Michael Curry

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Posted by kaori 04/17/2009 @ 00:15

Tags : michael curry, basketball coaches, basketball, sports

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Pistons' Curry visits Georgia Southern - Savannah Morning News
Detroit Pistons coach Michael Curry, center, talks with Tayshaun Prince (22) and Will Bynum in the fourth quarter of a first-round NBA basketball playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday, April 18, 2009, in Cleveland....
Greenbrier routs Saints in state semis - Suffolk News-Herald
NSA head coach Michael Curry acknowledges and gives credit to how good the Saints' annual conference nemesis is, and credits his own club for reaching the state semifinals, but he was disappointed in Thursday's game. “We accomplished a lot this year...
VINCE ELLIS Bringing back Pistons coach Michael Curry is right move - Detroit Free Press
BY VINCE ELLIS • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • April 30, 2009 It wasn't a hot-button topic since the fate of Pistons coach Michael Curry had been widely reported for several days. But if there was any doubt, president of basketball of operations Joe...
Curry wants the focus on task at hand - Detroit Free Press
Pistons coach Michael Curry wants his team to focus on getting one victory. That could be tough for a team that's used to challenging for Eastern Conference supremacy and not used to getting swept out of the playoffs. Curry is concerned his team might...
Roundtable: What Do the Wizards Do If They Pick 4th? - Washington Post
Guys like Stephen Curry, Gerald Henderson, Wayne Ellington, DeJuan Blair and Nick Cathales, to name a few, can be solid reserve players right away, all for less money than Andray Blatche currently makes. It's better to have a youngster get paid 1.5...
Why The NHL Playoffs Are Better Than The NBA Playoffs - Bleacher Report
Michael Curry just like the rest of the Pistons team were scared of LeBron and didn't know how to defend him. NHL Coaches demand great effort and expect great effort every night the players step on the ice. They expect the gameplans to be executed to...
Curry says struggles aren't matter of heart - Detroit Free Press
BY GEORGE SIPPLE • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • April 24, 2009 Whether the starters are lacking heart isn't of much concern to Pistons coach Michael Curry. He said after Thursday's shoot-around that he never really believed in that concept as a player....
Curry house hot stuff - say stars - Forester
Curry Corner, in Fairview Road, has become a regular haunt for high-profile visitors. A cursory glance through the visitor's book shows Richard Branson, Michael Palin, and Rick Stein have visited in the past month alone. And if the complimentary...
Design studio invites Scouts in for a tour - OregonLive.com
Cub Scouts from Wilsonville's Pack 528 recently visited Michael Curry Design for a behind-the-scenes tour of his internationally acclaimed studio. Large, animated puppets are developed there for use in high-profile venues such as Disney Theatrical...
In Santa Barbara: Once again, fire - The Tidings
A quick call to Bishop Curry secured permission for the ceremony to be conducted in an empty polo field, followed by the reception, said parish secretary Tricia Knight. "The wind and smoke did make it somewhat difficult for Msgr. Michael Jennett,...

Michael Curry

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Michael Edward Curry (born August 22, 1968 in Anniston, Alabama) is an American basketball coach and current head coach of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. Curry was hired June 9, 2008 to replace fired Flip Saunders. Curry also played in the National Basketball Association from 1993 to 2005.

A 6'5" guard/forward from Glenn Hills High School in Augusta, Georgia, and Georgia Southern University, Curry played eleven seasons (1993–1994 through 1995–2005) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Washington Bullets, the Detroit Pistons, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers. Though he never averaged more than 6.6 points per game in a season, Curry was well respected throughout the league for his strong defense and leadership qualities, and for several years he served as president of the NBA Players Association.

He played also in the German 1st Basketball league for the team Steiner Bayreuth (1990–1991), in Italy for Clear Cantù (1994) and in the Spanish ACB for Valvi Girona (1994–1995).

Prior to becoming head coach of the Pistons, Curry served as an assistant coach for Detroit and also as the NBA's Vice-President of Player Development.

Curry also holds a Masters Degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University SportsCenter.

His son Deon Curry plays football as a wide receiver for Michigan State University.

On June 10, 2008 Curry was named as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons for the 2008–2009 season, succeeding Flip Saunders. He received a three year deal, worth $2.5 million per season.

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Michael Curry Design Inc.

Michael Curry Design Inc., alternatively, MCD, is a performance arts service company located in Scappoose, Oregon. Created by Michael Curry, it creates state-of-the-art puppets and costumes for both theatre, ceremonies, and films.

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Michael Curry (puppet designer)

Michael Curry is a Tony- and Emmy award-winning American production designer who lives in Portland, Oregon. He is also the owner and President of Michael Curry Design Inc. in Scappoose, Oregon, which was started in 1986.

Curry works widely in technical development with such renowned entertainment companies as Cirque du Soleil, the Metropolitan Opera, London's Royal National Theatre, Walt Disney Theatrical, Los Angeles Opera and Universal Studios. He works regularly with directors such as Robert Lepage, Nicholas Hytner, Julie Taymor and William Friedken. He has also worked with production designers such as Mark Fisher and Eiko Ishioka. Michael has been the recipient of many distinguished and sought-after awards from his peers, including various awards for his puppet and costume work on Broadway, Olympic ceremonies and his continuing creations and views in the fields of visual effects and puppetry design. He owns, operates, and leads Michael Curry Design Inc., which designs and creates live-performance oriented dimensional characters and productions, such as those seen by worldwide audiences in the 1996 and 2002 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, in the 2000 Super Bowl, and New York City's epoch 2000 millennium event.

