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Thank you, Karen Davidson

I hate that my lasting memory of Karen Davidson will be her sitting at Dennis Rodman’s retirement ceremony, boos cascading down on her from The Palace crowd, her face flushed with sadness and humiliation as she waved back meekly.

Her son, Ethan Davidson, sitting to her left, patted her on the back, but there’s no way he could’ve fully soothed the pain. Since becoming the Pistons’ owner when her husband, Bill Davidson, died in 2009, Karen Davidson has become very public target of scorn for the proud franchise’s decline.

She deserved better. Hopefully, now that she’s sold the team to Tom Gores, she’ll get it.

Fans feel a connection to Joe Dumars, who starred as a player here and built a championship team as the general manager. They feel a connection to the players, who they cheer 82 nights a year. They even feel a connection to John Kuester, who, for all his shortcomings, they at least got to know a little through his press conferences.

Of course, Dumars, the players and Kuester received plenty of criticism, but they all had supporters. By nature, people will defend someone they know more than they’ll defend a stranger.

Nobody, it seemed, knew Karen Davidson. That’s why she took the brunt of the blame. It’s easy to demonize a faceless, distant name.

In her short tenure as Pistons owner, she said some brave things – about being booed, "I thought it was just fine. … As one of my friends said to me, the word fan comes from fanatic and I like passion like that” – and she said some naïve things – last June, “When’s the first game, late October, right? I would expect so (to be sold by then).” Mostly, though, she said nothing.

Davidson typically avoided the spotlight, offer short, prepared statements at most. After all, what more was there to say?

Maybe she knew all along she didn’t want to own the Pistons, but couldn’t bring herself to tell that to Bill, who wanted the franchise to remain in the family. Or maybe she thought she wanted to own the team only to discover once she did, she had made a mistake. It doesn’t really matter. Shortly after taking over, she began exploring a sale.

Her heart wasn’t in it. That shouldn’t have made her a villain.

She and the Pistons’ public relations department could’ve taken steps to paint her as more sympathetic figure. For whatever reason, they didn’t, and the vile directed at her became more and more malicious. Greedy, selfish and stubborn became common descriptions of her.

But put herself in her shoes. No, you didn’t inherit the Pistons. If you’re reading this blog, you probably like the Pistons. You inherited Guardian’s Fiberglass Insulation division. You don’t know the first thing about fiberglass insulation, and fiberglass insulation doesn’t particularly interest you, so you don’t want to learn more about it. What would you do besides limit expenses while you still own the division and try to sell it? That’s precisely what Davidson did with the Pistons.

She was put in an extremely difficult situation, and she handled it fairly well. Davidson certainly made missteps along the way. By spending a little more, she probably could have sold the franchise for more, but that would’ve been risky. But can you guarantee you would’ve navigated the fiberglass market perfectly?

Davidson deserved the benefit of the doubt, because circumstance, not choice, made her the Pistons’ owner. Personally, I want to thank her for handling such an adverse situation as well as she did. She completed the sale, and that’s the No. 1 thing everyone wanted.

Now, I hope happier days lie ahead for her, Gores and the Pistons. I’m sure that’s what all three parties want for each other.

42 Comments

  • Jun 1, 20116:47 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    it doesn’t surprise me that you’re being unnecessarily easy on the woman for some reason. maybe you’re just feeling charitable because the gores era is finally upon us. with respect, i feel like you have a generally sanitized take on absolutely everything to do with this team except for rip, who is the lone source of all our woes and must bear the brunt of your ire because things are so bad we can’t NOT have a scapegoat. anyhow, i’m me and this is a forum for discussion, so here we go…
     
    1) i don’t think she caught hell because she’s faceless; she caught hell because she was at the top. it’s basically the same reason i can’t muster the energy to blame anyone below joe dumars for what’s become of the team, because he was in charge. he made all the decisions that ruined the team, so any of the little subplots like feuds and mutinies are just naturally-occurring consequences. nobody’s been at their best these past few years, and when things are as bad as dumars made them (and karen davidson kept them), i find it hard to place much blame on people who are essentially victims of a bad situation. if the buck doesn’t stop at the top, god knows where it should. so that explains why she was such a target. but was it justified?
     
    2) i happen to think so. she was well within her rights to sell the team. none of us can know what sorts of discussions she and mr. d may have had before his death, but it was pretty common knowledge that he wanted to keep the team in the family. it’s a BADASS thing to have (even in this condition i’d still be happy to own the team, but maybe that’s just me), and the family was as rich as a spaniard regardless. the team meant a lot to him and would have been a source of pride and wealth for the family for generations. it really doesn’t make much sense to sell it off, given that the bloodline didn’t end with this shrew who wanted nothing to do with it. we can only speculate about what she told mr. d before he died, but it’s safe to say he wouldn’t have wanted it this way. he could have made provisions that kept the team in the family, but he didn’t. maybe he trusted her; who knows? but she wanted the money, she got the money, and she got all the hatred that came with it. no need to shed a tear for her.
     
