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Is Joe Dumars the 20th best GM in the league?

Mike Prada of SB Nation recently unveiled his rankings of the league’s best GMs. Joe Dumars came in at No. 20:

20.  Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons (last year: 24)

STYLE: Mover and shaker, stymied only by the uncertain ownership situation.

THE GOOD: His work getting the Pistons to the conference finals for six straight years without a superstar and without breaking the bank is one of the greatest general manager accomplishments of the past 30 years.

THE BAD: The disastrous summer of 2009, during which he signed Ben Gordon to a five-year, $54 million deal and Charlie Villanueva to a five-year, $35 million deal. Runs through coaches like lottery tickets, having now employed seven in 10 years.

BOTTOM LINE: Dumars’ lack of action recently and the unrest it has caused is not his fault because of the ownership situation, but he will pay for that summer of 2009 for a very long time.

I don’t disagree with Prada’s analysis, that’s a pretty solid summation of Dumars’ career. I do, however, disagree with the ranking. These are the GMs I think should definitely be ranked ahead of Dumars right now: Sam Presti, Pat Riley, R.C. Buford, Donnie Nelson, Gar Forman, Donnie Walsh, Mitch Kupchak.

Dumars belongs in the conversation somewhere after them, although I’m not exactly sure where in that 8-15ish range I would put him. But in no way does Dumars belong lower than Otis Smith, Ernie Grunfeld or Ed Stefanski.

89 Comments

  • Jul 30, 20119:24 am
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    “I’m not exactly sure where in that 8-15ish range I would put him”
     
    8-15?  Seriously?  Completely FUBAR’d roster?  Untradeable assets players?  Completely FUBAR’d salary profile?  4th head coach in as many years?  7th worst record in the league?  A team with no identity, neither offensive or defensive?  The team with arguably the darkest and most uncertain future in the league?
     
    Given that this is an annual ranking, done each summer by SBN, shouldn’t the emphasis be put on recent performance?  I’m entirely surprised Prada even ranked Dumars as high as he did.  I don’t understand how he could fit at 20 given that no GM has a worse trade or free agent record over the last five years.  I can’t for a moment imagine how anyone would logically put him as high as 8-15, unless they are trapped in some sort of time warp where it is still 2004-2007.  I would actually like to be trapped in said time warp, where a good GM didn’t turn into what might be the worst GM in the league.

    • Jul 30, 20119:25 am
      by Mike Payne

      Reply

      boo for formatting not working.  The “assets” in “untradeable assets players” was selected to have a strikethrough, but it didn’t show up in my comment.

    • Jul 30, 20119:45 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Given that this is an annual ranking, done each summer by SBN, shouldn’t the emphasis be put on recent performance?”

      Recent performance includes drafting Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe, two solid to good players, and a third player in Austin Daye who at the very least still has the potential to become solid. It also includes signing Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace for basically nothing in consecutive offseasons.

      Prada seems to count body of work for something, if he didn’t, how would Grunfeld or Smith make the top 20? Dumars made three signings that turned out terrible, there’s no debating that at this point. But signing Gordon/Villanueva and extending Hamilton make him the worst GM in the league? Please. Ernie Grunfeld signed Gilbert Arenas to the worst contract in the NBA and he’s ranked ahead of Dumars somehow. Otis Smith traded for that worst contract in the NBA and he’s ahead of Dumars somehow. Stefanski signed Elton Brand to a pretty terrible contract and drafted Evan Turner over DMC and Monroe, which looks like a pretty terrible move right now. And Dumars has a much better history than any of those three guys. I don’t see how any of them can be ranked ahead of him.

      As far as unproven guys like Chris Grant and Rich Cho, yeah, I could see a case for ranking them ahead of Dumars — they each have made great moves in limited time in their respective jobs, they seem to be intelligent and I would be that both will have good futures in the league. But it’s not like either of them can be credited for all that much right now. Grant had some luck that the Clips pick became No. 1 and Cho is simply trying to clean up MJ’s mess in Charlotte right now. Plus, you can’t think he hit a home run in the draft or anything. Yeah, getting Biyombo was nice for them, but Kemba? Is he even better than D.J. Augustin?

