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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Pistons, Spurs Ride Epic Losing Streaks. But San Antonio Still Puts Butts in Seats

  • Spurs fans continue to flock to see Victor Wembanyama.
  • Empty seats becoming more common at Pistons' Little Caesars Arena
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the NBA’s longest losing streaks ever are prompting rather different responses from fans.

Despite landing French phenom Victor Wembanyama with the top overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Spurs have dropped 17 straight games, putting them firmly at the bottom of the Western Conference. The Detroit Pistons, meanwhile, have lost 20 straight, the latest on Monday night against NBA In-Season Tournament runner-up Indiana.

Detroit’s losing streak is now tied for the sixth-longest in league history. It’s also the longest since a 20-game Houston slide three seasons ago, and it’s tied for the longest for a team that started the streak with a winning record. San Antonio’s skid has also cracked the top 20 for a single season. 

Both slumps are also franchise records within a single season. But that’s where the similarities largely end.

Wemby Still Drawing Fans

Spurs supporters continue to flock to see Wembanyama, furthering the fan frenzy seen during the offseason. The team is averaging 18,289 attendees per game at the 18,418-seat Frost Bank Center, good for 13th in the league. Even with the losses, Wembanyama has starred personally, leading the team in points per game (18.8), rebounds (10.6), steals (1.2), and blocks (2.8).

The Pistons, conversely, rank 19th with an average of 17,795, filling 87.5% of seats at Little Caesars Arena, the third-worst percentage in the NBA. 

Resale ticket pricing further shows the divergence, with low-end, get-in pricing for many upcoming Spurs games beginning at $30, while Pistons tickets can easily be obtained for less than half than that. No-shows at Little Caesars Arena have become more common as the losses have accumulated.

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