    3) frankly, she was never in a difficult situation. it’s not like NBA team owners need to be hands-on. bill davidson ran this team in a relatively hands-off fashion. he left most of the decisions up to joe, stepping in on rare occasions (such as larry brown’s dismissal), having established the business parameters. we should all be so lucky to have our “difficult situations” include being handed an NBA team out of nowhere. turns out she couldn’t possibly have handled the situation any worse, and who knows if she would have done anything differently if she had it to do over again, but this was not a difficult situation.
     
    4) karen davidson never wanted to own this team. you can tell by the way she talked about it, describing it as bill’s “toy” and talking about him coming to the palace for massages, that she did not respect it and more likely resented it.

    • Jun 1, 20117:17 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      To give you the short answers:

      I hold Karen Davidson to a lower standard, because unlike most owners of pro teams, she never bought the team. I’ll hold Gores to a higher standard, because he wanted the challenge of owning the Pistons. She never did.

      For the last couple years, Dumars had minimal control (relative to other teams) of the roster. Did he make mistakes before that? Sure. But what’s the point of writing about that old news over and over? It’s not like we’ve ignored it.

      Hamilton’s failures are much more in his own control than Dumars’ failings were. Hamilton could play harder, could argue with the refs and his coach less, etc. He doesn’t.

      Dumars practically couldn’t make trades for two years. How do you not understand that?

      • Jun 1, 20117:46 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        basically everything i wrote related to KD, but you didn’t respond to much of that stuff. i gave dumars and hamilton a sentence each. i’ll just give each of them a little blurb here:
         
        KD: this was never about what kind of standard she should be held to as an owner, since it’s an unusual situation that put her in that chair, but i just don’t see the need to give her a kiss and a pat on the rump for inheriting something she never wanted and subsequently damaging it.
         
        RH: he was less in control of his own destiny than joe was. he signed an extension here as our primary option at SG, he wasn’t the one who bet on stuckey’s ability to play the point, and he didn’t sign ben gordon to compete with. he certainly could have conducted himself better, but he was certainly in much, much less control of his destiny here. he suffered for a long time sharing shots and minutes with two ball-dominant shooting guards before finally snapping.
         
        JD: he was the architect of this team. stuck in his own building for two years, yes, but it’s his building. it’s his bed. he made it. he had to stay in it a few years longer than perhaps he would have liked, but he’s the one who made it. all he’s been doing is reaping the seeds he sowed two years ago. i understand that his hands have been tied for the past two years, but being stuck with a roster of your own making is only a COMPLETE CATASTROPHE if the roster you assembled SUCKS. how do you not understand that?

        • Jun 1, 20117:58 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          Honestly, most of your Davidson comments were too speculative or contradictory to deal with.

          Do you believe if Dumars had a stable owner, he wouldn’t have made any major moves the last two years, anyway? If that’s you believe, there’s no point in debating further. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          • Jun 1, 201110:28 pm
            by Laser

            i won’t touch whatever you just said about my comments on karen davidson. she’s dead now, and we’ll leave that alone.
             
            there’s plenty of room for debate after i’ve told you i think he would have made moves if given the chance. i’ve never once blamed him for not making any moves. what i blame him for is squandering all of the team’s assets. that’s all. the last good move he made was signing mcdyess in 2005. then he spent from 2008 until his hands were tied destroying everything he built in his first five years. that’s what i hold against him. maybe he would have made some trades if allowed. we all know about the deadline trade he just tried to make with cleveland. heck, i think that would have been a tremendous mistake, but it’s a trade he tried.
             
            but some people just want to give him a free pass because he’s been left to wallow in his own mess. granted some things have festered, and that’s not his fault, but it’s not like he was going to be able to trade rip for carlos boozer EVER, or whatever some ignorant fans think was possible. he bet the farm on stuckey as a point guard, on rip and ben gordon being able to play together alongside stuckey, and on charlie villanueva. three sucker bets that blew up in his face. and he was NEVER going to be able to cash in on these bad contracts. he may be left with less value than if he’d been allowed to make a move quicker, but it was obvious he wasn’t going to get any sort of return on any of these investments.
             
            plus, if the attempted salary dump with cleveland is any indication, we know what joe would try to do when free to cut salary. a first rounder in next year’s draft, wherever the pistons pick, is too steep a price to pay to unload a player who is still productive (the fact is, when the team ran plays for him and gave him real minutes, he was frequently one of our more consistent contributors), especially when they insist ben gordon has trade value (charlie, too). the message this sends is that joe is not willing to pull the plug on this miserable failure of a rebuild. i think it’s a face-saving move on joe’s part, conceding that something needs to change, but being unwilling to part with 2009′s free agents when they haven brought no success here at all. three years into this nightmare, he wants to see this team come back without rip and succeed. it won’t happen.

