 4-8 start in the following season, when he was canned. This prompted him to become the color analyst on ESPN's first college basketball broadcast on December 5, 1979. — (Thanks to Craig D. Barker).
• 2. Miami Vice. Dale Davis is believed to be the only current Pistons player to have been tasered by police. In August 2006, Davis was shocked with a stun gun as Miami Beach police arresting him for assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He also co-owns a NASCAR Cup Series team.
• 3. He Could Have Been "Pommel Horse Murray". Rip Hamilton got his nickname from his dad, who earned it as a child because he ripped his diapers. The younger Rip now has his own clothing line called Rip City. Meanwhile, Flip Murray got his nickname due to a love of gymnastics as a child.
• 4. Count That Baby And A Foul! Pistons fans maintain that they have one of the best announcers in the business. No, not the polarizing PA voice of John Mason, but George Blaha on radio and television. A Notre Dame alum (with an MBA from Michigan) who also serves as the radio voice of Michigan State football, Blaha is known for an amazing lexicon of "Blaha-isms," such as: "He lays it up, and lays it in!"; "He fills it up!", "Off the high glass!"; "Rainbows, and it goes!"; "He triples from way downtown!"; "Down the lane, scoops, scores!"; "X and XX to go" (so if there 9:45 left, it would be "nine and forty-five to go.") He is also not this guy. — (Thanks to Craig D. Barker).
• 5. We Have The Sheed For Speed. Rasheed Wallace, the "Walking Technical Foul," led the league ion technicals In 2005-06 with 16. His rap sheet also includes marijuana possession, use of abusive language, and driving without a driver's license. He was also suspended for seven games for threatening an official on an arena loading dock after a (Portland) home game. It was the league's longest suspension for something that didn't involve physical contact or substance abuse. Also: He's Rasheed Wallace.
Tomorrow: The Milwaukee Bucks