Reggie Jackson and Stanley Johnson may have to look for new jersey numbers. Jackson wears No. 3, while Johnson wears No. 1 – both of which the Detroit Pistons are about to retire in honor of Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace. Here’s Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press with the report:
Persons with first-hand knowledge of the organizations’ plans confirmed to the Free Press today that Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace will have their numbers retired at two separate game-night ceremonies later this season.
Anonymity was requested because the dates haven’t been finalized, but the news confirms what has been rumored for the past year – the main cogs in the last great era of Pistons basketball will get their nights to receive thanks for their great careers.
The plans have been in the works for some time, and Billups (No. 1) and Wallace (No. 3) were officially informed the past few days.
Wallace and Billups are two of the most important players in franchise history. Wallace was a four-time Defensive Player of the Year, while Billups was a five-time All-Star and 2004 Finals MVP. That their jerseys would be retired was always a matter of when, not if.
A surprising omission from number retirement ceremonies is Richard “Rip” Hamilton, who was just as instrumental to the Pistons’ successes in the early 2000s as Wallace and Billups. Perhaps that comes next year.
Either way, Billups and Wallace are about to take their rightful place in the Palace rafters alongside the likes of Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Chuck Daly, Joe Dumars, Vinnie Johnson, Bob Lanier and Dave Bing.
(Via Detroit Free Press)