Axios Detroit

Picture of the Detroit skyline.

Happy Tuesday, Detroit. Fall weather is here โ€” so we can finally start dressing.

โ˜๏ธ Today's weather: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 59. There's a chance of showers.

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Today's newsletter is 899 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Everett Cook and copy edited by Joyce Laskowski.

1 big thing: "Sky's the limit" for the Pistons

Pistons players Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey
Cade Cunningham, left, and rookie Jaden Ivey. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

With the 2022 NBA season set to tip next month, the Detroit Pistons have their most exciting homegrown roster in years.

Driving the news: Yesterday was Pistons media day, a back-to-school-type event with players taking photos, talking with media members and reflecting on their off-season growth.

What they're saying: Players and coaches held off on bold predictions about making the playoffs this year.

  • This is the organization's most talented roster since its rebuild began โ€” with second-year point guard Cade Cunningham at the forefront โ€” and the team's budding chemistry is apparent.
  • "I think the sky's the limit for us," sharpshooter Saddiq Bey says.

The intrigue: The Pistons' young core is wholeheartedly embracing the city. Rookie guard Jaden Ivey โ€” whose grandfather was born in Detroit and attended Detroit Country Day School โ€” told reporters he wants to be a Piston for life.

  • Cunningham, who made waves after debuting his first song in the off season, tells Axios that he's not a rapper, but is a fan of the music coming out of Detroit.
  • "I love Detroit music. I canโ€™t even say itโ€™s slept on, I think itโ€™s one of the best cities in the country as far as music," Cunningham said. "A lot of musicians show love to the team and it means a lot."

Details: Jalen Rose gave the team a tour of the city last week, making stops at the Motown Museum, downtown's Joe Louis fist monument and the historic St. Cecilia's gym.

  • Second-year wing Hamidou Diallo told reporters yesterday that the Pistons want to give Detroiters a team they can relate to.

๐Ÿ’ญ Joe's thought bubble: I've been slower than most to crown general manager Troy Weaver โ€” mostly because of the Killian Hayes pick โ€” but I love the rookies he's drafted and can't wait to see how Cade develops as a leader this season

  • I still don't see Detroit making the playoffs until next season, though.

๐Ÿ’ญ Sam's thought bubble: Cunningham says he's not a rapper, but he shouldn't stop trying if you ask me.

2. Right to Counsel program delayed

Renter advocates demonstrate at Spirit Plaza.
Renter advocates demonstrate at Spirit Plaza. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

A program to offer legal representation to tenants facing eviction won't begin as planned.

Driving the news: The city will miss its Oct. 1 deadline to set up an office for eviction defense, the Free Press reports.

  • Tenant advocates warned months ago this would happen, saying they didn't see any urgency from city leadership despite the program being established by an approved ordinance.

Why it matters: Providing legal representation won't solve Detroit's housing crisis, but it will make low-income tenants less likely to be evicted.

Details: The Gilbert Family Foundation is giving $13 million over the next three years to its Detroit Eviction Defense fund, which builds on the $6 million in federal pandemic funding that City Council approved with its Right to Counsel ordinance.

  • The program would serve those making below 200% of the federal poverty threshold โ€” people making less than $27,180 โ€” who are facing eviction proceedings or property tax foreclosures in the 36th District Court.

What's next: The city is working to get through the American Rescue Plan compliance process, the city's corporation counsel told the Free Press.

3. The Grapevine: You heard it here

Illustration of text reading "The Grapevine" over a pile of vinyl records.
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

๐Ÿ‘‘ The 2021 Miss Michigan USA, Taylor Hale, won the 24th season of reality show "Big Brother." The West Bloomfield native became the first Black female winner in the show's history. (Detroit News)

โ›ฝ Statewide gas prices are up 13 cents over last week, with the average price now $3.94. That's 70 cents higher than this time last year. (WDIV)

Quote du jour:
"The wages for most early childhood educators, especially during the return to work out of COVID-19, were less than what folks were making at Home Depot and other places. We lost a ton of talent so people could merely survive."
โ€” Denise Smith, implementation director at the Hope Starts Here Detroit Early Childhood Partnership, discussing hardships in early education with Model D.

4. ๐Ÿฆ 5 Tuesday Takeaways: Campbell falls on his sword

Lions coach Dan Campbell
Lions coach Dan Campbell. Photo: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Thoughts from Sunday's stomach-punch, 28-24 loss to the Vikings:

๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ Dan Campbell's blunder: The head coach admitted he screwed up by attempting a 54-yard field goal with 1:14 left in the game. Austin Seibert missed, setting up the Vikings' winning touchdown.

  • Campbell should've known better. Go for it. Punt. Anything but the long field goal.

๐Ÿšซ Flagged for thrusting: Running back Jamaal Williams' "unsportsmanlike" TD celebration drew comparisons to a hilarious "Key & Peele" sketch. But Williams said his hips weren't thrusting and are "more like a wave." Agreed!

๐Ÿšง Offensive line shines: Blocking on the road can be tough, but the big guys held up. Minnesota didn't record a sack.

๐Ÿ“ˆ Cornerback Jeff Okudah's resurgence: The former No. 3 overall pick continued his comeback by helping limit star receiver Justin Jefferson to three catches for 14 yards.

๐Ÿ”ฎ Looking ahead: The Lions opened as 6.5-point favorites against the struggling Seahawks this week. But the schedule is getting tougher, with games at New England, at Dallas, against Miami and Green Bay โ€” making this avoidable loss all the more costly.

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5. ๐Ÿ‚ 1 autumn preview to go

Fall-colored leaves surround a stream on Belle Isle.
Fall colors on Belle Isle in October 2021. Photo: Samantha Hageman Gaina, courtesy of the state Department of Natural Resources' park photo ambassador program

Summer is gone and the autumnal changing of the leaves will be upon us soon.

What's happening: If you want to stroll through the fall foliage, expect near-peak color in Detroit next week, with a peak by Oct. 10, according to the foliage prediction site Smokymountains.com.

๐Ÿค” What we're watching: We're looking outside our windows and these trees still look pretty green.

Our picks:

๐Ÿ™๏ธ Joe is interested in this new pedestrian-friendly look for Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

๐Ÿ Annalise is set on getting some good fall foliage photos in Rouge Park.

๐ŸŒญ Sam wishes Lafayette was still open.

๐Ÿค” Everett is flummoxed. Where did sleep-with-the-window-open season go? It went from summer to late-stage fall in like 72 hours.