Stacey King

The Palace of Auburn Hills demolished, site of many Bulls-Pistons battles

The Palace of Auburn Hills demolished, site of many Bulls-Pistons battles

It's the building in which the Bulls' dynasty took off.

It's also the building in which plenty of Bulls' heartbreak occurred.

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Yes, the Palace of Auburn Hills, located in Auburn Hills, Mich., met its demise Saturday morning. Workers imploded the grand building, which, as one of the first multipurpose arenas, served as an instructional blueprint for the Bulls and Blackhawks when they constructed the United Center. 

 

The Pistons played in the arena from 1988 to 2017, and won three championships while calling it home. Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has said many times over the years that then-Pistons owner Bill Davidson, who privately financed the arena, advised him and Bill Wirtz on its good and bad aspects before Reinsdorf and Wirtz teamed up to open the United Center in 1994.

Most everyone who went there simply called it “The Palace.” It's where the Pistons, led by Isiah Thomas, refused to shake the Bulls' hands as they swept them out of the 1991 Eastern Conference finals en route to the first of their six titles. It's also where Scottie Pippen suffered a migraine headache in a depressing Game 7 loss in the 1990 Eastern Conference finals.

RELATED: An Aggregated Oral History of Michael Jordan-Isiah Thomas revived beef in 2020

"They were always bullying people, and I remember at shootaround that morning we swept them, they were yelling at us to get off the floor when we still had 30 minutes left," former Bulls center and current TV analyst Stacey King told NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson when Johnson worked for the Chicago Tribune. "We were like, 'You're down 3-0! Scottie walked over with a fake broom and acted like he was sweeping the floor and said: 'You all are down. Get ready for the summer.' They were a prideful bunch. And I knew that hurt them."

King said these words before the Bulls' final game in The Palace on March 6, 2017. He also acknowledged when the Pistons Game 7 victory in 1990 — and what Michael Jordan did afterward.

"Michael said, 'We won't lose to them again in a playoff series.' And we didn't," King said. "But they were unbeatable here for a while. The fans, the energy in here with so much at stake between us, it was one of the most fun places to play. For a while, they were the bully and we were the kid they took the lunch money from."

The Pistons moved to the sparkling Little Caesars Arena, located in downtown Detroit, for the 2017-18 season.

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What to watch: Derrick Rose snatches Goran Dragic’s soul in Bulls win

What to watch: Derrick Rose snatches Goran Dragic’s soul in Bulls win

If you caught Night 1 of Derrick Rose Week on NBC Sports Chicago on Monday, you were privy to an all-time Stacey King call:

“Somebody cool him off!” King exclaimed as Rose splashed a floater from nearly behind the basket midway through the fourth quarter of a tightly-contested game the Bulls would eventually pull out in OT.

There’s more where that came from on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT.

On the schedule: A 115-104 Bulls victory over the Phoenix Suns from Jan. 22 2010 — a game that featured 32 Rose points, the loudest of which will be remembered forevermore.

Here’s what to watch for:

King Calls

To even moniker Stacey King’s soundtrack of Rose posterizing Goran Dragic a singular “call” would be a massive understatement. What makes this moment so iconic — beyond an emblematic show of explosion from Rose, in a time when his star was rapidly ascending — was King’s ability to deliver (speaking conservatively) five catch-phrases, back-to-back, off the top of his head, and with impeccable form. It hits all the notes:

"Stop it! Stop it! Do not do him like that…

"What are you doing Dragic? Did you not get the memo?...

"Derrick Rose can go upstairs…

"I wanna go higher!...

"Somebody grab Dragic, say, ‘Do you know who this kid is?’ He is from Chicago!"

That’s a career’s worth of wit, all in a span of about 20 seconds. It perfectly encapsulates the Rose era. Look out for it around the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

Rose rules

That dunk stretched the Bulls’ lead from six to 10 amid a back-and-forth game the Suns refused to bow out of.

As mentioned, Rose finished the night with 32 points on 15-for-21 shooting (including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cap the third quarter). He carried the Bulls throughout. It wouldn’t be a featured Rose Week game if he hadn’t. 

What’s more, he took it to Steve Nash and a Suns team that, while at the tail end of their run of greatness, was still 5.5 games better than the Bulls entering play and on their home floor. The guard was changing.

Blasts from the past

There are some signature Remember Those Guys cameos in this one, to boot:

  • For the Suns, Lou Amundson gets nearly 12 minutes of run

  • Also: The man in the middle for Phoenix? Robin Lopez, of course

  • Not remotely obscure, but we also get rookie Taj Gibson starting alongside Joakim Noah (19 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) in the frontcourt, and our first Luol Deng sighting of the week. Rookie James Johnson logs three minutes for Chicago

  • Nash-Amare pick-and-rolls, Grant Hill buckets and Jared Dudley/Channing Frye longballs to come... 

… And, of course, a Bulls win. Should be a fun one.

RELATED: Why Derrick Rose’s imperfect Bulls tenure will always be worth appreciating

NBC Sports Chicago will honor the Bulls great with “Derrick Rose Week presented by Saint Xavier University” starting up Monday, June 8 at 7:00 PM CT with the first of five-straight nights of “Classic” game performances. See full schedule here.

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Bulls Talk Podcast: 90s Throwback-Being drafted by the Bulls with Stacey King

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Bulls Talk Podcast: 90s Throwback-Being drafted by the Bulls with Stacey King

Host Jason Goff is joined by Bulls commentator Stacey King to discuss his time with the Bulls during the best decade in franchise history, the 90s. Stacey tells a detailed story of his first interactions with the Bulls, Phil Jackson, and Michael Jordan.

(1:22) - Being drafted by the Bulls

(4:10) - Doug Collins started the Bulls championship run

(8:20) - "After I was introduced as a Bull, Doug Collins was fired"

(9:15) - Almost getting into a fight with Phil Jackson

(16:57) - Animosity with Phil Jackson early in his career

(17:46) - 1st NBA game with Michael Jordan

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Talk Podcast

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