Curry designed the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002. The first notable American event following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the ceremony blended light, puppets, and story.

Curry also designed the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Olympics, which were a mix of movement, costume, and puppetry.

At Epcot, in Disney World, Curry created 120 towering puppets, which he titled the Tapestry of Nations, who parade around the lake when sunset arrives. This parade features the largest speaker system in the world, featuring 416 speakers and 137 amplifiers.

Curry works often in theatre, often collaborating with Julie Taymor. He has worked on Broadway, at The Metropolitan Opera, and at festivals such as the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Curry also designed the costumes for the opera version of Oedipus Rex.

Curry was made famous not only by the Olympic ceremonies he designed, but also for his puppet design in the highly acclaimed musical, The Lion King. He would join the rest of the cast and crew to win six Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical for Disney Theatrical Productions, Best Direction of a Musical for Julie Taymor, and Best Choreography for Garth Fagan. Curry and Julie Taymor would team up to win the Tony Award for Best Costume Design.

This show was a huge success, and Curry designed the costumes, along with Taymor once again.

Curry designed the puppets for the Cirque Du Soleil shows KÀ (directed by Robert Lepage at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, and LOVE (directed by Dominique Champagne at the MGM Mirage, also in Las Vegas). He also designed the illusions for the upcoming show, Cirque du Soleil and Criss Angel at the LUXOR 2009.

Three major pieces by Curry are on permanent display at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia - an interactive full-body puppet of a praying mantis, a nine-foot tall animatronic original by Curry called the Trashcan Phoenix, and a user-controlled animatronic puppet of Xelas, a shapechanger from Native American mythology.

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Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons logo

The Detroit Pistons is a team in the National Basketball Association based in the Detroit metropolitan area. The team's home arena is The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons are the only major professional team in Michigan that does not play their home games in the city of Detroit.

The franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League (NBL) team, playing in the gym of North Side High School. Owner Fred Zollner's Zollner Corporation was a foundry, manufacturing pistons primarily for car, truck and locomotive engines. 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. From that point on, the Fort Wayne Pistons competed in the NBA. Led by star forward George Yardley, the Fort Wayne Pistons were a very popular franchise and appeared in the NBA Finals in 1955 and 1956, losing both times.

Pistons players are believed to have conspired with gamblers to shave points and throw various games during the 1953–54 and 1954–55 seasons. In particular, they are believed to have thrown 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 allowed the Nationals to rally 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.

Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, their city's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable. In 1957, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, a much larger city which had not seen professional basketball in a decade. In 1947, they had lost the Detroit Gems of the NBL, who moved to become the Minneapolis Lakers (now the Los Angeles Lakers), and the Detroit Falcons of the BAA, which folded. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium (home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings at the time) for their first four seasons, then moved to Cobo Arena. The franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling both on the court and at the box office.

During the 60s and 70s, the Pistons were characterized by very strong individuals and weak teams. Some of the superstars who played for the team included Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Jimmy Walker, and Bob Lanier. At one point DeBusschere was the youngest player coach in the history of the NBA. Unfortunately, an ill timed trade was made during the 1968 season which sent the popular home grown Debusschere to the New York Knicks for Howard Komives and Walt Bellamy both who were in the later stages of their career. DeBusschere became the key player that then led the Knicks to two NBA titles. The Dave Bing and Bob Lanier era did have some solid and exciting years but they were handicapped by being in the same division as the Milwaukee Bucks which had a young Lew Alcindor and the Chicago Bulls which had some very strong teams. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to Bill Davidson, who remained the team's principal owner until his death on March 14, 2009. Displeased with the team's location in downtown Detroit, Davidson moved them to the suburb of Pontiac in 1978, where they played in the mammoth Silverdome, a structure built for professional football (and the home of the Detroit Lions at the time).

The Pistons stumbled their way out of the 1970s and into the 1980s, beginning with a 16–66 record in 1979–80 and following up with a 21–61 record in 1980–81. The 1979–80 team lost its last 14 games of the season which, when coupled with the seven losses at the start of the 1980–81 season, comprised a then-NBA record losing streak of 21 games (since broken).

The franchise's fortunes finally began to turn in 1981, when it drafted point guard Isiah Thomas from Indiana University. In early 1982, the Pistons acquired center Bill Laimbeer in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers and guard Vinnie Johnson from the Seattle SuperSonics. The three would remain together for a decade, forming much of the core of a team that would rise to the top of the league.

Initially the Pistons had a tough time moving up the NBA ladder. In 1984, the Pistons lost a tough five-game series to the underdog New York Knicks, three games to two. In the 1985 playoffs, Detroit won its first-round series and faced the defending champion Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals. Though Boston would prevail in six games, Detroit's surprise performance promised that a rivalry had begun. In the 1985 NBA Draft, the team selected Joe Dumars 18th overall, a selection that would prove very wise. They also acquired Rick Mahorn in a trade with the Washington Bullets. However, the team initially took a step backward, losing in the first round of the 1986 playoffs to the more athletic Atlanta Hawks. After the series, Coach Chuck Daly and team captain Thomas decided that their best chance to seize control of the Eastern Conference would be through a more aggressive style of play.

