The 2004 Detroit Pistons shocked the basketball world by capturing a title over the dominant Shaq and Kobe Lakers. They would go on to make the Finals the very next year, adding some validity to their Championship the season before.
But when the NBA released its list of the Top 75 players ever, that '04 squad lacked any sort of representation.
In fact, out of all the 75 title-winning teams in league history, the 2004 Pistons are the only modern-day team to not have a single Top 75 player.
(the 1979 SuperSonics and 1947 Warriors also do not have a Top 75 player).
There aren't many greater underdog stories than the early 2000s Pistons. After struggling for years in the aftermath of the "Bad Boys" era, a series of moves led to their unlikely Championship win in 2004, a feat that is still viewed as a fluke by some. , There's no telling how they'd fare in different circumstances.
Still, what they were able to accomplish together is undeniable.
“I interviewed Rasheed in 2017, asked about the '17 Warriors," said Taylor Rooks. "He said his Pistons would "run through them. not even close" & would beat them in a 7 game series. His team might have done a good job defensively BUT this idea that the old era is forever paramount has to end.”
As the only Championship team without a Top 75 player, it just goes to show how unlikely the team's path to victory really was.
While the Pistons had some stars in Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Richard Hamilton, it seems the NBA doesn't see any of them as a Top 75 player -- and they somehow found a way to win against two of the NBA's Top 10 players.
To this day, the 2004 Pistons are considered one of the greatest "exceptions to the rules" teams in basketball history, and it's clear to see why. What they did doesn't happen often and it's getting some newfound appreciation in this present age of super teams.