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Detroit Pistons pay tribute to Aretha Franklin during their NBA season opener


Jed Jacobsohn/Getty ImagesThe Detroit Pistons paid tribute to Aretha Franklin Wednesday night prior to their NBA season opening game against the Brooklyn Nets at Little Caesars Arena.

Following a moment of silence, Hall of Famer Isaiah Thomas, who led the Pistons to two NBA championships, remembered the Queen of Soul in a pre-game ceremony.

“I’m gonna miss you Aretha,” Thomas said with tears in his eyes. “I’m going to miss our phone calls. I’m going to miss your words of wisdom and advice. The world is going to miss you. I want you to know I love you. The world loves you, and most importantly Aretha, Detroit loves you.”

After his speech, a recording of Aretha singing the national anthem at the 2004 NBA finals in Detroit was played. 

As previously reported, Detroit State Representative Fred Durhal III proposed that Lodge Freeway in the city be renamed the Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway. Last year, the Detroit City Council designated a downtown street as Aretha Franklin Way. Following the singer’s death on August 16, the council voted to change the name of the Chene Park concert venue to the Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheater.

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