Prior to the 1986–87 season, the Pistons acquired more key players: John Salley (drafted 11th overall), Dennis Rodman (drafted 27th) and Adrian Dantley (acquired in a trade with the Utah Jazz). The team adopted a physical, defense-oriented style of play, which eventually earned them the nickname "Bad Boys." In 1987 the team reached the Eastern Conference Finals, the farthest it had advanced since moving from Fort Wayne, against the Celtics. After pushing the defending champions to a 2–2 tie, the Pistons were on the verge of winning Game 5 at the Boston Garden with seconds remaining. After a Celtics' turnover, Isiah Thomas attempted to quickly inbound the ball and missed Daly's timeout signal from the bench (the NBA had not yet instituted the rule that allowed coaches to call timeout themselves). Larry Bird stole the inbound pass and passed it to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup. While the Pistons would win Game 6 in Detroit, they would lose the series in a tough Game 7 back in Boston.

Motivated by their loss to the Celtics, the 1988 Pistons, aided by midseason acquisition James Edwards, improved to a then-franchise-record 54 victories and the franchise's first Central Division title. In the postseason, the Pistons avenged their two previous playoff losses to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, defeating them in six games and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since the franchise moved to Detroit.

The Pistons' first trip to the Finals saw them face the Los Angeles Lakers, who were led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After taking a 3–2 series lead back to Los Angeles, Detroit appeared poised to win their first NBA title in Game 6. In that game, Isiah Thomas scored an NBA Finals record 25 points in the third quarter while playing on a severely sprained ankle. However, the Lakers won the game, 103–102, on a pair of last-minute free throws by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar following a controversial foul called on Bill Laimbeer, referred to by many Piston supporters, and Laimbeer himself, as a "phantom foul." With Isiah Thomas unable to compete at full strength, the Pistons narrowly fell in Game 7, 108–105.

Prior to the 1988–89 season, the Pistons moved to Auburn Hills to play at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The 1989 Pistons completed the building of their roster by trading Dantley for Mark Aguirre, a trade that Piston fans would criticize heavily initially, but later praise. The team won 63 games, shattering the old franchise record, and steamrolled through the playoffs and into a NBA Finals rematch with the Lakers. This time the Pistons came out victorious in a four-game sweep to win their first NBA championship. Joe Dumars was named NBA Finals MVP. Game Four of the series marked the final game of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career.

The Pistons successfully defended their title in 1990. After winning 59 games and a third straight division title, the Pistons cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs and advanced to the eastern conference finals for the 4th straight year in a row before playing a tough Eastern Conference Finals series against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Facing each other for the third straight season, the Pistons and Bulls split the first six games before the Pistons finished the series with a decisive 93–74 victory in Game 7. Advancing to their third consecutive NBA Finals, the Pistons faced the Portland Trail Blazers. After splitting the first two games at The Palace, the Pistons went to Portland, where they had not won a game since 1974, to play Games 3, 4 and 5. The Pistons summarily won all three games in Portland, becoming the first NBA team to sweep the middle three games on the road. The decisive game came down to the final second. Trailing 90–83 with two minutes remaining, the Pistons rallied to tie the game, then took a 92–90 lead when Vinnie Johnson sank an 18 foot jumper with 00.7 seconds left in the game; this shot earned Johnson a new nickname in Detroit, "007", to go with his original moniker, "The Microwave." Isiah Thomas was named NBA Finals MVP.

The Pistons' championship run came to an end in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, when the team was defeated by the eventual NBA champion Chicago Bulls, 4 games to 0. However, the Pistons were batted and bruised throughout the regular season. Thomas had surgery on his wrist prior to the NBA Playoffs. The Conference Finals were best remembered for the Pistons walking off the court before the game actually ended. After the series, Jordan said he was "shocked that Isiah didn't play as hard." Following this, the franchise went through a lengthy transitional period, as key players either retired (Laimbeer in 1993 and Thomas in 1994) or were traded (Edwards, Johnson, Salley, and Rodman among others). The team quickly declined, bottoming out in the 1993–94 season when they finished 20–62.

After being swept by the Miami Heat in the 2000 playoffs, Joe Dumars (who had retired following the 1999 season) was hired as the team's president of basketball operations. He quickly faced what appeared to be a setback for the franchise, as Grant Hill elected to leave the team for the Orlando Magic. However, Dumars managed to work a sign and trade with Orlando that brought the Pistons Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins in exchange for Hill. Both quickly entered the Pistons' starting lineup, and Wallace would develop into an All-Star in the coming years. Conversely, Hill would play only 47 games in the following four seasons due to a recurring ankle injury.

The Pistons suffered through another tough season in 2000-01, going 32–50. After the season, Dumars fired head coach George Irvine and hired Rick Carlisle, a widely respected assistant coach who had been a tough substitute contributor for the Celtics during the mid-1980s. In the fall of 2001, the franchise also returned to its red, white and blue uniforms.

Carlisle helped lead the Pistons to their first 50-win season since 1997, and their first playoff series victory since 1991. In the summer of 2002, Dumars revamped the Pistons' roster by signing free agent Chauncey Billups, acquiring Richard "Rip" Hamilton from the Washington Wizards, and by drafting Tayshaun Prince from Kentucky. The Pistons posted consecutive 50-win seasons and advanced to the 2003 Eastern Conference Finals, for the first time since 1991. There, however, they were swept in four games by the New Jersey Nets.

