Pistons Mailbag FAQs

Editor’s note: For those familiar with Pistons.com, you know that Pistons Mailbag has been a twice-weekly feature for the past five seasons. For those new to Pistons.com, we created Mailbag FAQ as a way of keeping Pistons Mailbag from getting cluttered with the same questions in every edition. We’ll add more as they become relevant and take some off as they lose relevance, but we intend to keep Mailbag FAQ as a permanent feature.
Question: When will The Palace host an All-Star game?

Langlois: All-Star games are generally held in cities with new arenas or those where interest in the basketball team needs a shot in the arm. Many NBA teams are hesitant to host an All-Star game because the game – and, really, All-Star Weekend, as it has come to be known – has evolved into a significant marketing opportunity for the NBA to reward its corporate sponsors. Very few tickets are made available to the host city, and loyal season-ticket holders might feel alienated if they get shut out. Most tickets go to the NBA’s business partners, and those business partners can and often do use the tickets as either rewards for their top performers or to schmooze prospective clients. If the Pistons were to host an All-Star game, there would be almost no tickets for Pistons fans available.

Question: What draft choices do the Pistons have this year?

Langlois: For the 2012 draft, the Pistons hold their own choices in the first and second rounds. There is a possibility that Houston will send its second-rounder to the Pistons as payment for the Pistons sending the No. 44 pick in the 2009 draft to Houston. Houston will keep its pick in 2012 if it’s 40 or better. (In other words, if Houston’s second round pick is 31-40, Houston retains the pick; if the Rockets are picking from 41-60 in the second round, the Pistons get the pick.) For the next two seasons, Houston’s pick is protected in the top 35. And in 2015, it would be an unprotected second-rounder.

Question: Where can I get a custom-made protective face mask?

Langlois: Pistons trainer Mike Abdenour suggests contacting Jeremy Murray at Michigan Hand & Sports Rehab Center, 11012 East 13 Mile Road, Suite 112, Warren MI 48093 or call (586) 573-8890.

Question: How can I get a job with the Pistons or another NBA team?

Langlois: If you’re interested in becoming a scout, coach or front-office employee and you’re still in high school or college, the best advice is to start on the ground floor. Volunteer with your high school or college coach. You might start off doing nothing more than chasing down loose balls and picking up discarded tape and soiled towels, but you’ll get to see the inner workings of a basketball program. Impress your high school coach and he’ll recommend you to the coach at your college to become a student manager. Impress your college coach and he’ll gradually start giving you more responsibilities and opportunities, like helping with video editing or assisting with arrangements for recruiting visits. That will help build your resume for an NBA job. It’s really no different than working your way into other professions. The sooner you start and the more people you impress along the way for your enterprise and enthusiasm, the better your prospects for landing a fulfilling job become.

Question: Can you explain how the NBA draft lottery works?

Langlois: Fourteen Ping-Pong balls – numbered 1 through 14 – are placed in a lottery machine. Four balls are randomly selected to determine a lottery combination. There are 1,001 possible outcomes when you discount order (for example, 1-2-3-4 is the same as 4-3-2-1 or any combination of those four numbers). Of those 1,001 possible outcomes, one (11, 12, 13, 14) is discounted and the other 1,000 are divided among the 14 NBA teams that fail to qualify for the playoffs. The team with the worst record is assigned the most outcomes, 250. The team with the second-worst record is assigned 199 outcomes, then 156, 119, 88, 63, 43, 28, 17, 11, 8, 7, 6 and 5. The team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick, a 21.5 percent chance of getting No. 2, a 17.8 percent chance of getting No. 3 and a 35.7 percent chance of getting No. 4. That team could not pick lower than fourth. Even though that team will have a better chance than any other team of getting the No. 1 pick, it actually has a higher probability of getting the No. 4 pick than any other pick. No team can be pushed down more than three spots from where they should pick based strictly on record. Any of the 14 teams has a chance to get the No. 1 pick, but only the top three picks are determined by chance. Picks 4-14 are determined by record after the order of the top three is established.

Question: How can I get an RSS feed for your True Blue Pistons blog?

Langlois: True Blue Pistons entries, as well as Mailbag entries, are included in the Pistons.com RSS feed. You can sign up here http://www.nba.com/pistons/rss.html