      • Jul 30, 201111:43 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        “But signing Gordon/Villanueva and extending Hamilton make him the worst GM in the league? Please.”
         
        So those three franchise-damning contracts are the only bad things Dumars has done?  Please.
         
        Here is Joe’s trade history over the last five years, in order of recency:
         
        Traded Arron Afflalo for a second round pick.

        Traded Amir Johnson for Fabricio Oberto.

        Traded Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess for Allen Iverson.

        Traded Nazr Mohammad for Primoz Brezec and Walter Herrmann.

        Traded Maurice Evans for the draft selection of Cheikh Samb.
         
        Note that all of the players Joe traded away are still in the league. Note that all of the players Joe acquired are not. In fact, note that all of the players Joe traded away were starters this last season. That is five years without a single successful trade.
         
        Oh, and then there’s the draft, where Joe gets massive amounts of credit for taking a big man that fell into his lap.  Prior to that, he hadn’t drafted a big man in five years, when it was his roster’s greatest positional need.  Within that five year stretch, he wasted draft picks on players who were either undersized or apositional, and he traded away the only exception (afflalo) for nothing.  Jerebko was a nice pick though.  Apparently picking Jerebko and lucking into Monroe is enough for the 8-15 range though.
         
        From where I sit, the only team that has been managed worse than the Detroit Pistons over the last several years is, well, I don’t know.  Maybe Toronto?  News flash– the 2004 championship stopped paying dividends for this franchise many years ago.

        • Jul 30, 20112:03 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I don’t need to be italicsed/bolded/news flashed. I don’t need his history recounted. His history speaks for itself. He had a championship contending team for six years.

          Any long-term GM on that list, if you look at their worst 3-5 year period, you could build a case that they were terrible, other than possibly Buford.

          And I hate the stupid ass “Monroe fell into his lap” non-argument. Didn’t Wall fall into the lap of Grunfeld? Irving to Grant? You still have to make the right pick, which he did. Overall, his history of finding players in the draft is good, even if he has some misses. It’s the price of being a GM for a long time.

          • Jul 30, 20113:24 pm
            by Mike Payne

            “His history speaks for itself. He had a championship contending team for six years.”
             
            Ahh right, so you’re going to ignore everything I’ve said about his performance in the last five years and just point to that banner that has gotten quite dusty.
             
            “And I hate the stupid ass “Monroe fell into his lap” non-argument.”
             
            The argument is about as valid as the praise people give Joe for the pick.
             
            “Any long-term GM on that list, if you look at their worst 3-5 year period, you could build a case that they were terrible”
             
            It’s not just about having a 3-5 year down cycle, it’s about a complete reversal of identity.  The guy that ran this team through to the Antonio McDyess signing was arguably the greatest GM in league history.  How many champions have been built without the luck of a lottery pick foundation?
             
            Then there’s the Post-Dyess Dumars.  Since then, he’s been easily one of the three worst GMs in the league.  I’d love to hear anyone explain to me how the post-Dyess Dumars is one of the 8-15 or even 20 best GMs in the league.  The guy was really good one day, if not the best.  That guy has been long gone for many years.

          • Jul 30, 20113:57 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “Ahh right, so you’re going to ignore everything I’ve said about his performance in the last five years and just point to that banner that has gotten quite dusty.”

            The ultimate goal of a GM is to build a team capable of contending. Six of Dumars’ teams have been title contenders. Eight have been playoff teams. Three have been bad teams. Overall, yes, he’s done his job well.

            “The argument is about as valid as the praise people give Joe for the pick.”

            OK then it’s settled. GMs should get no credit for making good or bad draft picks. Because it’s always obvious which guys are going to be good and which ones aren’t.

            “It’s not just about having a 3-5 year down cycle, it’s about a complete reversal of identity.”

