The Detroit Pistons 2023 open practice was a success for supporters who attended. It started with fans waiting in the cold over one and a half hours before gates opened. Lines stretched from the doors at multiple entrances to the streets with fans waiting to get a glimpse of what goes on during practice.
The Pistons put on a show that entertained the crowd and sent fans home happy with merch, autographs, and laughs.
They kicked things off with a welcome message from head coach Monty Williams, but he quickly diverted calling Cade Cunningham over to sign autographs fro eager fans.
The team went through several drills and activities they normally perform in practice. Fans filled the arena to players sprinting, stretching and getting warmed up. But the real show began when they turned on the athleticism in the layup line with players like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren and Ausar Thompson throwing down dunks.
And things turned from awe to funny when the rookie highlight began toward the end of the open practice. Rookies Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser put their singing, dancing and dress up skills on display for all to see.
Thompson dressed as Ken, yes the one from Barbie, and Sasser channeled his inner Scooby Doo while they went through a round of unique rookie challenges.
As much as the fans loved the show, the team appreciated the support and spoke about how much it meant to them.
Players Remarks on Fan Support
The players were moved by the show of support from the fans which far outnumbered last season’s open practice.
“It’s crazy! Detroit is definitely up there as top fan bases,” Thompson said. “I remember in the locker room about an hour before things got started, and I was like — people are really here an hour before an open practice?”
Rookie Marcus Sasser, who recently signed with Team Jordan for a shoe an apparel deal, was amazed by the support.
“It was great to see the city come out and support,” Sasser said. “To be out in the city you can tell they’re really passionate and has a lot of love.”
Head coach Monty Williams was moved by the support but still wanted to be sure the team took practice serious.
“I think it was cool to show the community what we do,” Monty Williams said. “Reps remove doubt. Our players took it serious.”
Williams continued, “My hope is for the fans to see that even in a setting like this, the players still take it really serious.”
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Photo Credit: Brandon Dent – Woodward Sports Network