The 2003-04 Detroit Pistons were one of the most exciting teams to watch. They were always the underdog, they didn’t have any All-Stars on their team, yet they found the ways to get the win and prove the world they were willing to compete with anybody.
That hardnosed defensive-minded team shook the world by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games in the NBA Finals, even though they had just put together a ‘Fab Four’ with Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Karl Malone.
Nobody ever expected them to win, but they won 54 games, came huge in the playoffs, and put an end to the Lakers’ dynasty. But, where are those players from the Pistons’ last Championship now? Let’s take a look:
Elden Campbell – Retired
Elden Campbell played 65 games and started 27 for the Detroit Pistons during their Championship run. He was Ben Wallace’s backup and played roughly 13.7 minutes a night. He was an old-school, defensive-minded center that could hold his own when Wallace got in foul trouble, which happened often. He played for the Lakers, Hornets, Nets, Sonics, and Pistons, retiring as a Champion.
Mehmet Okur – Retired
Mehmet Okur made it to the NBA in 2002 after being taken in the second round of the Draft, and he made an instant impact as a backup big man for the Pistons for three seasons. However, he’d have the best years of his career at Utah before going back overseas and attempting a comeback with the Nets in 2012. Now, he’s enjoying his best life married to the Turkish model Yeliz Caliskan.
Mike James – Retired
Mike James had a long and successful career in the NBA. With his abilities as a combo guard, the 6’2” speedster played for the Heat, Celtics, Pistons, Rockets, Bucks, Raptors, Timberwolves, Hornets, Wizards, Bulls, and Mavericks, and was last seen playing for the Texas Legend of the G-League back in 2015.
Richard Hamilton – Retired
Richard ‘RIP’ Hamilton was the Pistons’ scoring threat throughout the whole season. Averaging 17.6 points on 40% from the floor, he was the team’s leading scorer and had some of the smoothest moves in the league back in the day. He stayed with the Pistons until 2011, joining the Chicago Bulls on a three-year deal and retiring in 2013.
Ben Wallace – Retired
Ben Wallace is a living legend. He’s the undrafted player with most games played in the NBA, a former All-Star, a league-leading 4-time Defensive Player of the Year, and the only human being capable of keeping a prime Shaquille O’Neal in check below the rim. Wallace was a dominant force that didn’t need to score to completely alter the flow of the game, and one of the greatest defenders to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood. He played for the Wizards, Pistons, Bulls, Magic, and Cavaliers, retiring in 2012.
Rasheed Wallace – Retired
Rasheed Wallace was one of the most versatile power forwards ever. He could play lockdown defense, knock down shots from outside, put the ball on the floor, you name it. Sadly, his character and big mouth always seemed to get the best out of him. Still, his arrival to the Pistons played a huge part in their chances to win the title, as he came huge in the playoffs to help them clinch the title. He played for the Wizards, Blazers, Celtics, Pistons, and Knicks. He retired in 2012 and had a one-year stint as an assistant coach with the Pistons.
Darvin Ham – Assistant Coach
Darvin Ham, shooting guard, was a complete non-factor for the Pistons’ Championship run, averaging just 1.8 points per game on 9 minutes of playing time. Still, all that time on the bench helped him become an assistant coach, and he’s been a part of the Atlanta Hawks coaching staff since 2013.
Lindsey Hunter – Assistant Coach
Lindsey Hunter spent most of his career with the Detroit Pistons, and even though he was traded away to the Boston Celtics in 2004, he came back just 10 days later and finished the season as an NBA Champion. The point guard would retire 6 years later to pursue a career as an assistant coach, and currently works at Buffalo University.
Corliss Williamson – Assistant Coach
Corliss Williamson made a name for himself as one of the best sixth men in the league, winning the 6MOY award in just his second season with the Pistons, and he’d average almost 10 points per game to help the Pistons lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Then, the small forward played for the Sixers and Kings, retiring in 2007 to work as an assistant coach. Nowadays, he’s a part of the Orlando Magic’s coaching staff.
Darko Milicic – Playing In Serbia
Darko Milicic has one of the most bizarre stories in professional sports. He was taken with the 2nd overall pick of the legendary 2003 Draft, one pick below LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. He was never able to live up to the expectations in the NBA, and by 2012, he was already out of the league. He later struggled with depression and alcoholism, pursuit a career as a kickboxer, had an apple farm, and recently announced a comeback to play for Novi Sad, a Division-2 club in Serbia.
Tayshaun Prince – Assistant Manager
Tayshaun Prince is one of the most underrated players from the Pistons’ championship run. He played top-notch defense thanks to his huge wingspan, and was one of the ultimate 3-and-D players. He played in Detroit for 11 seasons before playing for the Grizzlies, Celtics, and Timberwolves, and is currently working as Memphis’ assistant General Manager, helping them orchestrate their rebuilding project.
Chauncey Billups – TV Analyst
Chauncey Billups was the heart and soul of those Detroit Pistons. He earned the nickname ‘Mr. Big Shot’ after hitting clutch shot after clutch shot to help them win the Championship. He played top-notch defense and is one of the most underrated playmakers ever as well. Billups made it to the league in 1997, playing for the Celtics, Raptors, Nuggets, Pistons, Knicks, and Clippers. After retiring in 2014, he recently signed a deal to be a part of the Los Angeles Clippers broadcast as an analyst.