Auburn Hills — Pistons rookie Stanley Johnson is likely to be the last player to wear No. 3.
That’s because Pistons officials plan on retiring the number in honor of Ben Wallace, one of the best defenders in team history and a member of the 2004 championship team.
Wallace and teammate Chauncey Billups (No. 1) will have their jerseys retired this season. Team officials still are finalizing plans.
As for Johnson, he hopes to be wearing the No. 3 the night of the event, but said it’s Wallace’s decision.
“He definitely deserves to have his uniform retired,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know he was going to get it retired. If I knew that, I would not have worn it. I will talk to him and if he does not want me to wear it, I will switch to a different number.
“He deserves to not have anyone wear his number.”
Johnson also said no one else should ever wear Wallace’s number — unless he gives permission.
“I would wear it if he gave me the grace to wear it,” Johnson said. “Out of respect for him no one should go out and try to wear his number.”
Johnson had his number retired in high school, so he knows what it feels like.
“I don’t want anybody wearing my number,” he said, laughing. “Maybe that’s just me.”
Guard Reggie Jackson, who wears No. 1, plans to have a similar conversation with Billups.
“It is an honor,” Jackson said. “What they did here. They left a legacy. It is an honor to have the number. I will be happy to see both of those numbers go into the rafters.”
No. 5 sounds good
Johnson said he’s worn three numbers during his career — 3, 5 and 41. He said he wouldn’t mind changing to No. 5 — if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is willing to give it up.
Why No. 5?
“Five means grace,” he said. “I could go through a whole biblical explanation but I don’t have the energy to tell you.”
Chrome not so special
Johnson wasn’t a fan of the chrome uniforms the Pistons wore during Friday’s game against the Bulls. The team will wear the uniforms for select games.
“I like sick (stylish) uniforms,” Johnson said. “I think our colors blue and white are pretty good. But chrome is a different look. I saw it on paper. Maybe I will feel different when it is on me.”