CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Detroit Pistons overcame a wild, emotional day to crush their old coach's new team. It didn't mean they were easily coming to grips with the blockbuster deal that shook the foundation of their core.
It was clear after their 101-83 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night that it's going to take the Pistons time to warm to the idea that Allen Iverson is now their teammate -- and Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess are headed to Denver.
"Do we like the trade? Maybe not. Ain't no telling," forward Rasheed Wallace said.
Added Tayshaun Prince: "When you have six straight years with somebody, you've got that bond, that connection. Now all of a sudden it's gone."
Richard Hamilton scored 19 points and the Pistons toyed with Larry Brown's Bobcats, improving to 3-0 and perhaps showing Iverson that he'll have plenty of scoring options when he takes over at point guard.
But from the tone of the subdued locker room, Iverson will have to win over his new teammates as he joins a team used to being among the Eastern Conference powers.
"Obviously we're all shocked by the situation," Prince said. "We're going to go out and play. Under the circumstances I thought it was a good win. No matter who you play, when something happens like this it's tough for the team to go out and play. We were able to come out with a win."
Wallace added 15 points and four other players scored in double figures. Rodney Stuckey replaced the departed Billups at point guard and had nine points and three assists as Detroit shot 50 percent.
"It was a tough game," coach Michael Curry said. "When your captain gets traded and Dice, who's not a captain, but is one of the emotional leaders of this team, it's a tough day for the guys."
Shannon Brown came off the bench to score 16 points, and Gerald Wallace had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte, which couldn't build off Saturday's win over Miami in the beginning of a week of reunions for the well-traveled Brown, who has his own problems.
Brown, who has lamented managing partner Michael Jordan's inability to bring in more depth up front, was clearly frustrated after being overmatched by the team Brown led to the NBA title in 2004.
"I've known our problems since May. We've got to address them somehow," Brown said.
The beginning of Brown's reunion week -- he visits New York on Wednesday, where he spent one ugly 23-win season in 2005-06 -- was overshadowed by Detroit's makeover.
The Pistons arrived in Charlotte on Sunday while president of basketball operations Joe Dumars worked into the night on a trade he felt would give his team a different way to win games "other than the same predictable way we've been doing it for quite some time."
Informed they were headed to Denver early Monday, Billups, McDyess and project Cheikh Samb left town before the morning shootaround. It left Detroit with 12 players -- and Stuckey starting at point guard -- against their former coach.
Stuckey, wearing No. 3 in perhaps a precursor to the Iverson era, had only one turnover and Detroit showed its depth, inside play, rebounding prowess and steady outside shooting to overwhelm Browns' ninth NBA team.
Hamilton, who reportedly agreed to a three-year contract extension Monday in the midst of the Iverson trade, scored 11 points in the third quarter when the Pistons pulled away. His 3-pointer and mid-range jumper on consecutive possessions made it 76-60.
Playing again without forward Sean May, who is struggling with his weight and conditioning following knee surgery, the Bobcats couldn't recover with their undersized lineup that included 6-foot-7 Jared Dudley at power forward. Held most of the time to one shot, the Bobcats were outrebounded 42-31.
"You can get away with it against Miami," Brown said of Saturday's win against the undersized Heat. "You're not going to get away with it against 6-10, 6-11, 6-10 frontline, all athletic. It just doesn't happen."
Charlotte did recover from a 12-point first-half deficit, but faded in the second half as Jason Richardson was held to four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Pistons were headed to Toronto for Wednesday's game, where Iverson was expected to join them.
"I can't talk about it until we see it happen," Rasheed Wallace said. "Who knows?"
Stuckey wouldn't say whether he'll give up his No. 3 jersey to Iverson. "We're going to have to talk about that, I guess," Stuckey said. ... More than 2½ hours before tipoff, May was on the floor doing conditioning drills. Brown said May will remain on the inactive list until he gets into game shape following microfracture knee surgery. "It's not any punishment," Brown said. "It's what's best for him right now." ... Referee Bennett Salvatore hit Rasheed Wallace with a technical foul in the third quarter.
- Bennett Salvatore
- Curtis Blair
- Derrick Stafford