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Uncertainty of Tom Gores era trumps apathy of Karen Davidson era

Accountability, flexibility and reliability are back at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Hopefully, positive results will soon follow.

Today’s news of Tom Gores buying the Pistons from Karen Davidson lifts a giant weight off the organization’s shoulders. Finally, the Pistons came move forward.

I – and I’m sure many of the other Detroit fans still following the team – had been bracing for another summer of silence, a July and August paralyzed by the ongoing sale. As far as the many fans who stopped paying attention, I figured they’d check back in come fall, see a nearly identical roster and wonder what the hell happened.

But all of a sudden, there’s hope Detroit will reshape its incredibly flawed roster this summer – and that’s just the start.

The Pistons will have a new owner, almost assuredly a new coach and possibly even a new general manager.

If Joe Dumars remains the team’s general manager – and I hope he does – the excuses are over. He can’t hide behind the ownership situation anymore, even if he didn’t ever do it explicitly before.

But I caution everyone to grade him from this point. One of his greatest strengths has been cutting his losses quickly. I don’t know what Dumars could have gotten for Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell last summer, but I’m fairly confident he can get less now.

Before Davidson put the team up for sale, Dumars dived into a pit of quicksand by signing questionable players to lucrative contracts. When the team was for sale, he could do nothing but slowly sink. Now that he has a chance to pull himself out, give him a chance to do so without holding the sinking against him. The dive in? Absolutely his fault. But the sinking? Probably not his fault. Remember the difference.

Here’s the fun part of all this: from now on, we’re going to evaluate Dumars based on basketball. You remember that sport at the center of all this, right? I know it’s been a long time since basketball dominated the discussion here.

From Dumars to upper-deck season-ticket holders, this winding process has upset basically everyone associated with the Pistons. The players couldn’t dump a coach they can’t stand. John Kuester couldn’t get a decent roster to work with. Fans had to watch the whole mess unfold. Nobody has enjoyed this.

Nothing has been solved, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The future is still very much uncertain. We have barely the slightest idea what type of owner Gores will become. But we know what type of owner Karen Davidson was, and the unknown is definitely preferable.

Tom Gores will become just the fourth owner in the Pistons’ 69-year history. Just eight current NBA players were even alive someone outside the Davidson family owned the team.

This sale takes the Pistons into their next era. It’s new, and it will be scary. But that’s for another day. For now, it’s just exciting and uplifting and full of potential.

Even when it turns scary as the reality of having a first-time owner sets in, that sure beats the apathy of the last two years.

I don’t know what’s next for the Pistons, but I’m ready for it, and I have been for a long time.


  • Apr 8, 20114:52 pm
    by rick


    Great take on the news. As for the scary part or uncertainty, thats part of the excitement for me. Its going to be fun seeing some risks being taken again instead of just stuck neutral. Great article though. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, it sounded all but certain this was going to last through the off-season into the start of next season and no changes could be made. Now, there are a world of possibilities to look forward to this summer, and realistically expect to happen.

  • Apr 8, 20115:14 pm
    by Kim Jong Skillz


    i will take uncertainty any day over an apathetic davidson. with how bad the economy is, she dragged the sale on for over 2 years because of money. shes already filthy rich & people who are hurting really bad still spent their hard earned money on sporting events. this type of actions are inexcusable. literally a slap in the face of hard blue collar working michiganders. i will loudly express my dissatisfaction for ms. davidson regardless of how “little” at fault some people claim her to be. sentimental value has no place in business especially when your actions & decisions just dont affect yourself but the whole surrounding community. when times are tough, local economies lean on their local sports teams for an escape of reality and this blatant disregard for the people who put money into her pocket is down right disrespectful.
    she has done a disservice to the davidson name and the community at large. if i was at rodmans jersey retirement last week, i would have definitely been 1 of the louder booers of ms davidson.

    • Apr 8, 201111:23 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I just have to say one more time that it’s ridiculous to blame Karen Davidson for how long the sale took and the price of the team.

      She could’ve been willing to sell the team for half what it was worth for all we know. The fact is, every NBA owner has to approve a sale, and there was no way with a lockout looming, with the NBA already owning a franchise that is for sale in New Orleans, that the league would’ve accepted the Pistons selling for below the $400 or so million mark.

  • Apr 8, 20115:39 pm
    by BIG MARV


    Thank god that the deal got done I am truly excited about this just earlier I was writing if this sale dont go through by next week you can forget about me watching next year because they will be hard to watch with that same roster. But now there is hope and plenty of news coming up for the summer with trades and free agent pick-up’s. I agree that joe should stay at least another year under new ownership because now he dont have no excuse on what type of player or coach he can bring in. I think you might see that old Joe D magic back, but I hope he does get some help to work with him scott perry is cool but he’s no john hammond you need a eye for talent with joe mabey he can try to get lindsey hunter or mabey grant hill if he retires as a talent scout. But besides that GREAT NEWS TOODAY! this has to be the best news all season cain’t wait for the draft lottery and the draft in june now.. this will be some fun reads.

  • Apr 8, 20116:56 pm
    by detroitpcb


    well, that was a long time in coming but it is great news that it happened before the draft. Now the question is: does he retain Joe Dumars?

  • [...] The band. PF: TrueHoop. Kindly pay attention to Chicago’s team. Not its best player. SF: PistonPowered. Detroit’s new owner already has a step up on Karen Davidson. SG: Onion Sports Network. On [...]

  • Apr 9, 201112:50 am
    by filip


    great news! now lets sign deandre jorddan to pair with monroe down in the paint!!anyone agrees?

  • Apr 9, 201111:22 am
    by Jacob


    Good article Dan, replicates my feelings exactly. This came not a moment too soon……there is light at the end of tunnel

  • Apr 9, 20113:58 pm
    by ned flanders


    I read somewhere that Gores is a big I. Thomas fan….
    You all know what that means: New GM !!!!
    On a serious note, Patrick Hayes above does a great job of raising the IQ level of the commenters.

  • Apr 9, 20117:37 pm
    by Andrea


    It seems to me most fans are completely clueless about the NBA business and business in general. You can see it when they complain about how much it took to sell the franchise. People seem to have absolutely ZERO idea how long those things can take.
    I wish people were more informed. Or at least informed themselves before complaining about it.

  • Apr 11, 201111:50 pm
    by Tyrone


    Karen Davison may be a good or bad person, I don’t know becasue I dont know her personaly.  I’m just very happy that the deal is done!  IMO, when ownership is not interested in the operations of a business is not good for anyone.  Look at how many business are passed onto a child  when the parent retiers or passes away and the business is run into the ground because the buiness was that passion of the parent and not the child.

    Tom Gore is a unknown, but the fact that he put of the Cash to do the deal leaves me to belive that he has some instrest in this business.  I can only hope that he will allow the people he is paying (like Joe D) to do the job he is paying them to do. 

    Now Joe D has 2 – 3 years to get the back on track.  Final note, I hope that Tom Gore get the team moved into Downtown Detroit with in the next 5 seasons.

  • Jun 4, 20132:41 pm
    by Kinder Kleider


    Kannst du den letzten Teil ausführlich erklären?

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