The Detroit Pistons have been around for so long now that there are many parts of their history that can easily fall by the wayside.
Factor in that we live in an age where we’re overloaded with media and it’s not hard to see why many things become forgotten, or worse, never receive any spotlight at all.
Thankfully, almost everything gets archived on YouTube these days.
There is a treasure trove of incredible videos just waiting out there, begging to be rediscovered, and what better time to dig them up than in the middle of the most boring stretch of the offseason?
Let’s kick things off by simply searching for “Detroit Pistons” on YouTube and seeing what comes up on the first page.
Here we find plenty of videos you’d expect to come up as the first hits when using such a general search term.
You’ll be offered up videos about how the Detroit Pistons could be surprisingly successful in 2018, 2016-17 season highlight videos, a video discussing Kyrie Irving coming to the Pistons and footage of Luke Kennard being drafted.
However, it doesn’t take long for the suggested videos to get a little bit strange.
The third video that comes up is a highlight video of Luigi Datome from almost four years ago.
Datome scored 10 points and pulled in just one rebound in this blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Actually watching the video is hilarious, as clips of Datome fouling on defence and missing shots somehow make the highlight reel.
The icing on the cake is the video’s big finale where Datome gets called for a travel.
Apart from strange Luigi Datome highlight videos, you’ll also find a link to the Detroit Pistons’ official YouTube Channel at the top of the page.
They have 27,245 subscribers, but stunningly some of their videos have fewer than 200 views.
Considering the team has been through a sustained period of disappointing results this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
The first video posted by the Detroit Pistons was uploaded way back on November 2, 2009, and it’s certainly a strong way to kick off a YouTube channel.
This video serves as a gateway to the glorious world of Hooper, arguably the NBA’s most underrated mascot.
Almost all of the related videos on “Hooper’s Halloween Surprise” lead you to more absolutely amazing content.
Anyone remember “Pants on the Ground”?
It was a ridiculous song performed by American Idol hopeful Larry Platt during the audition stage.
The song became so popular that people on the internet went to the effort of spreading a rumour that he died.
Hooper would never miss a hot trend like Pants on the Ground, so in early 2010 he released a remix video.
Hooper is always hip to the latest trends, so it was a no brainer for him to jump on the ice bucket challenge in August of 2014.
He went all out for this video by having them drop water from the top of The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The force of the water hitting Hooper from such a height actually looks painful and to make matters worse they drop the buckets they used alarmingly close to Hooper’s body.
Our mascot deserves far more respect than that.
After the ice water drops Hooper nominates Robin Lopez, Joakim Noah and Benny the Bull, which is just classic banter from everybody’s favourite anthropomorphic horse.
He also strips off all of his clothes and gets naked at the very end, then runs off carrying one of the Pistons’ dancers.
All of this led me to an apparently very well kept secret that Hooper has a burning hatred for the Toronto Raptor’s mascot.
Hooper has attempted to murder this dinosaur not once, but twice, both of which can be found in the bowels of Pistons YouTube.
The first attempt at murder came in 2010 when he literally tossed the Raptor off of the roof of The Palace.
Hooper was somehow unsuccessful, so in the following year, he tried to run The Raptor over in the parking lot.
This blood feud is like something you’d see in the WWE.
However, Hooper doesn’t reserve his hate just for dinosaurs, as he also seems to hate the Milwaukee Bucks’ mascot, Bango.
In 2011 he invited Bango to Detroit and subsequently tried to hunt him down with a rifle, like something straight out of “The Most Dangerous Game”.
The Pistons may have been unspeakably bad during this period, but at least Hooper was representing the city and showing some fight off the court.
Hooper’s magnum opus though is his parody of Night at the Roxbury.
Archiving iconic videos like these is exactly the reason why YouTube has become as big as it is now.
There’s a vast ocean of Pistons videos out there though, so, unfortunately, we have to move away from Hooper’s antics for now.
One of the more interesting sections to trawl through is the interviews with players about Lawrence Frank becoming head coach.
We now know how poor the decision to appoint Frank was, but it’s fascinating to see what was being said at the time.
It’s also fascinating to see Ben Gordon sound so unenthusiastic about Frank being his new head coach.
On a completely different note, but similarly insightful, there’s a video of a face mask being created for Brandon Knight.
In the 2010-11 season, Knight broke his nose in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans (back when they were still the Hornets) and needed to wear a face mask while it healed.
The Detroit Pistons took fans inside this process and it’s actually very cool to get this look behind closed doors.
It’s much more detailed and intricate than I would have thought and shows just how good the rehab and injury prevention side of things is in the NBA.
Let’s move on to somebody a little more current though.
Andre Drummond is low key funny and hasn’t really had many chances to showcase his sense of humour.
It’s clear that Drummond loves to goof around in this video from way back at Orlando Summer League in his rookie season.
It’s supposed to be a simple video about Drummond trying to find something to eat with Yancy Gates, but goes off the rails when he starts clowning about with a human billboard.
Drummond receives a lot of hate from fans, but off the court, he seems like a really laid back and friendly guy and would be the kind of person teammates would love to have in the locker room.
My next discovery in this deep dive is arguably the most important piece of information I could have possibly unearthed.
Andre Drummond’s nick name on Basketball Reference is “Big Penguin”, which has been a source of humor for many NBA fans who have come across it, but the origin of the nickname could never properly be explained to me.
That was until I came across a video where former Piston Greg Monroe asks Drummond what his three favourite movies of all time are.
What were Drummond’s picks?
March of the Penguins and both Happy Feet movies.
Drummond goes on to explain that he loves penguins and that they’re his favourite animal, prompting Monroe to say “maybe we should start calling him the Big Penguin”.
I feel like my connection with him is so much deeper now that I know the origin of his bizarre nickname.
Before Kyle Singler become the butt of jokes from fans everywhere he was a rookie who showed a few promising signs with the Pistons.
In his time at Duke, Singler made several trick shot videos where he’d awkwardly say “buckets” after making each shot.
When he was drafted by the Pistons they continued this tradition and sent him all around Detroit to show off what he can do.
Some of these shots are extremely impressive and it’s a shame that his shot-making ability off the court hasn’t translated to when he’s been on the floor in an NBA game.
When the Pistons travelled to London to play the New York Knicks the NBA spared no expense in making another trick shot video for Singler, even going as far as hiring a double-decker bus for him to use as a prop.
While Singler’s trick shots are very impressive, it doesn’t even come close to being the greatest Detroit Pistons YouTube video of all time.
That honour belongs to the hallowed video of Rasheed Wallace leading a choir of Pistons players in a rendition of Jingle Bells.
Despite all of these weird and wonderful videos here, I have barely even scratched the surface of obscure Detroit Pistons videos.
There are thousands upon thousands of barely watched Pistons videos hidden away in the depths of YouTube, just waiting for all of you to dig up.