          • Jun 1, 201110:36 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            It’s already been reported Dumars could have traded Hamilton for Carlos Boozer:

            http://www.pistonpowered.com/2011/04/drew-sharp-karen-davidson-nixed-deals-for-carlos-boozer-avery-johnson/

            You just ignore that, because it doesn’t fit your narrative.

          • Jun 2, 201112:14 am
            by Laser

            i ignore it because (A) i flat-out do not believe it one bit; this was a fantasy trade that got thrown around by fans a few years ago, but i just don’t think there’s a chance in hell utah does this deal in 10,000 years, (B) it’s entirely unsubstantiated; the strongest language your source can use is that this deal was “believed” to be in the works, (C) even if it was true, and i’d never believe that to be the case, dumars left himself vulnerable by signing gordon before this deal was finalized, (D) dumars jettisoned arron afflalo for nothing at all; a pretty strong indication that he did not anticipate that the rip-gordon platoon would be a short-term situation, (E) considering your source, drew sharp, i’d look twice at anything he said that made dumars look good that i’d never heard confirmation of before, and (F) never in ten thousand years would i ever believe this deal was anywhere near happening; utah doesn’t run their team like complete assholes and trade top level big men with expiring contracts for overpaid, aging shooting guards whom they’ll pay $12 million per year for 3-4 years. this isn’t minnesota we’re talking about.
             
            sorry, feldman, but i’m going to need more than notorious dumars-booster drew sharp’s vague assertion that this deal was “believed” to have been on the table. his claim that this happened has never been substantiated by anyone ever. it smells more like pro-dumars propaganda to me.
             
            also, afflalo was traded on july 13th, less than two weeks into free agency. this doesn’t indicate a plan to shop one of the other shooting guards. now, i suppose there’s a CHANCE, slim as any chance ever in the history of the world, that karen davidson had no idea at any point what joe dumars was doing or what the plan was for the multi-hundred-million-of-dollar professional sports franchise she owned until one point where she decided to step in and prevent an objectively-fantastic, lopsided trade from happening. that just seems like the slimmest of all possibilities.
             
            far more likely is that joe had freed all that cap space in the hopes of snatching boozer, but boozer did not opt out, so he decided to go after two of the best young free agents available, regardless of position or defensive reputation. given his background as part of a deadly three-guard rotation, he took a chance that rip, stuckey and gordon might combine to form a hellish backcourt for opposing teams. instead they combine to form a hellish backcourt for the pistons and their fans. this is much less of a stretch.
             
            but i get it. excuses, excuses. joe can do no wrong. some people will give him all the credit and none of the blame in the world. he just hit some bad luck. a string of sound, wise decisions that just all happened to end badly because of luck. oh that rotten luck. yes, very likely.

        • Jun 1, 20118:48 pm
          by gordbrown

          Reply

          The contention that the roster sucked when it was frozen in time is part 20/20 hindsight and part “how much do you expect someone to defy the law of gravity?” The fact of the matter is that eventually players get old and have to be replaced. Dumars rolled the die and tried to rebuild on the fly with bad results mostly through bad luck more than any other factor. I guess the argument here is that the signings of Gordon and CV were so irredeemably bad that even had Dumars had the chance to continue to rebuild the team on his schedule and not waiting for Gores/Godot, the team would have only won around 30 games anyway. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that point. At the same time, there is the argument that had Hamilton had been treated like the hothouse orchid he has become that his performance wouldn’t have dropped off so dramatically. This is of course utter nonsense and not even a debatable point. Gordon was by most  measures a more efficient player than Hamilton, yet Hamilton had higher minutes per game when he played. The inability to address that was the key issue for the team. QED Whose fault was that? The truth is I’m sure the sale was complex with many moving parts and that is not necessarily KD’s fault. It’s just life and nobody is to blame. Hopefully today marks the day the wraps come off and some of these issues can be addressed and the team will be turned around without requiring multiple repeated trips to the lottery.

