AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The last time the Pistons tasted an NBA title was in 2004, and for the past five years Detroit hasn't been playoff-relevant. Detroit tipped-off its training camp with one goal in mind: recording enough wins to make a statement.
"Playoffs, like I said, it's our goal," said Pistons point guard, Rodney Stuckey before training camp. "If we don't make it then you know it's a failure."
It's been years since the Pistons have been able to add another championship banner to their collection, and is one reason why Detroit used its first-round draft pick on center Andre Drummond with hopes of returning to the post-season.
"We've been out here for three months in the off season working hard," said Drummond. "Everything we put in is going to come forward to the light. I think we're gonna be a great team; we're gonna win a lot of games. It's going to be good for us."
"Greg [Monroe], Brandon [Knight], myself, Tayshaun [Prince]; the younger guys like Kim [English], you know, everybody - Jonas [Jerebko]," said Stuckey. "Everybody on the team can step in and do a good job."
With lots of new faces on this Pistons roster, second-year point guard Brandon Knight said it's time to step up as one of the leaders of this team.
"You'll notice a lot of things [this season from me]. I'm going to be a lot more vocal," said Knight. "You're gonna notice me talking to guys a lot more because I'm more comfortable with them, and you're going to see a better player."
"We're gonna need it [leadership] from him, especially Brandon being the head of this snake playing the point guard position. It'll be very important that he do it," said Prince.
Knight took it upon himself to organize a mini-camp before training camp began, and Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said he isn't surprised to see that type of leadership from Knight.
"I think the great thing about Brandon, especially as a young player he was one of our hardest workers day in and day out, which is a very, very hard trait," said Frank. "At the time I think he was the second youngest or youngest player in the league. I think Brandon is taking a step forward."
It's a step from Knight, who's a team leader looking to help Detroit basketball return to its winning ways.