NBA / Sep 20, 2010 / 12:30 pm

Rodney Stuckey: “On paper, we are the best team in the League”

Rodney Stuckey (photo. Tom McKenzie)

Times have changed in Detroit. The 2004 NBA championship is a distant memory. No longer are the Pistons one of the most superior defensive teams in the League. Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace are gone, and the team is playing under its third coach since Larry Brown led them all the way in ’04.

It’s been a rebuilding process without a “rebuilding” label, and as expected, wins were hard to come by this past season in the D. After eight consecutive years going to the playoffs, the Pistons missed out and were in the Lottery in 2010.

As the franchise tries transforming its identity, it’s clear that Rodney Stuckey is a valuable piece to their future. It’s just not clear how valuable. Some view the 6-5, 205-pound guard as The Franchise; others see him as a solid starter (or even a sixth man) who would be better off as a third option. Stuckey has all the tools to be one of the top point guards in the game, with size, strength, and an explosive first step, but hasn’t yet performed for an entire season like the star some see him as.

I had the chance to catch up with Rodney this weekend. We discussed his summer, the difficulties of last season, and what’s to come from the Pistons.

*** *** ***

Dime: How has your summer been?
Rodney Stuckey: It’s been good. Right after the season I took time off to be with my family. I took a vacation. Basically, I just got my mind off basketball. I also got into yoga. Stretching and posing is a good workout. I did that for a month. Then I headed back to Detroit to work, and went out to (Vegas) summer league and worked out.

Dime: Did you spend most of your time at home in Seattle or in Detroit?
RS: First part in Detroit with some college buddies. Then the second half I spent in Seattle. I played in Jamal Crawford‘s pro-am league. I enjoyed being with my family. I have a 5-year-old daughter who’s about to start kindergarten. I want to spend as much time with her as I can before I have to go back to work.

Dime: When you say “back to work,” what exactly have you been working on?
RS: I was focusing on getting in better shape. I wanted to slim down, which I’ve done. I’ve also been working on my jump shot. I wanted to get those two things down. I will be alright with everything else. That’s pretty much it. I feel I’m there with my quickness and my strength. I also need to become more consistent.

Dime: I can tell you are driven after the difficult experience of last season. How do you feel things will turn out this season coming up?
RS: Last year was tough. We were inconsistent. There was no chemistry. We all just have to stay healthy and the sky is the limit for us. On paper, we are the best team in the League. We are deep and athletic. All we have to do is play to our abilities. We don’t have the biggest roster, but if we share the ball, we’ll be alright.

Dime: When you say there was no chemistry, what exactly do you mean?
RS: Everyone was injured, so there was no set lineup. The amount of minutes we played changed every night (due to injuries). It was never like that before. We had to find out right before games who was healthy and who was going to play and for how long.

Dime: Do you feel you are the franchise player in Detroit?
RS: I don’t think about that stuff. I just go and play. It’s my last year under my current contract, so I don’t know where I’ll be after that. The NBA is a business, so you never know.

Dime: How do you feel about the addition of Tracy McGrady to the team?
RS: I’m excited to get to know him and play with him. People have been doubting him. He’s trying to get his body right. He can definitely help us with the skills he brings. I’m happy to have him.

Dime: With the Pistons being up for sale, does that affect you at all as a player not knowing what the future will bring?
RS: No, I think we have been getting a lot of offers. Hopefully something good will happen. I haven’t paid much attention to it.

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  • Joe’s Momma

    On paper, you guys still aren’t the best team in the L, sorry young 50. That isn’t as outrageous as B-Easy’s comment, but it is close.

    But I do really wanna see this guy with his lighter frame this year. I hope he still is big enough to overpower the smaller guards.

    Detroit should be much improved, on paper

  • jdote

    this was great. headline made my day. ooo wait.. he wasn’t joking?

  • Dagger

    It’s that time, just before training camp, when optimism runs boundless through every team. Like any fan of a terrible team (the Raptors, in my case) I’m savouring it before the real games begin and harsh reality sets in.

  • DVS

    I wouldn’t put to much on that comment. Every player has to tell themselves they’re the best player in the league or they have the best team in the league, how else can you compete if you’re convinced you’re not going to win.

    It’s like when SJAX said he’s better than Kobe. Same thing.

  • thenatural

    Nice optimism from Team RamRod but the Knicks had an amazing roster in 06… amazing for NBA Live that is…

  • jmg

    yo, Stucky….. PASS THAT SHIT!!!!!!

  • NYK

    On Dan Gilbert’s Paper, the Cavaliers will go 4-0 against the Heat this season.

  • Heckler

    Piston suck.
    and part of the reason they suck is because they dont have a true point guard. i’ve said on ths site (for about 3yrs) rodney stuckey is shitty (nothing personal, but he aint a starting point).

    they dont have any bigs capable of doing anything. their roster is too mismatch. how many 2-guards does one team need anyway?…rip hamilton, will bynum, tracy mcgrady, ben gordon….

    this team needs a roster overhaul. again.
    or they just need to lower their asking price. on paper.

  • jace

    @DVS i guess ur kinda right…… on paper.

    jus playin.. nah u r right in a way.. but to say that wouldn’t really be convincing urself…

    i think its kind of a different statement wut sjax said… cuz sjax’ comment was… 100% how he sees it. hes saying with a definitive statement that point blank “im better than kobe”.

    now stuckeys statement.. it seems like hes only 50% convinced.. if he thought they were the best, he wouldve said that.. instead he said that they only look the best on paper. not on the actual court.

    its like saying.. i can make 100% of my 3ptrs…. but only from this spot here. its half the truth

  • JAY

    Best team?? WTF. Duke could beat them. Stuckey must be smoking the Stickey with Beasley.