Despite the team's improvement, Carlisle was fired in the 2003 offseason. There were believed to be five reasons for the firing: first, that Carlisle had appeared reluctant to play some of the team's younger players, such as Prince and Mehmet Okur, during the regular season, which had upset Dumars; second, that some of the players (notably Wallace) had not gotten along with Carlisle; third, that Carlisle employed an offensive system that was too conservative; fourth, that Hall of Famer Larry Brown had become available; and finally fifth, that Carlisle was rumoured to be interested in the Pacer's head coaching job during the Pistons' 2003 playoff run. Brown accepted the job that summer and Carlisle landed the job in Indiana as expected.

The Pistons' transformation into a championship team was completed with the February 2004 acquisition of Rasheed Wallace. The Pistons now had another big man to pose a threat from all parts of the court. The Pistons finished the season 54–28, recording their best record since 1997. In the 2004 playoffs, after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in five games, they defeated the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets in seven games after coming back from a 3–2 deficit. Detroit then defeated the Indiana Pacers, coached by Rick Carlisle, in six tough games to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1990. Many analysts gave the Pistons little chance to win against their opponents, the Los Angeles Lakers, who had won three out of the previous four NBA championships, and who fielded a star-studded lineup that included Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton and Karl Malone. However, the Pistons won the series in dominating fashion, defeating Los Angeles in five games for the team's third NBA Championship. The Pistons posted double-digit wins in three of their four victories, and held the Lakers to a franchise-low 68 points in Game 3. Chauncey Billups was named NBA Finals MVP.

Despite losing key members of their bench during the offseason (including Okur, Mike James and Corliss Williamson), the Pistons were considered a strong contender to win a second consecutive title in 2005. They won 54 games during the regular season, their fourth consecutive season of 50 or more wins. During the 2005 playoffs, they easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4–1 and then rallied from a 2–1 deficit to finish off the Indiana Pacers, 4–2. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons faced the Miami Heat. Once again Detroit fell behind, but won Eastern Conference Championship in seven games. In the NBA Finals the Pistons faced the San Antonio Spurs. In the first NBA Finals Game 7 since 1994, the Pistons lost a hard-fought game to the Spurs, who clinched their third NBA championship. Many thought the key moment of the Finals series was Robert Horry's game winning three-pointer from the left wing in Game 5.

The Pistons' 2004–05 season was marked by a major controversy, as well as distracting issues involving Larry Brown. In the first month of the season, a Pacers–Pistons brawl erupted, one of the largest fan-player incidents in the history of American sports. It resulted in heavy fines and suspensions for several players, and a great deal of NBA and media scrutiny. Meanwhile, Brown was forced to leave the team on two occasions due to health concerns, and also became involved in a series of rumors linking him to other job openings. Concerned about Brown's health, and angered over his alleged pursuit of other jobs during the season, the Pistons bought out his contract soon after the 2005 NBA Finals. Brown was promptly named head coach of the New York Knicks, and the Pistons hired Flip Saunders, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

During the 2005–06 season, the Pistons recorded the NBA's best overall record. Their 37–5 start exceeded the best start for any Detroit sports franchise in history and tied for the second-best 42-game start in NBA history. Four of the five Piston starters, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace, were named to the All-Star team, and Flip Saunders served as the Eastern Conference All-Star team coach. The Pistons finished the regular season with a record of 64–18, setting new franchise records for both overall and road victories (27). In addition, the team set an NBA record by starting the same lineup in 73 consecutive games from the start of the season.

The top-seeded Pistons defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 4–1 in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, but struggled in the second round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, falling behind 3–2 before winning in seven games. Things did not improve against second-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami defeated the Pistons in six games en route to the 2006 NBA championship.

During the 2006 offseason, the Pistons offered Ben Wallace a four-year, $48 million contract which would have made him the highest-paid Piston ever. However, Wallace agreed to a 4-year, $60 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. .

To replace Ben Wallace, the Pistons signed Nazr Mohammed as a center. He struggled to fill the team's void at center, however, and the team began looking for additional help. On January 17, the Pistons signed Chris Webber, who had become a free agent. The Pistons quickly began playing better basketball and, according to Newsday, started "to get their swagger back." The Pistons were only 21–15 before Webber was acquired; with him, the team went 32–14. On April 11, the Pistons clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference, which guaranteed them home-court advantage for first three rounds of the playoffs.

The Pistons opened the 2007 NBA Playoffs with a 4–0 victory over the Orlando Magic, their first playoff series sweep since 1990. The team advanced to face the Chicago Bulls, marking the first time that the Central Division rivals had met in the postseason since 1991. After winning the first two games by 26 and 21 points, the Pistons overcame a 19-point deficit to win Game 3, 81–74. Chicago avoided elimination by winning Games 4 and 5, but the Pistons closed out the series, 95–85, in Game 6. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fifth consecutive time (equaling their streak from 1987–1991) - one short of the NBA record set by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons won games 1 and 2, but lost 4 in a row to the Cavaliers.

Following the season, the Pistons traded Carlos Delfino to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for 2009 and 2011 second-round draft picks. In the 2007 NBA Draft the Pistons selected Rodney Stuckey as the 15th overall pick and Arron Afflalo as the 27th overall pick. They also re-signed Chauncey Billups to a long-term contract, as well as re-signing top prospect Amir Johnson and key reserve Antonio McDyess. This season marked the 50th anniversary of the franchise in Detroit, so The Palace of Auburn Hills floor was given a retouch, as the 50th anniversary logo was encased on center court, and blue replaced red on the sideline, retaining red on the baseline surrounding the basket with the words "Detroit Pistons." The remainder of the court remained unchanged. This marked the first time since their first season at the Pontiac Silverdome (1978–79) that the sideline of the Pistons floor will be painted blue, as opposed to their traditional red.