          • Jun 1, 201110:09 pm
            by Laser

            you attribute it to bad luck. that’s sure what the pistons call it. god knows how you see it that way. so it’s “bad luck” that rip hamilton and ben gordon don’t complement each other well? i mean, you made them your highest paid players, so you sure bet pretty heavy on them being a great tandem. what about betting on stuckey and trading your point guard and leader because stuckey was ready to take over the team? was it bad luck that this one didn’t turn out? was it bad luck that charlie v, a notoriously bad defender, can’t defend well enough to stay on the floor? none of this is luck. this is poor planning.
             
            luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. we made no preparations for this team turning out to be pure garbage. joe squandered all of the assets we used to have on the roster. that’s not hindsight. how many people thought the chauncey/iverson trade was insane? 90% of people? more? what about signing gordon and charlie to those contracts? did it take hindsight for everyone to complain that it was a mistake? these had nothing to do with luck. stop making excuses for dumars. it’s sad.

          • Jun 2, 20118:57 am
            by tarsier

            Partially, I blame Dumars for his ridiculous idea of rebuilding on the fly. When you trade old for young, you inevitably get less talent in the present. So you either go all out and say we’ll have a bad year or two and then the youth will grow up and carry a team. Or you trade what youth you have for wily veterans so you can be good now.
            I never disagreed with the Iverson trade. It was a good attempt to do what Dumars was trying to do. But at the time, he would have been so much better served dealing young players with upside (Stuckey, Johnson, Maxiell, Afflalo) for an aging all-star with a chance to give the Pistons one or two more title attempts before rebuilding. The Pistons greatest asset was chemistry. Rebuilding on the fly flushed that down the toilet with no return.

  • Jun 1, 20117:09 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    Just read that the deal has been closed and its official now, Gores is the new owner Press conference expected tomorrow.

    Will Joe be there?

    Will we ever get a end of season presser from Joe?

  • Jun 1, 20117:11 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    btw its Karen’s payday today too, for real. :-)

  • Jun 1, 20119:36 pm
    by Andrew

    Reply

    KD had a significantly older husband. its unfortunately she didn’t have an idea of what to do once she took over.. I blame a lot of the Pistons’ drama on her. DF, just bc you’re a TrueHooper it doesn’t mean you have to seem so nice and neutral all the time. pick a side.

    • Jun 1, 20119:48 pm
      by ds

      Reply

      “Pick a side”? That’s okay for commenters, but I’d prefer that Dan and Patrick NOT take sides.
      I tend towards forgiveness – and my initial reaction to this was kudos. I understand the frustration – but I remember Ben W. saying how he appreciated her – and she seemed to value the relationship with the players far more than the business.
      Once the decision was made to sell a lot of options disappeared for everyone. That’s kind of a fact of life, unfortunately.

      • Jun 1, 201110:10 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        not take sides? they’re opinionists. they aren’t, and shouldn’t be, neutral.

    • Jun 1, 201110:58 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I think Dan and I have both pretty clearly picked sides on different issues in the past. We are both also transparent about those opinions. But having opinions doesn’t mean you have to be — to quote Laser — “objectively” an asshole about them. We can express opinions and still be reasonable and fair for the most part to people we write about on this site.

      And FWIW, I agree with Dan’s sentiments in this post. The only thing I think KD is really guilty of is being naive about this process. The NBA had a huge amount of control over these negotiations simply because the other owners weren’t going to let the Pistons sell at a discounted rate. I don’t understand why that gets glossed over by so many who are so angry at Davidson for this ordeal.

      Gores’ business background is basically buying businesses for as cheap as he can possibly get them, building the value back up some, then selling at a profit. Not saying that’s his goal with the Pistons or anything, but it would certainly lend credence to the fact that he is most likely a pretty savvy and hard-line negotiator. So if he wanted the best possible deal and the other teams wanted to ensure that the Piston sold for as high a price as possible, that would no doubt make the process full of stumbling blocks and holdups.

      It got done. I don’t know anything about Karen Davidson as a person or what her motivations were, other than not wanting to own a basketball team. I’m glad she did the right thing and got out if her heart wasn’t in this.

      • Jun 2, 201112:20 am
        by Laser

        Reply

        if you’re curious about her personally, one of my friend’s mothers knows karen davidson socially and said she’s a bitch. it’s second-hand info (third-hand once i’ve passed it to you), but it comes from a middle-aged woman who doesn’t give a damn about the pistons and had no reason to lie.

        • Jun 2, 20119:01 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          See, this is my main problem with you and why I have trouble with all of the melodrama you try to create.

          You have no problem publicly posting thirdhand information that is derogatory anonymously on the internet. I just don’t have any respect for that, even if it’s true.