            Part of Dumars’ identity as a GM was a guy who made a lot of trades. That is a tool he hasn’t had at his disposal recently because of the ownership situation. I find it hard to believe that he would’ve stood pat with this roster as-is by choice, and I say that knowing that those three bad contracts are the major factors in what has killed the chemistry and flexibility the team had. I’m confident that, had he been able to, he would’ve made attempts to fix it. I guess we’ll see whether my assumption is correct or not this offseason when the lockout ends.

            “I’d love to hear anyone explain to me how the post-Dyess Dumars is one of the 8-15 or even 20 best GMs in the league.”

            I listed the seven guys who are undoubtedly better than Dumars right now. These are the next guys I’d consider if there was some magical world where teams could trade GMs: Cho, Petrie, Grant, Demps, Morey, Ujiri. Those guys are either still young in their careers or, in Petrie’s case, have a history of good and bad moves.

            These are guys who I think there is no way in hell they’re better GMs than Dumars: Kahn, Colangelo, Stefanski, Bird, Grunfeld, Smith, Ainge, Oshley, Sund, Hammond, Babby, King. Chris Wallace is a wildcard. He stumbled onto building a really fun team in Memphis while he had a previous track record of almost unmatched boneheadedness. I’d lean toward Wallace being included in this group, but I don’t know.

            Now, is there some genius executive lurking out there who no one knows about and the Pistons could replace Dumars with and have the next Presti? Sure, there probably is. There’s probably a lot of really smart guys just waiting for their shot at a GM job, actually. But of the 30 current guys? I can’t put Dumars, for his collective body of work, at worse than 14 or 15 among those guys and I fail to see a strong case that any guy I mentioned in the ‘no way in hell’ group is better than him.

          • Jul 30, 20114:32 pm
            by khandor

            Patrick,
            re: “Chris Wallace is a wildcard. He stumbled onto building a really fun team in Memphis while he had a previous track record of almost unmatched boneheadedness. I’d lean toward Wallace being included in this group, but I don’t know.”
            The chief reason the Grizzlies have had 2 relatively good seasons in a row is because of the solid work done in Memphis by Lionel Hollins … who it turns out has been a very good fit with their current roster of players, at their present stage of development … during these specific years. Getting the right coach for a team’s current mix of players is a great deal more important than many so-called “NBA experts” – as well as casual fans – realize.
            PS. Which is NOT to say that a great coach can actually “make champions” from a roster that does not have a sufficient talent base, to being with, but that a great coach is indeed capable of making a team with:
            i. An overall “poor” talent base perform at an “average” level;
            ii. An overall “average” talent base perform at a “good” level;
            iii. An overall “good” talent base perform at a “very good” level;
            iv. An overall “very good” talent base perform at an “outstanding” level; and,
            v. An overall “outstanding” talent base perform at a “championship-winning” level.

          • Jul 30, 20118:20 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            To be clear, I’m not really disagreeing with Mike’s analysis all that much. The recent history of Joe Dumars has been bad. He’s drafted way too many wings. He’s acquired way too many offensive minded players. Sure, he’s not had the opportunity to fix those mistakes because of the sale of the team, but the players he’s acquired, along with some guys he shipped out with little return (Delfino, Afflalo, Johnson) have been bad moves.

            My main point to all of this is there’s just no way, compared to the other guys on that list, that I think he’s any lower than top 15 or 16 GMs in the league when you compare his body of work — historically great as he built a championship, really bad as he tried to rebuild that team on the fly — with the others. It’s absolutely fair to question moves he’s made, but I’ve yet to hear any kind of explanation for how over half of those 30 current GMs can be considered better than him.

