Takeaways from the Pistons end-of-the-year media session

Despite the ups and downs of a 23-59 season amid a rebuild, there’s still an overwhelming sense of optimism surrounding this team and the culture that’s been instilled in this organization. Jeanna Trotman provides notes, quotes, and takeaways from the Pistons’ final media session of the season.

  • Cade Cunningham
    • Cade Cunningham said sometimes it’s hard to sleep during the season because he never would have expected to be doing what he is.
      • He said it’s surreal to not only on the same court as guys like Kevin Durant, but going AT guys like Kevin Durant.
    • Cunningham on ROY: I think I made a pretty good case for it. I think I made a pretty strong case. Whatever happens with the award, happens. I’m ready for next year.
    • Cunningham says he wants to win some (more) games before he takes a summer to rest and relax.
      • He said: “First offseason, I am trying to work. Don’t spend money and go places.”
  • Cory Joseph
    • Cory Joseph talks about how his role this season was one of leadership and emphasized ushering in the younger guys.
      • Joseph (with a laugh): I feel like the talent is there. We’re a young team- I’m middle aged- but sometimes you need experience in this league to impact.
    • Joseph on Cade Cunningham
      • “He plays beyond his years. He’s already a star, but he’s going to be a superstar.”
  • Kelly Olynyk
    • Kelly Olynyk talking about the growth & strides taken from the young guys that became very apparent after All-Star break.
      • Specifically: Saddiq, Livers, Cade, Killian, Stewart
        • “That’s who we are and who we thought we were. Going forward, things are only going to look up.
    • Olynyk said that Cade Cunningham was unbelievable to watch at times.
      • When he steps on the floor, he changes the game.
        • “He does so many little things, his IQ is really high, he’s only going to get better. He wants to be great.”
    • Olynyk on the potential and stability w/ this team in regards to youth, returners, adding another lottery pick. He talked about taking that post All-Star break team & making it stick.
      • “It’s about taking that momentum and moving forward for a full 82-games.”
  • Jerami Grant
    • Jerami Grant credits experience and growth for when “something clicked” after All-Star break.
    • Grant on optimism surrounding the future of the Pistons
      • “It’s a big offseason for us. We know what we can be. We have a ton of talent, but at the same time we have to put the work in. Next year *will be* better. We have to move forward in that direction.”
    • Jerami Grant on what he hopes for in the extension talks that’ll happen during the offseason:
      • “Hopefully they go well.” He laughs and walks out for the summer.
  • Frank Jackson
    • Frank Jackson said this season was challenging both physically and mentally. He said he had never been injured that long & went through tremendous amounts of growth.
      • “It was one of my harder years. This league is tough. You have to work at it every day or you’ll be left behind.”
    • The youth is so often talked about, but Jackson is praising the vets on this Pistons team and the bond between everyone.
      • He said the team had a “coming to Jesus moment” at the All-Star break.
      • “Every single dude on this team is a sweet dude. Everyone has a big heart.”
    • It is pretty cool to watch Frank Jackson RAVE about his teammates and talk about how healthy the culture is with this Pistons team.
      • He had a lot to say about the team’s ability to respect each other and voice opinions in a constructive way.
    • Frank Jackson said he was very impressed with Cade Cunningham this season and double checked with the room that he’s actually only 20 years old.
      • In disbelief, Jackson said “he is a mutant.”
  • Marvin BagleyIII
    • Marvin Bagley III arrived to a Pistons team with a bad record. But he said the locker room didn’t feel like a losing locker room when he got here.
      • “It’s been the most fun I’ve had playing the game. That’s how it is supposed to feel. I’ve enjoyed my time since I got here.”
    • Bagley said “people say” this & that about Detroit – the city and the team. But he went into it with an open-mind and did not let that all impact his expectations of him.
      • He’s reiterated multiple times that “he’s having fun again” playing basketball & enjoyed his time with the Pistons.
  • Hamidou Diallo
    • Hamidou Diallo says he feels very confident in the Pistons organization after being able to play good basketball at a high level, despite all the ups and downs and challenges this team faced.
    • This is becoming a broken record, so I apologize. But there is a resounding sense of optimism with all the guys so far.
      • Everyone is constantly raving about the growth of the youth and the experience that the team has gained.
  • Isaiah Stewart
    • Stewart said the Pistons are trending in the right direction in terms of doing what it takes to become a playoff team.
      • When comparing today, to where this team could be, maybe even next year: “That’ll be a different story one day.”
  • Saddiq Bey
    • Saddiq Bey played 82 games of 82 games for the Pistons, the only one to do so.
      • He said the coaches recommended he take a little breather over the summer. He said it’s tough to take time off because he loves playing basketball so much.
      • “I’ll try to find something else to do.”
    • Bey on the future: “We’re no longer guessing what it takes to win, we know now.”
      • Almost every guy has talked about this “coming to Jesus” moment that happened right before All-Star break when the team won in Boston.
      • “We’ve learned enough for us to reach a new level next year.”
    • When Bey was asked on what he wants to work on over the summer: everything.
      • He says he wants to sharpen up every area of ​​his game and it will put him in a good position to be successful.

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