Hundreds of thousands of Pistons fans lined downtown Detroit yesterday to honor the NBA champions, a celebration that left outspoken Rasheed Wallace almost speechless.
"I don't have the words for it," Wallace, wearing a Red Wings jersey, said as he looked at the gathering at the end of the parade. "I'm just feeling all good inside."
Spectators cheered and chanted as the team's stars rolled by the riverfront in pickup trucks and on floats past churches, car dealers, motels and abandoned buildings.
The Pistons won the NBA title Tuesday night with a 100-87 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5.
"Actually, [the Lakers] were lucky to win one game," 81-year-old owner Bill Davidson said.
The Pistons won their first championship since back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990.
Davidson, who praised fans for celebrating peacefully, was lauded later at a capacity-crowd rally at the Pistons' arena, The Palace of Auburn Hills.
"He allows me to go out and do my job," team president Joe Dumars said. "Without him this wouldn't be possible."
Earlier, Davidson was in the back seat of a black pickup that was followed by a pickup carrying Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Coach Larry Brown sat on the back of a truck and wore a Pudge Rodriguez No. 7 Detroit Tigers jersey and cap.
"I hope our team reflects what this city is about," Brown said. "We've got the best fans."
A truck carrying forward Tayshaun Prince, wearing an oversized, striped top hat, stopped briefly and was instantly surrounded by autograph seekers.
"We worked so hard just to have this kind of appreciation, and it's so great to see the fans come out," Finals MVP Chauncey Billups said.
Center Ben Wallace delighted the crowd by taking a T-shirt and polishing the NBA championship trophy with exaggerated strokes and hoisting the trophy over his head.
"This is absolutely fantastic," Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said. "The city is proud. You couldn't ask for anything better.
-- Associated Press