          And also, am I supposed to think it’s true because you put it out there? I mean, for all I know, your friend’s mom could be a bitch. The only thing I know about her is that you supposedly vouch for her, and I have to say, if I were her, I think I’d want a more credible endorser.

          The bottom line is, I can’t see myself ever writing something like “I heard so and so is a bitch” in a blog post, comments section, whatever, without putting my name on it. I mean, it’s unlikely KD is going to read your comment and want to talk it out, but if you’re going to blast someone in that fashion, they should at least have that option to know who you are and know how to contact you to say, “What the hell?” There’s a basic level of fairness and common decency that you often lack in your attacks on people. And I’m sure my saying that I think it’s wrong and over the line has no impact whatsoever on your decision-making in that regard, but I’m just putting it out there so you know that I see it for what it is.

          • Jun 2, 201112:27 pm
            by Laser

            1) i don’t try to create melodrama. i may be enthusiastic and passionate, but creating melodrama is nowhere near my list of priorities.
             
            2) take it for what it is. you don’t have to believe me. this information is only as reliable as its source and if you think i just said it to “stir things up” then ignore it. it’s just the individual opinion of a socialite i know personally and should be taken for what it’s worth. you said you didn’t know what she was like personally. i thought i’d share one wonderful woman’s view.
             
            3) my friend’s mom is a bit of a bitch, yes. maybe that would have been useful information. but she’s cool and pretty reasonable for a woman (more melodrama comin’ atcha!!).
             
            4) love the endorsement jab. sorry, i can only be me. if i could be someone else i would have banged bill davidson for a couple years, inherited the team, and some anonymous, charismatic blog commenter would be calling me a bitch (while also remarking on my boyish handsomeness).
             
            5) if karen davidson contacts y’all and asks to reach me, you have my permission to give her my email address and we’ll hash it out over dinner and a stroll on the beach. the anonymous nature of comments and message boards is what it is.
             
            6) i rarely “attack” people, and even more rarely unprovoked. plus my first order of business is shredding their beliefs; cutting into them personally is the backup plan if they won’t listen to reason. and even then, my go-to remark is that they don’t understand what they’re talking about, which isn’t much of an attack by internet standards. catch me attacking some people and we’ll hash it out over dinner and a stroll on the beach.

        • Jun 2, 20119:04 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          How she is as a person is a moot point. I still don’t understand why the fact that she was selling the team meant she had to tie Dumars’ hands. It would be one thing to tell him not to take on tens of millions extra in salary or refuse to pay for a buyout. But if there were a Hamilton for Boozer deal (unlikely at best), or another trade that didn’t involve a drastic salary change, why would she nix such a thing.
          Granted, we have no way of knowing whether she did nix any such deals. But if she did, I see no reason why she didn’t deserve every one of those boos. It’s fine that she didn’t care about the Pistons. But if that is the case, boos from the fans shouldn’t have bothered her too much either.
          I feel for her losing her husband. So if this had been a shorter process, I would cut her a lot more slack. But it dragged on way too long for that.

          • Jun 2, 201110:43 am
            by Dan Feldman

            As I understand it, the Hamilton-for-Boozer trade involved extending Boozer.

            We do have a way of knowing Davidson nixed the trade. Someone credible reported it.

            You don’t see how booing someone is more likely to be taken personally than professionally?

            Are you sure the process dragging on was her fault? That’s a pretty big assumption.

          • Jun 2, 201112:47 pm
            by Laser

            yes, drew sharp. stating that “it was believed rip was ticketed for utah,” without stating who supposedly shared this belief. and he’s casting a positive light on dumars. oh yes, as credible as it gets.
             
            all dude said is that “people” “believed” rip was “ticketed” for utah. no specific sources mentioned. i could have told you that it was widely believed rip was headed for utah, widely believe by fools on message boards talking incessantly about this fantasy scenario. this quote from sharp is by far the strongest wording i’ve yet read of a journalist asserting this deal was anywhere near reality, and he spoke entirely in vagaries! and, what, two full years after this deal supposedly got nixed.
             
            you’re not a stupid person, feldman. it’s hard for me to believe you actually think this trade could have gone through in the first place. but on top of that, you being a journalist no less, you translate someone’s account that it “was believed rip was headed to utah until KD nixed the deal” as “this deal was going to happen.” you’ve filled in at least a few blanks for mr sharp. it’s the first we’re hearing about this, years after the fact, and you’ve “firmed up” his claims all on your own. if sharp had said used language indicating that inside sources told him this deal was certainly going to happen before KD nixed it, i’d take it a little more seriously. the fact that you translated his vague assertion to make it sound more concrete bothers me, because people around here take what you and hayes say as the gospel.
             
            but, most importantly, this rip-for-boozer deal was never going to fly in utah. never in a million years. you’re smart enough to know that utah’s not dumb enough to do that trade. you’re the biggest hamilton detractor in the world, and you’re saying you believe utah TRIED to trade one of its biggest assets, one of the top big men in the league, for 4 years and $50 million worth of rip in decline. i just don’t buy it.

