Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson dies: Six months after he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson died Friday at the age of 86. Davidson became majority owner of the Pistons in 1974. He also owned Palace Sports & Entertainment and the WNBA's Detroit Shock. He owned the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning until 2008. Many thought he was crazy buying the majority interest of the Pistons. It was considered a dying franchise, playing before sparse crowds at Cobo Arena in downtown Detroit. It had its stars in Dave Bing and Bob Lanier, but NBA basketball never captivated any more than a niche interest in Detroit during those days. The Pistons were basically a laughingstock when Davidson purchased them. Davidson proved the doubters wrong, eventually turning the Pistons into one of professional sports' more profitable and more identifiable brand names.