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The Detroit Pistons are a franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA) based in Auburn Hills, Michigan in Metro Detroit. In 1941, the team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons, a member of the National Basketball League (NBL). Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won NBA championships in 1989, 1990 and 2004. The team's home arena is The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons' championship run came to an end in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, as the Pistons were swept by the eventual NBA champion Chicago Bulls, 4 games to 0. The most critical Piston injury belonged to Isiah Thomas who had surgery on his wrist just prior to the NBA Playoffs. The Conference Finals were best remembered for the Pistons walking off court in the last game just before it ended, unwilling to shake hands with the Bulls. After the series, Jordan said he was "shocked that Isiah didn't play as hard." Following this, the franchise went through a lengthy transitional period, as key players either retired (Laimbeer in 1993 and Thomas in 1994) or were traded (Edwards, Johnson, Salley and Rodman among others). The team quickly declined, bottoming out in the 1993–94 season when they finished 20–62.
The team's fortunes improved after that season, but the rebuilding process soon sputtered. As a result of the poor finish in the 1994 season, the Pistons were able to draft Grant Hill, a promising small forward. However, this period also saw the team make numerous questionable personnel decisions, such as the loss of free agent Allan Houston to the New York Knicks, the signing of free agent wash-outs Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught, Cedric Ceballos, and Bison Dele; and head coaching changes from Ron Rothstein to Don Chaney to Doug Collins to Alvin Gentry to George Irvine in an eight-year span. Of those coaches, only Collins had any sort of success with the Pistons, winning 54 games in the 1996–97 season.