Pistons Award Ceremony Snapback
The Detroit Pistons' franchise Pistons Award Ceremony Snapback was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League
(NBL) team, playing in the gym of North Side High School
in Fort Wayne, Indiana
. Owners Fred Zollner
and his sister Janet's Zollner Corporation was a foundry
, manufacturing pistons
, primarily for car, truck and locomotive engines. Fred Zollner, who currently owns a professional softball team known as the Zollner Piston softball team, was eventually persuaded to start a basketball team due to the fact that Indiana was so basketball minded. The Zollner Pistons were NBL champions in 1944 and 1945. They also won the World Professional Basketball Tournament
in 1944, 1945 and 1946.
In 1948, the team became the Fort Wayne Pistons, competing in the Basketball Association of America
(BAA). In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table.
There are suggestions that Pistons players conspired with gamblers
to shave points
various games during the 1953–54
seasons. In particular, there are accusations that the team may have intentionally lost the 1955 NBA Finals to the Syracuse Nationals
In the decisive Game 7, the Pistons led Syracuse 41–24 early in the second quarter, then the Nationals rallied to win the game.
Syracuse won on a free throw by George King
with twelve seconds left in the game. The closing moments included a palming turnover
by the Pistons' George Yardley
with 18 seconds left, a foul by Frankie Brian
with 12 seconds left that enabled King's winning free throw, and a turnover by the Pistons' Andy Phillip
with three seconds left which cost Fort Wayne a chance to attempt the game-winning shot.