Pistons Legends are former Detroit Pistons players acting as community and team ambassadors at both home Pistons games and community events.
Earl Cureton enters his fourth season with the Detroit Pistons as a community ambassador where he works to raise awareness for Come Together programs, such as Game Changers which celebrates those making an impact in the community, and NBA League sponsored programs.
Prior to joining the Pistons community efforts, Cureton spent the last five seasons as a WNBA assistant coach with the Phoenix Mercury (2012-13), Charlotte Sting (2005-06) and Detroit Shock in 2009, where he worked under Pistons Bad Boy Rick Mahorn.
A 12-year NBA veteran, Cureton was originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 58th overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft. Known as “The Twirl”, the 6-9 forward was a part of two NBA championship teams, the 76ers in 1982-83 and the Houston Rockets in 1993-94. Cureton also played three seasons with the Detroit Pistons (1983-86, where he averaged 5.9 points in 234 games) and spent time with the Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.
A basketball journeyman, Cureton has made coaching stops in the NBA, United States Basketball League and Continental Basketball Association following his retirement from the NBA in 1997. He was an also assistant coach with the ABA’s Long Beach Jam in 2004, alongside coaching legend Paul Westhead. When Westhead left to become an assistant for the Orlando Magic, Cureton took over as head coach and led the Jam to an ABA Championship.
Cureton played collegiately at Division I Robert Morris University before transferring to University of Detroit Mercy for his final two seasons under head coach Dick Vitale. Fulfilling a life-long dream 30 years later, Cureton went back to U of D and earned his college degree in Human Services and was awarded his Bachelor of Science in 2011. A native Detroiter, Cureton prepped at Finney High School.
Rick Mahorn begins his 14th season as a color analyst for the Pistons radio broadcast network. Mahorn brings his extensive NBA experience and joins George Blaha and Mark Champion to deliver insightful commentary during all 82 regular-season games.
Following an 18-year NBA playing career, Mahorn served as head coach of the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the 1999-00 season. He led the Lightning to a 15-7 overall record and the American Conference title, which earned them a No. 2 seed in the 2000 CBA Playoffs. Mahorn’s coaching excellence was recognized in two CBA Coach-of-the-Month Awards. He then joined the coaching staff of the Atlanta Hawks under Lon Kruger during the 2001-02 season.
In 2005, Mahorn joined the Detroit Shock coaching staff, helping take the team to a seventh straight playoff appearance and third WNBA Championship. In 2009, three games into the WNBA season, Mahorn took over the head coaching position after Bill Laimbeer resigned and led the Shock to the Eastern Conference Finals in its last season in Detroit before relocating to Tulsa, OK.
Mahorn was drafted by the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in the second round of the 1980 NBA Draft. He came to Detroit prior to the 1985-86 season and helped the franchise win its first championship as a member of the original “Bad Boys” team in 1988-89. He also earned All-NBA second team defensive honors that season. He later had a second stint with the Pistons from 1996-98.
A Hartford, CT, native, Mahorn was a four-year letter winner at Hampton Institute (VA). He was a three-time NCAA Division II and NAIA All-American and owned 18 school records. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 1980.
John Long played basketball at Romulus High School and continued playing for the Titans at the University of Detroit. While there, Long was coached by the legendary Dick Vitale. He was later named to the University of Detroit’s Hall of Fame for his outstanding play in 2001.
In 1978, Long was drafted by the Pistons in the second round. Long was one of the deadliest mid-range shooters on the team. If Long was within 25 feet of the basket there would most likely be two points added to the scoreboard. Of his 14 year long career in the NBA, Long spent nine seasons with the Pistons, including the 1988-1989 NBA Championship. Long also played for the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks and the Toronto Raptors.
Over his career, Long scored a total of 12,131 points and shot an overall field goal percentage of .467. He still holds the Pistons record for the most steals in a quarter with five.
Since his retirement, Long now serves at a Community Ambassador for the Detroit Pistons. Long continually talks about the importance of literacy and educations to different youth groups in support of the NBA Cares program. He also rotates as an analyst for the Pistons games of WNFN AM 1130.