Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it

The one word (Other than several that are profane) that comes to mind when thinking about the Detroit Pistons is "Hubris."

Hubris: hu·bris(hyōō'brĭs) n. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance: "There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris" (McGeorge Bundy).

I'd have to say that the Pistons are hubris defined.

For more fun with the English language, here are some synonyms for "Hubris."

airs, assumption, big-headedness, cockiness, conceit, condescension, contumely, disdain, disdainfulness, egoism, egotism, haughtiness, hauteur, hubris, huff, immodesty, insolence, loftiness, morgue, overconfidence, patronage, pragmatism, presumption, pretension, pretentiousness, proud flesh, self-exaltation, self-importance, self-love, smugness, snobbery, superbity, superciliousness, swagger, swelled head*, vainglory, vanity

I could use any of those words to describe the Pistons' personality. They are a team whose attitude is often been reflected in their on-court play. Their demeanor the past 3 games with the Chicago Bulls has been "Hubris" personified.

The Pistons may just be the most frustrating and confounding team to root for in all of sports. They can look like both the best, and worst, team in the NBA during a 7 game series. Actually, they can pull their good/bad act in the same game. Just go back to game 3...

The Detroit Pistons are the "Sybil" of the NBA.

Their attitude is a big reason why most opposing fanbases despise the Pistons. (Well, that and the constant referee baiting and whining, of which Pistons fans are sick of tired of seeing) Much like deposed royalty living in exile, royalty who believes they still have the same station in life, the Pistons all too often carry themselves as if they are the defending NBA champions. Considering their NBA title was 3 seasons ago, they don't deserve that kind of respect. 3 seasons is eons in NBA years.

It's one thing for yokels such as myself to declare that a series is all but over. It's another thing altogether for the Pistons to feel that way.

Much as the shoe was on the other foot way back in 2003, when the Orlando Magic had the Pistons on the verge of elimination. Remember Tracy McGrady's infamous statement after game 4? T-Mac was thrilled to "finally be in the second round (of the playoffs)," despite still having to win one more game.

We all know how many games the Magic won after T-Mac looked in his crystal ball...

You'd think a Pistons team that barely survived the same playoff scenario in round 2 last season would have realized that you can't just show up at the arena and expect the opposition to roll over. Instead, to quote noted scholar Yogi Berra, "This is like deja vu all over again."

Do I think that the Pistons will still win this series? Sure do. Am I confident with that prediction? Not nearly as much as I was a few days ago. Matt at Detroit Bad Boys put it much more succinctly.

I still think that the third time trying to close out the series will be the charm in Game 6 on Thursday in Chicago, but I no longer know if my confidence is fueled by optimism, logic or denial.

At this point, I'm now expecting this series to go 7 games. The Pistons have not shown me that they can get themselves fired up unless their backs are against the proverbial wall.

What was once a farce of a series has turned into a legitimate one.


  1. Yes, I agree with everything you wrote and loved the analogy to the deposed royal family. This is probably the most sycophantic comment I've ever left anyone but this post was spot on....

  2. The second half of this series they sort of remind me of the Lakers team that thought they would beat the Pistons in the finals by just stepping on the court.
    There was a good Michael Rosenberg column yesterday in the Free Press if you didn't see it.

    word verification: "poopogy"
    "The Pistons recent poopogy of games has left many basketball fans rethinking which remaining playoff team is the strongest."