Tired Pistons hope to be ready for Knicks
by Vince Ellis, USA TODAY Sports
LONDON — The University of East London is a bit off the beaten path.
After a long subway ride, you have to transfer to a light rail system to reach the university that dates to 1892. That was one of the first stops for the Detroit Pistons as they began preparations for Thursday’s game against the New York Knicks at the O2 Arena, which tips off at 3 p.m. ET.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank put the team through a brief workout at the school’s gymnasium to get the kinks out, but the team was obviously weary after the six hour-flight from Detroit.
“It’s a crime that we’re here today, somebody should go to jail for this,” an obviously joking Charlie Villanueva said Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday was a long day for the Pistons.
They hopped a chartered plane — part of a traveling party of around 180 people — at Detroit Metro at 10 p.m. Monday night.
Then came a six-hour flight, and the team was immediately taken to lunch and a meeting with NBA security.
They checked in the team hotel, where some took a brief nap before it was time to ride to East London.
The normal advice for travel to Europe is to sleep all you can on the flight over and avoid naps the first day to get your body acclimated to the time change.
However several players — Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko, Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum — said they didn’t get much sleep on the flight.
Bynum said he always has a tough time sleeping on flights, but he is used to long flights since he once played professionally for Maccabi Tel Aviv, a team in Israel.
“It was only six hours, so it really wasn’t that long,” Bynum said of the flight. “I’ve been on flights 12, 14 hours.
“By the time I watched a few movies we were landing.”
They were all aware of the suggestion to stay up to get on a normal sleep pattern.
“It’s probably better for us to stay up and just try to find a way to sleep at nighttime and get seven, eight hours,” Bynum said.
After a good night’s sleep, … [For more on Pistons are tired now, hope to be ready for Knicks, click here.]