          • Jun 2, 201112:56 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            It’s not the first time I’ve heard the Boozer trade from someone more credible than a message board. If I had just read Sharp’s column, I’d have more doubt. But I think, alone, his column suffices. Combined with hearing it elsewhere, I believe it’s true. If you don’t want to believe it, your prerogative. I do.

            Simply, Hamilton in 2008 was a different player than he is now.

          • Jun 2, 20113:45 pm
            by tarsier

            I don’t think the sale dragging on was her fault at all. I think keeping Dumars hands tied for the whole time was her fault. What I meant by my comment was that if she could sell the franchise quickly, it would be fine to keep Joe from making significant moves. But you can’t do that for a long time.
            Why would Davidson take boos personally rather than professionally? The fans don’t know her personally. She has to know they are unable to have personal opinions of her. They only know her as the owner of the Pistons who kept Dumars from getting things done.

          • Jun 2, 20116:21 pm
            by Laser

            feldman, who else substantiated this bogus claim that a hamilton-for-boozer trade was agreed to by the pistons and utah before karen davidson nixed it? ever since the time i was anxiously waiting to see if antonio mcdyess was going to come back after being bought out by denver i’ve been compulsively checking pistons news daily and devouring everything anyone writes on the internet about this team, and i have never ever EVER ever NOT ONCE ever read anything anywhere EVER that asserted that this trade would have been possible if not for karen davidson’s interjection. ever. never ever. never read that anywhere ever. not once.
             
            it was thrown out into the ether repeatedly by fans and writers as a potential fantasy solution to trading rip and fixing the front line, but sharp’s vague assertion that it was “believed” to have almost happened is the very first time i’ve heard anything of the sort. first time ever in life. and i can’t possibly stress enough how often i google pistons news.
             
            it looks totally absurd on its face. the strongest claim i’ve ever read is that it was “believed” to have been in the works. and that didn’t come out until two years later. i’m guessing you can’t direct me to a single source anywhere in the world that had this bit of information phrased even as vaguely as sharp did, and his phrasing was vague and speculative. so that means the only source i’ve got that claims in concrete terms that this trade was actually in the works is YOU. and having read your source directly, it’s clear that you took a leap to say it was a fact.

          • Jun 2, 20117:45 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            I never said it was published anywhere else. It wasn’t. I heard it from someone credible, though, and combined with Sharp’s report, it’s enough to convince me it most likely happened. I’m not going to explain anymore details about it. If I was comfortable revealing more info about the source, I would’ve published it on the site long ago.

            If that’s not enough to convince you, that’s fine. But I believe it.

  • Jun 1, 20119:49 pm
    by LEVI

    Reply

    i appreciate this post. Carry yourself like a gentleman. I support that

  • Jun 1, 201111:41 pm
    by Tom

    Reply

    I feel no animosity toward Karen Davidson, but I am certainly not going to thank her. She inherited a team, made it worse during the brief time she owned it and then sold it for hundreds of millions of dollars. Nothing praise worthy there.
    I can’t say I approve of the booing on Rodman’s night, but then again I’m not sure she should have been on the court in the first place.
    All she did is hurt our team in the interest of growing her own fortune. I am a Pistons fan and I might well have done the same thing in her position, but I fail to see how that would deserve the thanks of anyone… maybe Tom Gores for making sure he pays a deflated price.

    • Jun 2, 201112:23 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      agreed. give her a pass if you like, but the lovefest is a bit much.

  • Jun 2, 20111:46 am
    by Josh V

    Reply

    Nothing like some solid “second-hand” info to add to an already stellar factual analysis.  The woman is a human being who has no understanding of basketball at all.  This sale should have happened previously, but again she is a human being that inherited a team.  Her being a “bitch” may or may not be true but I think your (Laser) case would be considerably more sound if your references didn’t include “one of [your] friend’s mothers.”

    • Jun 2, 201112:50 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      hey, take it for what it is. it’s just one lady’s opinion. i have no personal knowledge about how KD conducts herself, but the person i know who knows her feels that way. no more, no less.