At the start of the 2008 season, Rasheed Wallace became the Pistons' new center. Upon entering his third season as Pistons coach, Saunders became the longest-tenured Pistons coach since Chuck Daly's nine-year tenure (1983–92). Detroit finished the season 59–23, with the second-best record in the league. The Boston Celtics held the first seed, and many speculated that Boston was their main competition in the Eastern Conference. In the 2008 NBA Playoffs, Detroit started out poorly with a Game 1 loss to the seventh-seeded Philadelphia 76ers and found themselves in a 2-games-to-1 deficit. But the Pistons rallied to defeat the Sixers in six games.

Meanwhile in the 2008 NBA Playoffs, Detroit rolled out to a Game 1 romp of the Orlando Magic, and won a tight Game 2 amid mild controversy. At the very end of the third quarter, Chauncey Billups hit a three point field goal that gave the Pistons a three point lead. However, the clock had stopped shortly into the play. League rules currently prohibit officials from using both instant replay and a timing device to measure how much time has elapsed when a clock malfunctions, nor is a replay from the time of the malfunction onward allowed. The officials estimated that the play took 4.6 seconds, and since there were 5.1 seconds remaining when it began, the field goal was counted. The NBA later admitted that the play actually took 5.7 seconds and the basket should not have counted .

In addition to losing Game 3 badly, 111–86, the Pistons also lost all-star point guard and team leader Chauncey Billups to a hamstring injury. Despite his absence, the Pistons rallied from 15 down in the 3rd quarter to win Game 4 90–89, on a field goal by Tayshaun Prince with just 8.9 seconds to play, taking a 3–1 series lead. Again with Billups sitting on the sideline, they then proceeded to win Game 5 in Detroit, winning the series 4 games to 1.

Detroit advanced to the NBA Conference Finals for the sixth straight season, squaring off against the Boston Celtics. They lost game one 79–88, but won in game two on the road, 103–97 (marking Boston's first home court loss in the 2008 post-season). Immediately following that, the Celtics won their first road playoff game of the post-season, 94–80, in game three. Game four saw the Pistons win 94–75. In the pivotal fifth game, they lost 106–102, despite rallying from 18 points down late in the game. In Game 6, the Pistons entered the fourth quarter leading 70–60, but a lack of focus, a poor game from Rasheed Wallace, and a rally-killing turnover by Tayshaun Prince ultimately lead to their demise; the Pistons ended their season with an 89–81 loss. With that, the Celtics went on to win the 2008 NBA Finals. On June 3, 2008, the Pistons announced that head coach Flip Saunders will not return as head coach for the 2008–09 regular season.

On June 10, 2008 the Pistons named first year assistant coach and former players union representative Michael Curry as their new head coach for the 2008–09 season.

On July 30, 2008, the Pistons signed guard Will Bynum and forward/center Kwame Brown. On November 3, 2008, the Pistons traded Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson. McDyess was later waived on November 10 and rejoined the Pistons on December 9, 2008.

Detroit's sellout streak at The Palace of Auburn Hills ended on February 4, 2009 in a 93-90 win over the Miami Heat. The streak began on January 19, 2004, the year the Pistons won their third NBA title, and was the franchise's longest sellout streak at 259.

Despite the trade for Iverson the Pistons regressed during the season, partly due to Curry's controversial moves and disrupted team chemistry, including playing Iverson and Richard Hamilton as sixth men. As a result, the Pistons dropped further down the standings, only clinching a playoff berth on April 10, 2009. The season will be the first time since the 2000-01 season that the Pistons failed to reach 50 wins.

The Pistons' current flagship radio station is 1130 AM WDFN. There are several affiliate stations.

On February 5, 2009, Detroit station WXYT-FM "97.1 The Ticket" acquired the rights to become the Pistons' flagship station starting in the 2009-10 season. The move comes after WDFN laid-off most of its local on-air talent in January 2009, switching to a line-up of nationally syndicated shows like The Dan Patrick Show and Fox Sports Radio's The Drive with Chris Myers and Sean Farnham. The change is also due to the fact that WDFN has a very weak directional signal, and listeners have complained that its hard to receive without interference. WWJ 950 AM will cover Pistons games which conflict with WXYT-FM's coverage of Detroit Tigers or Detroit Red Wings games.

The Pistons' current exclusive local television rights holder is Fox Sports Detroit. The 2008-09 season is the first time that the Pistons' local coverage has been exclusively on cable and satellite.

Until the end of the end of the 2007-08 season, Fox Sports Detroit shared rights with several Detroit stations, most recently WMYD-TV and WDIV-TV, which simulcasted games on a small network of broadcast stations across Michigan and Northwestern Ohio.

See also NBA on ESPN, NBA on ABC, NBA on TNT, NBA TV, and NBA League Pass.

Bing, Daly, Davidson, DeBusschere, Dumars, Lanier, Thomas, Yardley and Zollner have also been inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

All of the Pistons retired numbers are currently hanging in the rafters of The Palace of Auburn Hills, and are also encased on the Pistons floor (on the sidelines).

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List of Detroit Pistons head coaches

Chuck Daly led the Pistons to two consecutive championships in the 1980s. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.