          • Jul 31, 20119:59 am
            by khandor

            Patrick,
            Just to be clear … Please understand that one of the things which I object to in the assorted ramblings of someone like Mike Payne is his inability to distinguish between: A) What actually qualifies properly as, “An Objective Data Comparison”, and B) What does not actually qualify properly as, “An Objective Data Comparison.” It is someone like this who attempts to bully and intimidate others into thinking their way, while not actually doing what they’ve claimed should be done, in the first place, at all, that are actually the worst kind of pseudo-fans of an NBA team. Those who think that a comprehensive comparison of the complete “transaction records” of the other 29 GMs in the NBA since the 2000-2001 season would reveal that Joe Dumars is anything other than one of the Top 6 practicioners in the league are simply delusional … and there really is no more polite way to actually describe their specific belief based on the facts of the matter. If someone wants to claim that Joe Dumars is not, in fact, one of the Top 6 GMs, during this specific time-frame … which is what is required, if one wants to approach some form of statistical validity regarding acceptable limits of “comparatively objective data”, in the first place, then what that someone would actually need to do is: 1. Show the Transaction Records for every GM in the league, since the 2000-2001 season – which can be found at ESPN.com’s website – and, then, 2. Analyze the totality of that information, in a coherent way, if they are so inclined. Short of doing that, however, it is simply a waste of resources to have this person make a claim that the “data” which they’ve presented is in some way “an objective comparison.”

          • Jul 31, 201111:33 pm
            by Laser

            dude, this crap about giving dumars credit for monroe doesn’t “have” to stop, but it’s not doing your argument any favors. if 10 out of 10 house plants in joe’s seat would make the same draft choice, it’s no accomplishment. you don’t “still have to make the right pick” when there is no decision whatsoever to be made. none. no-brainers don’t require brains and don’t warrant credit.
             
            just stop patting this jerk on the back for picking guys he was lucky to get and that 100% of human beings and inanimate objects in his position would do. it’s pathetic. no congratulations are necessary. the luxury of having incredible prospects fall into his lap is reward enough. i promise.

          • Jul 31, 201111:58 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @Laser:

            I’m certainly not going to get into a big heated debate once again in this thread. But before you comment, read the pre-draft stuff on Monroe if you can still find some of it out there. Read the scouting reports on him in comparison to, say, Ed Davis. Monroe was far, far better as a rookie than anyone expected, but prior to the draft, it wasn’t like there was some consensus that he was a stud. In fact, there were scouts who thought he had the most bust potential of any high pick because of the questions about his motor/athleticism while at Georgetown. Dude was a really, really inconsistent college player. He was far from the only choice at 8. He turned out to be a blessing and the problems he had as a college player disappeared when he became a pro. Good for him. But to act as if a John Wall-like star suddenly fell and he was literally the only pick that made sense is crazy. Monroe was slotted everywhere from 4th to 9th in mocks last year. No one had a great read on him.

          • Aug 1, 20112:01 pm
            by Laser

            no heated debate necessary. we know where each other stands on the issue. but when golden state announced that they had taken Ekpe Udoh, i literally leaped off my couch and screamed with excitement. (i remember it vividly it was very possibly the last time i was excited about anything having to do with this team.) and i didn’t react that way because i thought dumars had an exciting choice to make between davis and monroe; i reacted that way because it was an absolute certainty that we got monroe.
             
            I don’t shit on joe for drafting darko, and i don’t give him a shred of credit for drafting monroe or knight. and in both cases it’s because i think 29 other GMs in his chair do the exact same thing. i just can’t assign credit or blame when that’s the case. i think that’s an entirely fair way to look at things.
             
            after our pick, five more teams passed on davis. show me a GM who would have taken davis over monroe and i’ll show you a GM whose name should be lower than joe’s in the GM rankings.
             
            i don’t rag on him for Darko, because i think basically 29 other GMs take him at

  • Jul 30, 20111:42 pm
    by khandor

    Reply

    Patrick,
    Unfortunately, when you deal with someone like Mike Payne, you are not going to get an objective analysis of where the Pistons and Joe Dumars actually rank amongst the other teams in the league. Mike Payne is an extreme example of a specific type of Pistons fan … who de-values the entire body of work that Joe D. has done over the course of his career as a league executive because the team has not been able to maintain the staggering amount of success it achieved from 2001-2002 to 2008-2009. The simple FACT IS … Joe Dumars has already established himself as one of the very best GMs in the NBA, over an extended period of time, by constructing a team that was good enough to actually win the League Championship AND make it to the Conference Finals for 6 consecutive seasons, 2 real life achievements that other still-wet-behind-the-ears execs, like Sam Presti and Gar Forman, simply cannot touch … yet … despite getting off to a good start in their own management careers. The group of best GMs in the league today include: RC Buford, Pat Riley, Mitch Kupchak, Joe Dumars, Danny Ainge and Donnie Nelson [i.e. Top 6]. The group of next-best GMs include: Donnie Walsh, Kevin O’Connor, Ed Stefanski and Otis Smith [i.e. Nos. 7-10]. Everyone else is more or less in a similar category, as having not yet done anything exceptional. The small group of Pistons fans like Mike Payne, who cannot see the forrest for the trees, are delusional.