  • Jun 2, 20117:01 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    what is this sentimental crap Feldman is laying out? Karne Davidson is no doubt a fine human being but she did not care about the Pistons. She kept Dumar’s hands tied for the last two years while she sold the franchise and while Laser wants to blame Dumars for his signings and contract extensions of three years ago  anyone who has watched Joe Dumars operate knows that he is a man willing to admit his mistakes and take steps (like trades) to correct them. The fact that he has been unable to do anything is directly attributable to Karen Davidson and she deserved every boo that the fans laid at her feet. Not because she is a bad person but because her inertia dragged this franchise down.

    Feldman and Hayes are always kissing ownership butt. This used to be a union town, Now we have to put up with this crap.

    • Jun 2, 20119:39 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      PCB:

      I shouldn’t do this. It’s pointless to argue with someone who argues that Austin Daye is the next Kevin Durant. But I’m tired of your baseless, stupid comments, assumptions and hackish analysis of what our underlying meanings really are.

      First, I’m far from anti-labor. But I’m also not a moronic robot spouting off talking points for one powerful group or another without putting any actual thought in. You, sir (or mam? I don’t really know to be honest … we’ll go with mam) mam, are the face of the major reasons this state has suffered such a decline. You mindlessly support one side of an issue because long ago, someone told you “those are the good guys.” You view everything as us vs. them. You don’t think critically about anything. You have inferred that Dan and I both making the point that it is stupid and shows bad character for highly compensated professional athletes to quit on a coach they don’t like is basically us saying that teachers should have their pay and benefits cut. Anyone who makes a jump like that is not a smart or rational person.

      When it comes to pro athletes and labor, I’m fully on the side of the athlete. Their window to maximize their earnings in the profession is a small one. I’m all for them fighting ownership for every right they can get whether it’s no age minimum, no hard cap, no maximum salaries, whatever. You go try and get what you want and I’ll hope you get it, no complaints, other than I hope it doesn’t result in a prolonged absence of NBA basketball, which would suck for me, but I ain’t mad at cha for doing you, players.

      Now, there are different complications when it comes to public unions, namely the involvement of tax money. I live in Flint. Virtually all of our city employees are union, even garbage men, who long ago were contracted out in virtually every other city in this state. Our tax base was about 250,000 less than 30 or so years ago. Now, it’s just barely over 100,000. That’s a significant loss in revenue. On top of that, our city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. So we have not only unionized public employees, but a huge number of retirees as well, who are making significantly more in wages and benefits than most of the citizens of the city who bear the tax burden. Is this not a complication of unionization? Is it not appropriate to say, “Hey … this is a modern problem that was unforseen 30 years ago, let’s talk about ways to fix this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.” The modern era of state and local politics has an entirely new set of problems that your stupid, “Duhr, unionz solvez everything!” reasoning aren’t equipped to deal with. Michigan needs innovative thinkers, not hacks on both sides of the political aisle who mindlessly spout talking points that were ill equipped to handle the problems of 20 years ago, let alone today.

      I know what your game is. You have no real insight. You make snap conclusions that show you don’t put any thought into much of anything really. You draw either conlusions that aren’t there or conclusions that are wrong. Sorry, but the personalities of the writers at this site are infused to the posts. I’m not boorish enough to think everyone should agree with me, but I’m also not going to tolerate some mindless hack spewing out poorly reasoned accusations against me and my beliefs in the comments down here. Grow up and have an adult conversation, or move on to the Bleacher Report comments section or something.

      And if you want to gain a better understanding of labor and unions, feel free to head over to Flint sometime, if you can handle it here.

      • Jun 2, 20112:13 pm
        by Jason

        Reply

        What a perfectly written response, Patrick. Couldn’t agree more with this..

    • Jun 2, 20111:03 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      if joe dumars’s idea of admitting and “correcting” his mistakes is to give away so precious and indispensable a resource as next year’s first rounder in order to get rid of a contract he handed out, while the organization maintains firmly that ben gordon and charlie vilanueva actually have trade value, i want none of it. it’s plainly obvious that all three of these guys are going nowhere here.
       
      the fact that the attempted salary dump to cleveland was his first course of action is very telling. paying a hefty tax to get rid of a player who’s still productive and only under contract for two more years, when the team’s entire roster is a mess, would be one of the last courses of action i’d pursue. that’s not even “selling low” on rip; that’s “buying high” on the opportunity to be rid of him. there’s nothing in the world this team needs more than solid draft picks right now, including being rid of players.
       
      to me, this is the mildest possible indictment joe could make of his own bad decisions. trading rip would be his attempt at saving face on the catastrophic gordon/villanueva signings. a smarter man who was less stubborn and driven by pride would have tried to cut ties with gordon (and/or villanueva), but rip’s storyline makes him a face-saving move at the expense of the franchise.