The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. They play in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team, owned by William Davidson, plays its home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The franchise was founded in 1941 by Fred Zollner as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, playing in the National Basketball League (NBL). In 1948, the team was renamed to the Fort Wayne Pistons and joined the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which merged with the NBL to become the NBA a year later. After spending nine seasons in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Zollner moved the team to Detroit, Michigan in 1957 to be able to compete financially with other big city teams. In the 1980s, general manager Jack McCloskey was instrumental in the Pistons' future championship runs by drafting Isiah Thomas, acquiring key players like Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman and hiring head coach Chuck Daly. The 1980s team, known today as "the Bad Boys" due to the physical playing style, eventually won two championships in the 1989 and 1990 NBA Finals under Daly. The Pistons won their third title in the 2004 NBA Finals under the tenure of Larry Brown.

There have been 30 head coaches for the Pistons franchise since joining the NBA. The franchise's first head coach while in the NBA was Carl Bennett, who coached the team for six games, all of which are losses. Chuck Daly is the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season games coached (738), regular-season games won (467), playoff games coached (113), and playoff games won (71); Flip Saunders is the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season winning percentage (.715). Daly and Larry Brown are the only members of the franchise to have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as coaches; Daly was also selected as one of the top 10 coaches in NBA history. Both Ray Scott and Rick Carlisle have won NBA Coach of the Year in the 1973–74 and 2001–02 season, with the Pistons respectively. Former coach Dick Vitale was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in honor of the work he did as a basketball broadcaster after leaving the Pistons. Fourteen head coaches have spent their entire NBA head coaching careers with the Pistons. Curly Armstrong, Red Rocha, Dick McGuire, Dave DeBusschere, Donnie Butcher, Terry Dischinger, Earl Lloyd, Scott and Michael Curry formerly played for the team. Curry has been the head coach of the Pistons since 2008.

Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2007–08 season. The list does not include NBL seasons.

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The Mayfair Witches

The Lives of the Mayfair Witches novels are a trilogy written by the horror author Anne Rice. They feature the Mayfair Family, haunted by a demon called Lasher. The trilogy consists of: The Witching Hour, Lasher, and Taltos.

The origin of the Mayfair Witches saga goes back to Suzanne Mayfair (a simpleton and an ancestor of Rowan) who was the first Mayfair witch to 'command' Lasher after waking his spirit in Donnelaith, Scotland. Lasher had promised the Mayfair family wealth and power in exchange for assistance in making him flesh. Lasher believed that the Mayfair witches had the ability to bring him into the world, and secretly hoped to populate and subdue the world with his offspring. The entire history of the family is narrated in "The Witching Hour".

The reader soon discovers that Lasher in the flesh belongs to the Taltos, a near-extinct superhuman race that once occupied the Highlands of Scotland. When the Romans overran the country, they sought to breed with them, believing they would achieve military might if they could father powerful sons who would grow to manhood within hours. But when they failed to breed with the Taltos, they decided to destroy them. Later on, when Christianity came to Scotland, Ashlar, then leader of the Taltos, converted to the new religion, and condemned those who did not convert, including his own wife, whom he had burned at the stake.

Lasher was a Taltos, believed to be St. Ashlar reborn and, after a 23 year stay in Italy learning to be a priest, he returns to Scotland to defend Donnelaith against the Protestants. He was burnt at the stake and existed as a bodiless, senseless spirit until called up by Suzanne Mayfair.

The Mayfair Legacy is a complex affair, full of legal jargon and twists and turns. Into each generation a witch is born (though there are many powerful, and not-so-powerful, witches scattered throughout the branches of the family) that is chosen as a future Designee by the present Designee. The present Designee (always a woman to date) usually chooses her daughter, which may or may not be her first-born daughter; this decision can be changed at any time, as with Mary Beth choosing her younger daughter Stella over the elder, Carlotta. The Designee can choose a male, but to date this has never happened, despite there being at one time a male witch, Julien, who was stronger than the Designee of the time.

The Designee is the head of what has become known as the Legacy family, which is the branch of the Mayfair family that stems, from daughter to daughter, from Deborah to Charlotte, who purchased a large emerald that would later be known as the Mayfair Emerald.

Until Mona Mayfair, the Designee of the Mayfair family has always been a daughter of the current Designee, regardless of whether or not she is powerful. It seems that the Designee has only ever needed to meet the following criteria: to be female; to display some form of power (which in the case of Katherine does not display itself often - however, when caught with her lover by her brother Julien, she did call Lasher against Julien); and to display an attachment to the spirit Lasher, known to other branches of the family as "the man".

Upon the creation of Mayfair and Mayfair, the law firm founded by Julien and his sons Cortland, Barclay, and Garland, and after the passing of Mary Beth, the Legacy came under the control of the law firm and the descendants of Julien as Stella's behest, who had no interest in it whatsoever as long as her escapades could be funded.

In this book we meet some of the trilogy's leading characters: Dr. Rowan Mayfair, a brilliant neurosurgeon who is ignorant of her family history; Michael Curry, an architect dreaming of his old home in New Orleans; Aaron Lightner, a psychic scholar and member of the Talamasca; Lasher, a spirit with wicked motives; and the Mayfair Witches, an old Southern family with a taste for poetry and incest, and a talent for secretiveness and business ventures.

Rowan and Michael fall in love after she saves him from drowning, and when he decides to return to New Orleans, she follows him to learn the secrets of her past. Aaron has been studying the Mayfairs and Lasher from afar for years, and tracks down Michael to share with him the history of the family and the spirit, whom Michael has been able to see since he was a boy. What follows is a gruesome story filled with murder, incest, and betrayal. There are, however, many gaps which can only be filled in by Lasher himself.