    • Jul 30, 20113:03 pm
      by Mike Payne

      Reply

      “when you deal with someone like Mike Payne, you are not going to get an objective analysis”
       
      A GM can be measured by his transaction record– which is the objective data I referenced in my disagreement with Patrick.

      • Jul 30, 20114:10 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        re: “A GM can be measured by his transaction record– which is the objective data I referenced in my disagreement with Patrick.”
        What’s downright comical is that the person who wrote this quoted nonsense actually believes that what it says is an accurate appraisal of Joe Dumars’ ability as a GM in the NBA.
        For example:
        1. Please explain the reason you chose not to include Joe Dumars’ transaction record dating back to the 2000-2001 season?
        2. Please explain the reason you chose not to include the complete transaction records of the other 29 GMs in the NBA dating back to the 2000-2001 season?
        3. Please explain the reason you think an assessment of the performance of a GM in the NBA is somehow valid if it happens to include only one factor involved with the proper execution of the job?
        4. Please explain the reason you think a partial transaction record of only 1 GM in the NBA during a truncated period of his employment can somehow satisfy the requirements of an “objective data” comparison?
        I stand by what I wrote in my original comment in this thread, when it comes to dealing effectively with a Pistons fan like Mike Payne.

        • Jul 30, 20114:49 pm
          by Mike Payne

          Reply

          I stopped reading at “re”.

          • Jul 30, 20115:27 pm
            by khandor

            Excellent! The less YOU actually read of what I take the time to write THE BETTER OFF everyone will be.

          • Jul 31, 201112:58 pm
            by Mike Payne

            “The less YOU actually read of what I take the time to write THE BETTER OFF everyone will be.”
             
            Whoah, we agree on something.

          • Jul 31, 20112:16 pm
            by khandor

            Good. Now try putting it into practice on a consistent basis.

  • Jul 30, 20111:44 pm
    by jamie

    Reply

    LMAO well I think I know who won this arguement…wasnt even close lol Mike won by a mile. Before reading the replies I thought Dumars should have been ranked higher but now I definitely have a change of heart. Yea we have Monroe, Jerebko, Daye, Knight and Stuckey to build around but no BIG man means we should have held on to Amir Johnson..hell even DARCO….ouch lol sad Dumars made the worst draft decision I can remember and we would be jumping for joy id Darco came back…DARCOOOOOO

    • Jul 30, 20111:45 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Why? Because he said “News flash?”

    • Jul 30, 20119:55 pm
      by Jason

      Reply

      Really, the Darco shit again? Even Mike Payne didn’t mention the Darco signing, very simply because EVERY GM in the league would have drafted Darco #2 that year.. If you actually watched/followed basketball at that point, you’d know that Darco was touted as the #2 best option, he was freakishly gifted on paper, was said to be a “better” version of Dirk, who would immediately contribute on both ends of the court, and would only get better (given his age). I’m just sick of hearing that broken record, Dumars made the decision that EVERY GM would have made, many of which have admitted since.. You can’t predict how a draft pick is going to pan out, you can only base the general consensus of a player is, and again – Darco was thought of as a guy too good to pass on..
       
      NOW, i’m also very much aware of Dumars last few years of work – and am actually very much in agreement with Payne on this one… For a report that is done annually, it is SPECIFICALLY rating a GM based on RECENT performance. Dumars was once one of the best GM’s in the league, his recent body of work should make it very clear he has lost sight of what made his successful years possible. He’s made terrible decision after terrible decision as of late, and therefore is very much deserving of a BAD rating… Because it’s a direct representation of how “well” he has managed this team in the last 3 season, TERRIBLY!!! Do i think he can make this team good again? I sure do, and am optimistic he can get back to it… Will it happen? Highly unlikely…..