  • Jun 2, 201110:01 am
    by John

    Reply

    I’ve met Karen a few times, she’s a decent person.

    She did get stressed out towards the end, and as person told me, “It’s finally over.”

    That said, some of the comments made about her are quite frankly, proof how inept humanity is about some people. She put the team up for sale, said from the get-go that she didn’t want anything to do with it. Fair play to her, but I think people were expecting the sale to happen in a matter of seconds. However, deals like these take ages (And a lot of headaches) to complete.

    While I can understand not liking her as an owner because we couldn’t make trades, the boos, the name calling (gold digging *****, for example), and such, was classless.

    • Jun 2, 20111:17 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      eh. for one, i’m not convinced you can meet someone “a few times” and draw any real conclusions about what kind of person she is… unless she displays some truly extreme behavior. you could meet some of the worst criminals in the world a few times and find them charming and sexy. just sayin’.
       
      also, she’s made some public comments that seriously rubbed me the wrong way. specifically as it relates to her late husband and his relationship with the team. she called it his “toy,” which i think sheds a lot of light on how much it (and its importance to bill) really meant to her. it was her decision to make as far as selling the team goes, but everyone knew he wanted to keep the team in the family. it doesn’t take a passionate, involved owner to field a competitive team; bill davidson was pretty hands-off for the most part.
       
      i think she made some mistakes in selling the team, and she would have been better off in every way if she’d waited for the team to bounce back a little before trying to sell. but the thing that raises my ire is how she discussed her decision, trivialized the team’s meaning to bill, and basically patted herself on the back for maintaining a minority ownership. she said bill left it up to her, then immediately referenced (as in, with a semicolon) the fact that he left everything to her. we’ll never know what she told him behind closed doors, but it’s safe to say his attitude wasn’t that he always wanted the team to remain in the family… except if the next immediate owner wanted to sell it after a year. between what we all know about his wishes and the way she handled everything, it’s probably safe to say he died under the direct impression that the team would remain in the family indefinitely, she knew all along that wasn’t going to be the case, and she used some bogus phrasing to make herself look like less of a villain.
       
      but, of course, the buck needs to stop at the top. mr d could have kept it in the family if he was smart enough not to trust her.

    • Jun 2, 20118:59 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Again, I don’t get why anyone bothers to bring up what sort of person she is. I mean, if the title of the article was “We are changing this website’s name to KD fan club,” it would make sense. But whether we should be grateful to her or not is completely limited to what she tried to do for the Pistons, what she did to the Pistons, and what could be reasonably expected of her to do for the Pistons.
      That said, I see no reason to thank her. Booing her could be considered excessive, but I really don’t know what the PP writers have to thank her for.

      • Jun 2, 20119:35 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Well, only one of us wrote the post, first of all, not that I disagree with Dan. But if you don’t “know what the PP writers have to thank her for,” maybe you should read the post? I think Dan is pretty clear. He’s thanking her for dealing with a difficult sale that took way longer than she thought. He’s thanking her for getting out because she didn’t love it rather than hanging onto the team simply because it meant a lot to her husband. It’s not that difficult to figure out.

        • Jun 2, 20119:57 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          You’re right. I don’t mean that I don’t know what the article said, but that I don’t think those are things to thank someone for. But you’re correct that I was wrong to infer and then imply that the other writers of this site agree with whoever wrote the article.

  • Jun 2, 201110:53 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    I don’t place any blame on Karen Davidson for this. Not one bit. Dumars tied his own hands with these horrible contracts. There is no evidence she forced him not to take that Prince to Dallas trade. He tried to trade Rip. He could still be under the same limitations – to cut costs. It’s impossible to say until we know more about Gores and his intentions. If Dumars can’t get rid of Gordon or CV, or worse, if he doesn’t want to, it has nothing to do with Karen Davidson and more to do with Dumars himself. Karen Davidson didn’t do anything wrong imo.

  • Jun 2, 20116:24 pm
    by Kim Jong Skillz

    Reply

    gores business is to buy things cheap & sell high. in reality thats everyone objective. so to cut davidson some slack & give more credit to gores for extending negotiations is just sympathy. yes we know davidson didnt want the team. but a sale of a team shouldnt have taken this long. look how quickly the atlanta thrashers were sold to TSN. yes i know its not the nba, but its still a major sports franchise & relatively the same thing. the pistons sale didnt have to go on as long as it did. for that fact alone i believe karen deserved the flack she received from the fans. greedy, stubborn & selfish are all adjectives that were used to describe her & rightly so.

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