Rowan and Michael marry despite all this, and Rowan takes on the responsibilities of the Designee of the Mayfair Legacy. She dreams of a medical center where anyone, regardless of age, race, or financial status, can be treated and healed. She conceives, and it seems as if she and Michael may escape the curse of the Legacy.

This is not be, however, as Lasher finally reveals himself to Rowan, and explains his wish: to be made flesh. Secretly thinking that she can outwit this spirit, she agrees to send Michael away from the house on Christmas Day so that Lasher can fulfil his centuries-old ambition. Whatever she has planned backfires as Lasher enters her womb, and makes himself at home in the fetus. Rowan immediately goes into labor, which is violent and bloody, and Lasher, the Taltos, is born.

Michael returns to the house then, and seeing what has become of the child that had desperately wished for, he throws himself at the creature, thinking to kill him. Lasher is much too strong, though, and attempts to drown Michael in the pool. Terrified for Michael's life, Rowan drags the creature away, and they run off together.

The novel begins shortly after the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Rowan Mayfair, who only recently was married to Michael Curry a famous restorer of older homes. Michael, feeling betrayed by Rowan, has sunk into a depression helped along by the useless drugs prescribed to him after his close-encounter with death.

Along comes the sexually adventurous Mona Mayfair, a thirteen-year-old, whose powers rival that of Rowan. Mona has more lines of descent from Julien than anyone else in the family. She seduces Michael, causing him to snap out of his stupor and renew his vow to find his wife at all costs. He is now convinced that wherever she has gone, she hasn't gone willingly.

And though it was Rowan who dragged Lasher away from the house, she is now a prisoner of the monster she has created. He impregnates her twice, both times ending in miscarriage, and is successful the third time. As he drags her throughout Europe, she manages to send off DNA samples to colleagues in San Francisco, who discover that Lasher is a completely different species, and that Rowan herself has a genetic abnormality, a "super" helix, or 92 chromosomes, which may have assisted in Lasher's supernatural birth.

The duo returns to the States, where Lasher sets out to impregnate other female members of the Mayfair family. All attempts are unsuccessful as the women immediately miscarry and hemorrhage to death. Rowan manages to escape Lasher, and after hitchhiking to Louisiana, collapses in a field and gives birth to Emaleth, a female Taltos. Rowan's last words to Emaleth are to find Michael, which she sets out to do, thinking that Rowan has died.

Rowan is found, and is rushed to a hospital, where she is diagnosed as being in toxic shock. An emergency hysterectomy is performed to save her life, eliminating all chances of her ever giving birth again. She is taken home to Michael, where she remains in a coma, though, unbeknownst to all, she is still aware of her surroundings.

Lasher returns to the house to tell Michael and Aaron his story of his past life. Born to Queen Anne of England, the second wife of Henry VIII, and man from Donnelaith, Lasher is believed to be a saint known as Ashlar, and is quickly taken away by his father to Donnelaith. His father is the son of the Earl of Donnelaith, and from there he is sent to Italy to become a priest. He returns to Scotland after Elizabeth I takes the throne, and is killed there while performing Christmas Mass by followers of the Protestant reformer John Knox. Before his death the people of Donnelaith brought in members of the "Little People" for Lasher to breed with. The subsequent Taltos children were to be used in some form of sacrifice; they were burnt in a great fire along with the Yule log. He knows nothing again until Suzanne calls him back into existence.

Michael patiently hears Lasher out, and when his story is complete, Michael wastes no time in killing him and burying him under the great oak in the yard. Soon after, he discovers Emaleth in Rowan's room, feeding her the highly nutritious milk from her breasts. This resuscitates Rowan, but upon seeing Emaleth before her, she panics and screams at Michael to kill her. Michael refuses to, so Rowan grabs a gun and shoots her daughter in the head. Rowan immediately realizes what she's done, and crying for her daughter, insists that she be the one to bury her. She buries Emaleth next to Lasher under the oak.

As the trilogy continues, the reader is introduced to Ashlar, founder of a multi-millionaire toy corporation based in New York City - - and a Taltos, possibly the last of his kind on earth. He is quietly reflecting back on his long life when he gets a call from a friend named Samuel. A male Taltos has been seen in the glen of Donnelaith, and there is someone with information about the male. Ashlar is shocked, as he hasn't seen one of his kind in centuries, and immediately flies to London to meet with his friend.

As for Rowan Mayfair, after burying her daughter, the Taltos Emaleth, she goes into a semi-catatonic state. She walks, she bathes, she eats, but she does not speak, and does not respond to those around her. Her husband Michael Curry and adopted designess Mona are worried for her, and plead with her to speak. A visiting cousin by the name of Mary Jane takes one look at Rowan and declares that she is still there, and that she will speak again in her own time.

And so she does that same afternoon when we discover that her beloved friend, Aaron Lightner, an excommunicated Talamasca scholar who recently married into the family, has been deliberately run over by a car. She immediately goes to the morgue, taking Mona with her. After saying her good-bye to him, she makes plans with Michael to go to London and seek revenge on the Talamasca, whom she believes to be responsible for her friend's death.

