Detroit Pistons draft pick Kyle Singler stands with team president of basketball operations Joe Dumars after being introduced to the media at the team's practice facility in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Saturday. - AP

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DETROIT — There was a lot of teeth-gnashing in the Twitter-verse and local talk radio over Brandon Knight's reaction to being picked by the Pistons eighth overall in Thursday night's NBA draft.

As he walked across the stage to shake NBA commissioner David Stern's hand, there was barely a hint of a smile from Knight, a combo guard from Kentucky.

And with that, Knight, 19, received his first lesson about fans around here — unless you are doing backflips and smiling like you just won the lottery, you must not want to come to Detroit, even if you thought you were going in the top five and were disappointed about falling in the draft.

So when he was introduced to the media at a news conference Saturday at the Pistons practice facility, the first question gave Knight a chance to talk about his reaction and express his feelings about coming to Detroit.

A small grin came across Knight's face, and his answer should remove any doubts about his commitment to the Pistons.

"I'm definitely happy to be here in Detroit," Knight said. "It's great feeling to be picked by Detroit. It's a great city with a great tradition.

"I think I reacted that way because I'm just a serious guy, and that's always been my nature to be calm and collected. Like I said, there's a great tradition here. They have won three championships, and I'm hoping we can add to that."

Knight was introduced with second-round picks Kyle Singler and Vernon Macklin. They were seated on a stage with president of basketball operations Joe Dumars.

All were impressed with their welcome from the city. They attended the Tigers' 7-6 loss to the Diamondbacks at Comerica Park on Friday night, and Knight threw out the first pitch and met future teammates Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko.

"It was a great experience to be welcomed by the Detroit fans," Knight said. "It was something I really wasn't expecting, but it happened. I see this is going to be a great experience as far as the fans go, but at a baseball game I got a lot of love. That just shows me Detroit is going to be a fun place to be — kind of reminds me of Kentucky."

The impending work stoppage of the league will delay the relationship. Knight said he will go back to school until the labor issues are settled.

There is genuine excitement from the front office about the selections of Knight, Singler and Macklin. Dumars repeated his insistence that the Pistons picked three tough guys with character.

"Brandon told me he's tough, although he's a little, slim guy. He told me he's tough, so we believe that," Dumars said. "There is no question about Kyle and Vernon's toughness. But by and large what I'm saying is these guys epitomize what we're about going forward.

"These are some good people. These guys have been raised the right way. Their families have done an incredible job with them, and we're happy to have these guys represent us on a daily basis."

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