The Detroit Pistons will honor the title-winning Detroit Shock team for its 20th anniversary during the March 9 contest against the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena, the team announced.
The Shock’s first title came one season after having the WNBA’s worst record. The team was led by WNBA Finals MVP Ruth Riley, Hall of Famer Swin Cash, Cheryl Ford, Flint native Deanna Nolan and Elaine Powell.
During that first title year, coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer was named Coach of the Year and Ford was named Rookie of the Year.
One of the most unfortunate byproducts of the passing of former Pistons owner Bill Davidson was the sale of the Detroit Shock as Davidson’s widow attempted to cut cost in advance of selling the team.
The Shock were able to create a unique legacy within the WNBA and the Detroit basketball community. They went to the WNBA playoffs each of their final seven seasons in Detroit, including four trips to the Finals and three WNBA titles.
Cash is one of the most iconic players in WNBA history, a Hall of Fame player, current New Orleans Pelicans executive, and nobody is more closely associated with the Shock jersey.
I hope some day the WNBA will return to Detroit to continue the legacy Cash and her teammates started.
March 9 is being dubbed the Women’s Empowerment Game and the celebration is part of Women’s History Month.
“We are pleased to welcome back members of this great team during Women’s History Month and recognize them for delivering the first WNBA championship to Detroit” said Arn Tellem, Vice Chairman of the Detroit Pistons in a team release. “The team truly embodied the spirit, fight and grit of the city and pulled off a remarkable feat with a historic turnaround in just one season. We’re excited to celebrate their place in Detroit sports history.”
There will also be special VIP ticket packages available featuring a private panel discussion and meet and greet with members of the Shock. Fans can visit pistons.com/ShockVIP for more information.