AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – On Sunday, April 18th and Wednesday, April 21st when the Detroit Pistons open their first round 2004 NBA Playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks, the team will give away retro jerseys, replicas from the “lightning bolt era” of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, to the first 5,000 fans 14 and under courtesy of Ticketmaster.com.
The April 18th giveaway will be a road, blue, number 30 Rasheed Wallace lightning bolt jersey. The April 21st giveaway will honor Detroit’s Ben Wallace with a home, white, number three Ben Wallace lightning bolt jersey.
Game time for the Game One Pistons vs. Bucks contest is 1:00 PM. Game Two will begin at 7:00 PM.
The unique giveaways are a pre-cursor to the 2004-05 season when the Pistons, along with a dozen other NBA teams, will wear retro gear six times (both home and road) during the regular season. The retro jerseys are part of the Hardwood Classics program for 2004-05.
“You can’t turn around these days without running into someone wearing a throwback jersey, they are just so popular with everyone,” said Pistons CEO Tom Wilson. “Two years ago, we started a tradition of saying thank you to our fans by giving away something at our playoff games. I think this year we have a pretty unique giveaway that celebrates our long history in the NBA.”
The lightning bolt design was introduced in 1978 by Head Coach Dick Vitale, one of the most colorful coaches in Pistons history. Vitale wanted the lightning bolts to represent his promise of “re-Vitalize-ing” the Pistons, as he had done at the University of Detroit. Pistons greats including Bob Lanier, John Long, Terry Tyler, Kevin Porter, Greg Kelser, Phil Hubbard and Bob McAdoo all wore the lightning bolt design.
Although Isiah Thomas was fitted for a lightning bolt jersey when he was drafted out of Indiana in 1981, the jerseys were changed for the 1981-82 season.
For more information regarding the 2004 Detroit Pistons Playoffs or to purchase tickets for any upcoming home playoff games, please contact the Palace at (248) 377-0100 or log on to the Detroit Pistons Web site at www.pistons.com.