Mona discovers that she is pregnant by Michael, and after Rowan gives her blessing, she ecstatically shares the news with the family. Michael and Rowan leave for London to meet up with Yuri Stefano, a pupil and friend of Aaron who has also been excommunicated by the Talamasca. Through Yuri they meet the Taltos Ashlar and his friend Samuel, who is one of the Little People of Donnelaith. Ashlar has by then killed the Superior General of the Talamasca, Anton Marcus, for his part in Aaron's death. They kidnap Stuart Gordon, an elderly member who has also had a hand in the death and the mysterious goings-on of late. Through him we discover that he and two of his pupils have hatched a scheme to unite Lasher with a female Taltos they have possession of so that they may witness the birth of a Taltos. To make sure that Aaron and Yuri didn't catch on, the pupils, Marklin and Tommy, sent fake communications to them that they believed came from the Elders, the governing force behind the Talamasca. When Aaron and Yuri continued to interfere, they "excommunicated" the pair.

Stuart is forced to take the group into the countryside, where he keeps the female Taltos. Ashlar comes face to face with this female, exciting Stuart, who demands that they birth a child. Ashlar embraces the female, named Tessa, and informs Stuart that she is unable to birth any children. He points out that every strand of her hair is white, indicating her great age and her inability to conceive. This breaks Stuart's heart. And after finally knowing what has been going on, Ashlar decides to kill Stuart for all the trouble he has caused, killing people to achieve his goals. But Rowan beats him to the punch, using her strong telepathic abilities to cause a stroke. Yuri takes Tessa to the Talamasca, who now know what has been going on. They welcome Tessa with open arms, and punish Marklin and Tommy for their treachery.

Meanwhile, Mona has discovered that the child she carries is a Taltos, a female named Morrigan. She runs off with Mary Jane to Fontevrault, an old plantation sunken into the marsh that has been owned by a separate branch of the Mayfair family for generations. There Mary Jane's grandmother, Dolly Jean, helps deliver the new Taltos, who is a spitting image, if taller version, of her mother. Mona then and there names Morrigan the Designee of the Mayfair Legacy, and she and Mary Jane make plans for the future in case Rowan and Michael try to kill Morrigan.

Ashlar takes Rowan and Michael with him to New York, and tells them the story of his long life; how the Taltos once thrived on a tropical island north of the British Isles that apparently was a semi-active volcano. They had been there since "The Time Before the Moon" (briefly mentioned by the vampire Maharet in Queen of the Damned, the third installment in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles), and lived innocently and peacefully until the land began to shift under their feet. The water became too hot, and the animals died. The tribe escapes in time and flees south to the bitter cold of Scotland. From there they can see the island as it sinks into the sea. They make do in their new home, becoming hunter-gatherers, and occasionally spotting the early humans, whom they kept as pets once in a while. They break off into different tribes and the largest of them, led by Ashlar, goes south to Somerset where they settle. Their peace is often disrupted by the Celtic raids on the land. To adapt and live peacefully among humans, they become the Picts, and Ashlar their king. When Christianity comes to them in the form of St Columba, Ashlar converts with more than half his tribe. But there is a conflict between the Christians and non-Christians, and war ensues. Soon only five Taltos males left, and they all become priests, including Ashlar. Several years later, he attempts to tell his story to a fellow priest, but he only laughs and says that the story is blasphemy. Ashlar is disillusioned, and goes on a pilgrimage, leaving Donnelaith forever. So ends his story.

Rowan and Michael return to New Orleans, where Michael is introduced to his daughter, Morrigan. He and Rowan accept Mona's decision to make Morrigan the Designee, and Morrigan settles in until Ashlar sends gifts to his new friends. When he doesn't hear from them, he goes to the First Street house to see them. There he sees this young female Taltos, who is in a frenzy. She can smell Ashlar on the gifts, and demands to know where she can find him. She catches his scent on the wind, and sees him standing outside. She breaks through a window and runs into his arms, and they run away together.

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Tapestry of Nations

The Tapestry of Nations was a parade at the Epcot theme park in Walt Disney World, Florida, USA, that ran around the World Showcase Lagoon from 1999 to 2001, after which it was rethemed as Tapestry of Dreams. The parade had a unity and world peace theme and featured a variety of large puppets and massive rotating drum units. The puppets were designed by Michael Curry who also designed the puppets for The Lion King on Broadway and a variety of Disney theme park shows. The leader of the parade was the Sage of Time, who was represented as a stilt walker in an elaborate costume featuring alchemy symbols, gold trim on a white robe, a staff, and a headpiece resembling a sun with a face.

The parade (or a variant of this) was also the theme for the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. Both the parade and the halftime show were directed by Gary Paben.

It ran nightly, although in a reduced fashion compared to Tapestry of Nations and was canceled in March 2003 as a result of its waning popularity.

Besides the Tapestry of Dreams version, there were three versions of Tapestry of Nations, each having differences in audio. The original version, with a much more serious sounding Sage of Time, ran from the parade's debut in October 1999 to the middle of December 1999.

The narration was changed as to give the Sage a more gentle tone in his voice, this version running to the Millennium Celebration's conclusion in the spring of 2001.

After this, changes to the script brought in the theme of human dreams, which would carry on to the Tapestry of Dreams version, though still retaining the character of the Sage of Time. This version ran to the middle of the summer of 2001 when the Tapestry of Dreams version finally debuted.

Outside of Epcot, Tapestry of Nations served as the theme of the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show and featured a massive sized Sage of Time as a backdrop in addition to an appearance by the parade's walkaround version.

The music for the parade was written by Gavin Greenaway. For Epcot's twenty-fifth anniversary celebration on October 1 2007, a special fireworks finale to Illuminations was set to the Tapestry of Nations and the Tapestry of Dreams soundtrack.

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Source : Wikipedia