An Evening In Motown Palace

It was in March 2005; while walking back from Day #1 of APS Meeting I told my advisor that I had declined a $70 ticket for a Lakers-Sonics game at Staples Center. He wasn’t too happy about my decision and since then, I had been planning on making amends for it…. My fanatic affiliation to Detroit Pistons at that time (in 2002-2004) was minimal at best and even when Pistons won the NBA Championship in 2004, I was a fan of a certain team from La-La land… But thanks to Dave Bezotte, Evan Dixon (who explained all the rules & regulations and answered all my dumb/stupid questions while watching countless number of games on TV) and Cory Arthur — during my stay in 1105 Jasper for two years (2004-06) — yours-truly turned into a die-hard Pistons fan.

Geographical non-proximity of our town to Detroit makes it improbable to watch any of these games live but thanks to PenguiCon 5 held in Troy, The Palace of Auburn Hills was only a stone throw away! Having waited in queue for nearly two days, I got my ticket confirmed – somewhere in second tier, section 117. When I went to the Box Office to pick up my ticket early in the afternoon, looking at my camera and hearing about the distance I had driven, I was offered the last remaining seat in in the lowest level – 5th row from court-side to be precise!! Not only that, Palace officials let me carry my 70-200mm lens and did not object/stop me from shooting pictures inspite of not having a Media Pass. Hospitality and warmth of cooperation I received was just royal (it’s the Palace!) and each of the Palace staff and fellow fans seated around me, upon hearing that it was my first ever NBA game, went far beyond their normal limits to make me feel at home and enjoy the game.

NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

The Palace of Auburn Hills



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

The Palace of Auburn Hills – Inside…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

With Hall of Fame Coach Hubie Brown, an ESPN Commentator for the game



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown, ESPN Pre-Game Analysis



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Bill Davidson – you should know who this is…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

John Mason – voice of Pistons…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Festivities during announcement of Pistons Starting Line Up



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Pistons Fan Fare… Age No Bar!



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

ESPN camera crew



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

McDyess Free Throw



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Billups (#1) and Wallace (#36)



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

C-Web dunk…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

The Huddle of Starting Five!



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1
NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Automotion – Pistons’ Dance Team



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

A Palace Official



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Ridiculous Dunk – by a Flight Crew member



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Prince – pleading his case with the ref…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Fourth Quarter Celebrations…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

Fourth Quarter Celebrations…



NBA 2006-07 Play Offs -- Detroit Pistons Hosting Orlando Magic in Game #1 of Round 1

The Final Score!

Heartwarming welcome; meeting Hall of Fame coach Hubie Brown; shouting Baasketbaaal following John Mason’s Dee-Troit; seeing Bill Davidson, John Mason, Greg Kelser, George Blaha; witnessing news as it was being made; watching my favorite team play and win (although I heard post game remarks that Magic lost it rather than Pistons winning it… but screw them; Pistons never get their due credit anyway), shooting pictures of an NBA game from courtside…. it was just an overwhelming experience in a nutshell – something that I will never forget. Thanks to all those who made it happen!

Rest of the pictures, if you are interested, are here.

29 Replies to “An Evening In Motown Palace”

  1. Hey dude…I was waiting for it from the time u told me this…i know how you wud be feeling watching it and shooting the game from the 5th row….i wud have loved being ur assistant photographer there :))….cooool mannn…and as always amazing pics :))…

  2. hey G,
    nice to see u in one of the pics. well seldom get to c u among all the grt pics u take….
    bet u had a nice time waching the game and the dance troop 🙂

  3. @Santosh,
    Yo man yo – I am still in high spirits and the whole experience feels very surreal yet! when you get relocated, we should catch up some game together some day…

  4. @Surya,
    Thanks man – inspite of being a Hall of Fame guy, he (Coach Hubie Brown) gladly walked over when requested for a picture with him. I am still waiting for one more from the Pistons Organization itself (part of the Fan Photo procedure)…

    The dance team was unbelievably friendly – unlike one other dance team I know of, these people treated everybody (with/without camera, of all ages,…) the same way and with a smile 🙂 Dance moves… have no words to explain them!

  5. G,

    It’s obviously time for you to completely abandon any ideas you previously had regarding any sort of technical or academic career. Take out whatever massive student loans that are still have available to you for the coming semester, invest it all in state-of-the-art cameras and lenses and begin the career that seems to be your real calling….happiness will follow once you are on the true path…. 🙂

    Scott

  6. @Amy,
    It took a bit of explaining and convincing – especially to the facilities/security crew – for them to let me carry my camera/lens into the stadium. But a Michigan Tech business card and the fact that it was my first ever NBA game at a stadium did their part in convincing them. Though some other staff members were wondering if I had a Media Pass, they didn’t bother too much once the game got started…

  7. @Scotty,
    I have been thinking about it for a while and it’s definitely up in my list of career choices. I guess, at least for a while, I should just leave it as a passion/serious hobby. May be some day…. 🙂

  8. Great pics, Gowtham! It looks like you had a blast.. and I’m glad to hear the dance team treated you well! 😉 Adam and I want to do dinner with you before we leave for the summer!

  9. @Karen,
    Yess… I love the Automotion team better 😛 And yesss, I had a great time and can’t stop thinking about it – although my forearms are a bit sore from carrying that heavy camera and lens for 5+ hours… I am leaving town on next Monday (04/30) for two weeks though.

  10. @MarwaDi,
    You say the same (yawn) about sports and I say the same about your yawn (how could anyone yawn at sports?) but glad you like our Prince pleading. Don’t even remind me of the cheerleaders/dance team – I am trying to cool down since Saturday…

  11. Hey i just wanted to stop and say nice pictures…… espcially the one of the flight crew member dunking… cause its me…but are these all the pictures you took or are there more ?

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