      • Jul 30, 201110:07 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        See, I didn’t read Prada’s rankings as being only based on recent work. Hell, Dumars moved up four spots in his rankings from last year to this year. How is that possible if it’s simply based on recent body of work?

        I think he probably weighs recent performance more heavily, but I read them as an annual ranking of the league’s best GMs, period, not best GMs over the last couple seasons.

        • Jul 31, 20111:10 am
          by Jason

          Reply

          I see what you’re saying.. I guess i just took it that way, being it’s an annual ranking system. The fact that he’s moved up 4 spots is what’s really confusing to me… How does he get “Better’ rankings in the last year? It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so I guess i can see what you’re saying.. Sounds to me like they are giving him credit for the Monroe drafting, which I again don’t seem to understand.. Monroe was the best available, ANY GM would have taken Monroe at that spot, so it’s hard to praise Duamars.. I guess we can give him credit for NOT drafting a SG, or Wing player, but that’s about it… haha. I do see your point though, Patrick.
           
          Relative to other GM’s, Dumars has a track record of success, and aside from the last few seasons – of course he’s been really good at his job.. It’s just hard to justify him being in the middle of the pack, when he’s been so abysmal as of late.. Again, i’d love to see him gain that respect back, preferably sooner then later. All it takes is the right  trade, the right signing – and things can get back to normal.. But mark my words, something positive need happen soon, or i’m afraid Dumars reputation as a “Good GM” here in Michigan will be no more.. It’s pretty clear around the country, he lost that respect a loooong time ago..

      • Jul 31, 201112:44 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        “Even Mike Payne didn’t mention the Darco signing”
         
        No, and thanks for noticing that, Jason– that is a conscious decision on my part when I criticize Joe Dumars.  Every GM makes mistakes, and given the consensus opinion about Darko, it’s hard to hate on Joe for drafting him.  By that same rationale, it’s hard to give Joe a ton of credit for the Greg Monroe draft.  It’s hard to blame a guy for failing on a top 3 lottery pick when he wins a title the following season.  If he had grabbed Bosh, would he have traded for Rasheed?  Would we have won the championship with rookie Bosh?  If he had drafted Wade or Anthony, would either have time to contribute?  Knocking the Darko draft was fair many years ago, but now it’s kind of foolish.  It’s also just as foolish as defending Joe Dumars by pointing at a championship that was won 7 years ago…

        • Jul 31, 20111:03 am
          by Jason

          Reply

          I completely agree with you here, Mike. I totally agree on the Monroe drafting too – all signs pointed to the Pistons leaning towards Ekpe Udoh, and Monroe just happened to fall.. Monroe’s had a great season, but it was a blessing that he even fell to us, you can’t throw all that credit to Dumars… Now, when we’re talking about 2nd round picks that end up being productive, I have no problem giving the credit.. Jerebko was a GREAT pick by Dumars, one of the only bright spots in Dumars decision making of the last few years.. He’s been down right awful as of late, and unless he makes some big trades soon, ratings like what we’re seeing here will undoubtedly continue.

           

      • Jul 31, 20111:09 am
        by jamie

        Reply

        Im not bashing the fact that he chose darco 1st off, but that was one of the worst draft decisions ever, period. any GM could have done that and it would still be one of the worst draft picks ever…what I’m SAYIN is with our roster now Darco would be one of our best assets and I’m sorry if no one can admit that but outside of Monroe and maybe Knight…Darco would be the man on this team and thats because of ridiculous signings by your FAVORITE GM…top 20 GM my eye…

        • Jul 31, 20111:23 am
          by jamie

          Reply

          oh any by the way…i know we all know this but here it is anyways..the TRUTH: Monroe and Knight were a blessing from God. If they didnt fall in our laps we would have ended up with Epke (garbage and wont have a better than Darco…period) and bismack (contract/age issues) just sayin…Dumars is a joke if you like the guy…fine! but dont tell me he’s a top 20 GM today..decade of course but thats not what this is…its for best GM…today good luck being in denial, i hear it sucks

