The Pistons unveiled their classic colorful style Tuesday: the team’s blue velvet jerseys from 1996-2001, including the horse-inspired crest. Detroit will wear the uniform for 10 games this coming season.
While the decision to return the shirts appears to have been fan-motivated, the Pistons have not been very successful during their six years wearing the old shirts. After the Bad Boys era in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Pistons failed to win a playoff series and only lost 50 wins in a single season during their time at the Teal.
“Those guys who wore those teal, it was a sense of pride for that group as well. Knowing that we obviously didn’t have the success of the Bad Boys or the ’04 Pistons, but we helped bridge that gap and still maintain our Detroit identity,” the star said. Former Pistons Jerry Stackhouse told ESPN on Tuesday. “Although we were in teal and maroon at the time, it was still a fun era and I’m glad it resonated with audiences.”
Fans responded positively to the new jerseys, but one of the team’s most prominent stars during that time – Grant Hill – wasn’t a huge supporter of them when they were first revealed in 1996. He preferred the original Pistons’ red, white and blue colors.
“At the time, I didn’t quite get it,” Hill told Andscape in 2021. “I know teal was kind of a favorite color in the ’90s and you think of Charlotte and Vancouver as new franchises and expansion teams, and they had teal, so whatever the focus group was at the time, I think teal is the color of the future, but I never embraced it.” I’ve never felt like it was a perfect fit for Detroit.”
“I remember being disappointed at the time because FILA’s colors were red, white, and blue and so were the Pistons’ colors, so it was kind of a normal marriage in there and all of a sudden, a teal shoe, it looks totally out of the ordinary. So now fast forward, it looks like some people have Some nostalgia for teal, maybe it’s the younger generation. I don’t have an opinion either way. I’m too old to know what looks good what doesn’t look good, but at the time, it wasn’t something I thought we as players fully understood or fully accepted.”
While the Pistons will have a bit of an old-fashioned revival in the T-shirt department, their list is a lot more than the youth movement. Detroit should be one of the youngest teams in the NBA, led by Cady Cunningham’s first team in 2021 and 2022 Jaden Ivey and Jalen Doreen. Other former first-round players like Sadiq Bey, Kylian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III should play big roles on the squad this coming season.