Last week marked the third Bobblehead Friday for the Pistons this season at the Palace. Every Friday, 10,000 fans receive commemorative statue of their favorite player and among the 10,000 given away, the Pistons include 10 special silver bobbleheads. The lucky fans who receive the silver statues get a post-game meet-and-greet with the player of the evening. This time around, they were in the presence of royalty – NBA royalty – in the 6’9” figure of Tayshaun Prince.
Unfortunately, when a player has a great game like Prince did on Friday, the media wants to stay and talk with him…and talk…and talk…and talk. After holding court with the media, Prince walked through the doors of a backstage hospitality room and made the night of every person in the room. He was regal in a custom-made suit and humbled by the applause and cheers for him in the little room. He then addressed every winner, posed for pictures and signed more things than you do at the closing of a house. Just like on the court earlier in the night, he made (the day) everything he looked at.
It was beyond belief for some winners and pure luck for others. Dustin Saunders, 25, from Clarkston had his second round of meet and greet after pulling a silver Chaucey Billups bobblehead just two weeks ago when the Pistons held their first Bobblehead Friday. Alan Roberts’ family flew in from Bethesda, Maryland, to watch the Pistons in celebration of Alan’s 11th birthday. It will be very hard to top a birthday present of meeting an NBA superstar in the coming years.
Other winners included Hayden Mahakian, 5 from Linden, MI, Joseph Jaster, 5 from Macomb, MI, Leya McDonald, 9 from Commerce MI, David Beal, 8, from Waterford, MI and Daniel Waller, 6 from Utica.
Perhaps the most enthusiastic winner was Carey Cargile from Saginaw. The 37-year old Tayshaun Prince fan got the night started on the right foot by grabbing Tayshaun and nearly mauling him when he entered the room. Cargile is the leading candidate for most enthusiastic of Bobblehead Friday winners.
Prince autographed bobbleheads, t-shirts, jerseys, and hats and posed for pictures with all the winners. He gave high fives and hand shakes to some and charmed others with hugs. After 15 minutes or so he left. But he left eight very satisfied winners who will go home from an unforgettable evening with a story to tell for years and years.
The next Bobblehead Friday will be held December 29th when the Indiana Pacers visit the Palace. This time, Pistons new starting center Nazr Mohammed will be featured and the 6’10” NBA veteran will have a chance to make some memories for 10 new (hopefully) fans.
Look for bobbleheads at every Friday home game during the 2006-07 regular season.