          • Jul 31, 20111:27 am
            by jamie

            Thank God for a draft that went our way the last 2 seasons…thank God for the Bobcats moving up the draft cause i’m almost convinced we would have taken Bismack even with brandon knight on the board

  • Jul 30, 20111:57 pm
    by jamie

    Reply

    No, because Dumars is a joke and whichever of you two (you or Dan) who wrote that hamilton was overated…he isnt even rated anymore and if other GM’s see that we’re stuck with him not that other teams were drooling to get him but you (insert negative word here) certainly didnt help…I will forever dislike whichever of you said that…hey I have an idea, lets talk about how crappy our whole team is so that we can have a high draft pick for the next 20 years lol WHAT A JOKE!

  • Jul 30, 20112:46 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    I think its unfair to rank Joe at all for this past year, considering he made zero moves, because ownership refused to make any. He’s the only GM in the league that you could fairly give an INC on this type of list. imo

    • Jul 30, 20113:01 pm
      by rob

      Reply

      If were ranking current GM’s whole bodies of work for their career, he has to be up there in the top 5, tbh. As much as the current “hot” GM’s of the moment have had success, most of them still haven’t accomplished anything close to what Joe has in his career as a GM.

      The only active GM’s I can think of with as much or more success would be Buford, Kupchak, Riley, Ainge, and Nelson. And I would put Joe’s career as a GM’s 4th on that short list behind Buford, Riley, and Kupchak.

      He has had some real low points to his career too, as Mike Payne pointed out, but you cant take away the success he had. Every great GM is going to eventually have low points if they are around long enough, as well as the high points. Is Jerry West a bad GM because the Grizzlies could never win one playoff game under his watch? 

      Joe’s career is still very young, only 1 decade in, and he still has a long career ahead. He’s proven he can be great, so there’s a lot of reason’s to believe his career will get back to a high point again.

  • Jul 30, 20114:08 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    I’m rolling with Mike Payne on this one.  Joe, Post Dice, is awful.  He never got the core any real help off the bench except for Dice.

    The Corpse of Dale Davis
    Jarvis Hayes
    Flip Murray
    Walter Hermann
    Jason Maxiell
    Amir Johnson
    Maurice Evans
    Carlos Delfino
    Carlos Arroyo
    Juan Dixon

    Those guys just SCREAM championship caliber bench.  i know he drafted a few of them, but many championships were Chauncey, Rip, Tayshaun, Rasheed, Ben and Dice supposed to win with those guys backing them up? 

    And hiring Flip Saunders, a man who had been out of the 1st round once in 10 seasons to take over a championship team was also a major mistake IMO. 

    • Jul 30, 20118:22 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      As I said in a comment above, I’m not arguing that he hasn’t made bad moves. He clearly has (and I should point out that on your list above, Amir and Delfino have become really solid rotation players). I just don’t see more than 14 or maybe 15 guys on that list of the current 30 who are better overall GMs than he has been.

      • Jul 31, 201110:10 am
        by khandor

        Reply

        Patrick,
        Yes, Joe Dumars has made several poor personnel decisions during his tenure with the Pistons. So, too, is it the case, however, that he has made several very good personnel decisions during this same period of time … to a degree that he should still be considered as one of the Top 6 GMs in the league today, and not just amongst the Top 15. If you are someone who sees 13 GMs in today’s NBA that have a superior record of achievement in comparison to Joe Dumars, then, I would simply ask that you: A) Please list their names, and B) Explain, in brief, what it is that you think each one has done that is superior to what Joe D. has done, since 2000-2001, as the GM of the Pistons. Thank you, in advance.