    Rodney “Stickey” Stuckey.

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Nice one DIME!

  • Larry




    They got a PG who cant create for anyone and a SG who plays best off the ball … so their backcourt doesn’t work. They got the skinnyest man in the L at SF, the worst defender in the world at PF and a 57 year old undersized Center, so their front court doesn’t work either.
    Their bench consists of Tracy “oww my knees and back” McGrady, Ben “what ther’s other dudes on the court?” Gordon, Will “shorter than Nate” Bynum ,a Jonas Brother and some other scrubs.

    on paper this team screams TRADE EVERY SINGLE FUCKING PLAYER RIGHT NOW!!!

  • http://dimemag.com/2010/09/rodney-stuckey-on-paper-we-are-the-best-team-in-the-league/ Mike


  • http://www.onthenet.biz Khalvin

    Wait, I thought the Raptors were pound for pound the most improved team in the L…

    It’s good to know that Rodney is smoking that good stuff too.

  • Sporty-j

    I agree with @PACE. Who says on paper we have the best team instead of just coming striaght out and saying we have the best team. No team wants a player on there team that does not believe they are going to win it and what else was he suppose to say. The difference between his comments and Beasleys comments is that you can tell Stucky was just talking and going thru the motins during the interview compared to Beasley whos so messed up from smoking that Bob Marley with Ricky Williams that he really believes he will lead the Wolves to the title with him as the fourth or 5th go to player on the Wolves behind Flynn, Wesley, Love, and Darko…lol

  • Nigel

    Looks like Stuckey got in Beasley’s stash….

  • Darius

    On paper, Darko Milicic is gettin payed like an All-Star

  • sh!tfaced

    too bad they don’t play NBA ball on paper

  • Bizz

    On paper? Rodney…the belief that the Pistons have the best team on paper is full of s**t, so the paper you must be referring to is TOILET PAPER.

  • iannyb

    Why be World champs, when you can be paper champs. sad thing is that Stuckey is not even paper MVP.

  • Nba_source

    “too bad they don’t play NBA ball on paper”
    “Why be World champs, when you can be paper champs. sad thing is that Stuckey is not even paper MVP”


  • Sporty-j

    lol PAPER CHAMPS and they still dont come close to that. Stuckey is just waiting for the Heat vs Lakers finals like the rest of the league especially since he just got that new contract. He probably was just thinking about which CLUB he will be taking his talents to on SOUTH BEACH when he was talking since he knows Dumars is messing up that Franchise for the next 10yrs…

  • HeatWave4Life

    This guy has officially lost his damn mind.

  • Marcus

    Wow, on paper? sorry Stuckey but your team does not even look good on paper. Your team probably wont even make the playoffs.

    Unless Kevin Durant is on that piece of paper…ur not the best team

  • Y-sTaRz

    @ HeatWave4Life

    your right!!

  • QWizboy!

    “On paper, we are the best team in the League.” What the f***? They don’t even have the best team in the Central division (which is the sorriest is the NBA). Rodney MUST be smoking raw

  • K Dizzle

    When was this interview?

    If it was in 2005, then Stuckey is right.

    PG – Stuckey – full of potential
    SG – best catch n shoot 2 in the league
    SF- TMac/Prince – one lights you up, the other locks you down
    PF – Charlie V – versatile forward
    C – Defensive/rebounding STUD
    Bench – Ben Gordon – 6th Man of the Year…as a rookie
    Will Bynum – explosive guard off the pine
    Chris Wilcox – 14ppg and 8rbs in Seattle

    Unfortunately, it’s 2010 and none of those dudes look promising. Maybe Bynum. Stuckey had those passing out scares last season so hopefully he healthy now.

    Best of luck to Greg Monroe…

  • thehaterhater

    Yeah your right. They aren’t the best team on paper. That’s fine. Remember 2004 when the best team on paper and even on the court was the lakers. Still lost. The dynasty broken up. I bet all you haters started bashing the lakers then. When a successful franchise is down for a bit y’all gotta go and kick them. Pretty sure the lakers missed the playoffs themselves during that stretch. On paper y’all are the scum of the earth. On the internet y’all get to hide and talk trash. Go die.

  • ball

    That Kush is a hell of a Drug!

  • ReddiRed

    Thank you thehaterhater !!!!

    See, the Pistons have beaten all these haters teams badly for the last 10 years (except last 2). Now we are struggling and rebuilding, which all “WINNERS” go through, and now these haters spit venom!! lol !!!

    You see, you haters love your teams and your teams haven’t won shit, that’s why your teams don’t have to rebuild because you can’t rebuild something you never had in the first place.

    so…in the words of the great Dave Chapelle:

    hold my drink bitch!!


  • Mychale

    i bet more than half the people on h re are bandwagon Laker and Heat fans hatin on Detroit. Listen up, talk about ur hometown team, do they measure up to Detroits success???? Not many teams do

  • Jay Jay

    I love the Pistons. Been a loyal fan since the “Bad Boys” era. Idiots like you love to talk bad about them because your team was once their victim. Stop hating and show respect to the toughest team that ever played the game!!!!

  • http://none Tom

    The Pistons are deeper than any team 3-15… They just don’t have a STUD, and a solid #2.

    But looking at SG-SF-PF they are 3-4 deep at every position with guys that deserve to play!


  • pistons pwn

    You idiots will recognize the Pistons once you see their improved team game this season.