    • Jul 31, 20111:27 am
      by Jason

      Reply

      I really, truly hate when people knock Flip Saunders… Flip was a great coach, IMO. The Pistons demise began the day Flip Saunders was fired… His record was 176-70…. Read that again, in 3 seasons with the Pistons, he lead the us to a record of 176-70. And you’re talking shit about the guy? His first season, he lead the Pistons to a Franchise Record of 64-18 in the regular season… Come on now, bro.. What kind of crack are you smoking?? OF course, getting rid of Chauncey is what solidified the decline, but too many people forget how well Flip coached this team, and how badly things became afterwards… So, if you want to rephrase, and say that the FIRING of Flip Saunders is another knock on Dumaars, then yes – i’ll agree with you there… I sit back and imagine regularly what Flip could have done with our current roster.. Sure, he had his flaws, but once we traded Chauncey, and put Stuckey in the PG role, i GUARANTEE Flip, with his offensive strengths, could have helped this team win many more games in the past few seasons.. I don’t care what anyone says, Flip would have been a million times better then both Curry and Kuester, combined. Anyone putting the Saunders hiring as a “knock” on Dumars record, obviously knows NOTHING about basketball..

      • Jul 31, 20111:34 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Flip was easily the best coach on the market at the time when the Pistons were hiring. There were certainly personality clashes between Saunders and some of the players, but he was a successful coach and hiring him was undoubtedly a good move by Dumars.

        • Jul 31, 20112:38 am
          by Mike Payne

          Reply

          “undoubtedly a good move by Dumars.”
           
          Has the whole world gone crazy?  Am I the only one that gives a **** about the rules?  Man, have a bit of objectivity here.
           
          We had a championship caliber roster.  We hired a new coach.  We never even made it out of our conference with Flip.  The players didn’t support him.  He didn’t reflect our commitment to defense.  But hiring him was undoubtedly a good move?
           
          “Flip was easily the best coach on the market at the time when the Pistons were hiring.”
           
          When you have a championship caliber team, you’re not in the market to buy.  You’re in the market to sell.  If Miami fires their coach tomorrow and opens up to interviews, anyone working or not that isn’t coaching a contender is available.  You don’t settle for the “best option” that has nothing to do with your team’s identity, you have the right and ability to choose the best when you’re selling a potential championship to a coach.  It’s the exact inverse of our current situation with Lawrence Frank.

          • Jul 31, 20112:52 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            Ugh. It’s late. ‘Undoubtedly a good move’ was dumb. I think it was the best move Dumars could make at the time. Saunders was the best available coach and I think, based on his budget constraints, that paying whatever the large buyout to Brown, along with going out and recruiting a new coach to take over your championship team wasn’t a realistic option. Saunders was available, respected, had a relationship with Billups and they could afford him. Maybe they could’ve got someone better than Flip to leave a job and take the same amount of money they paid him, I don’t know. But who really fit that bill and would’ve taken the job? Izzo? I just don’t think there were many realistic options out there.

          • Jul 31, 20114:18 am
            by Mike Payne

            “I think it was the best move Dumars could make at the time”
             
            I can’t argue with that, and fully agree with your reasoning.

      • Jul 31, 201110:30 am
        by khandor

        Reply

        re: “It was the best move Dumars could make at the time”
        Based on their respective records of achievement, there should now be little doubt that Flip Saunders is, in fact, a better NBA head coach than either Michael Curry or John Kuester. That said … IMO, Flip Saunders was not the right coach for the Pistons to hire in the aftermath of Larry Brown’s tenure with the team, and was always destined to come up short in that specific job, based on his performance for Minnesota Timberwolves, in a similar capacity. IMO:
        i. Larry Brown was a good hire [given his list of prior accomplishments], in the aftermath of Rick Carlisle;
        ii. Flip Saunders was a poor hire [given his list of prior accomplishments], in the aftermath of Larry Brown;
        iii. Michael Curry was a poor hire [even though I initially thought he might be able to succeed, given his list of prior accomplishments], in the aftermath of Flip Saunders;
        iv. John Kuester was a poor hire [even though I initially thought he might be able to succeed, given his list of prior accomplishments], in the aftermath of Michael Curry;
        v. Lawrence Frank is a good hire [given his list of prior accomplishments], in the aftermath of John Kuester.
        In the Pistons present situation, the best coach who Joe Dumars could have hired … if he was actually interested in the job … in the aftermath of John Kuester’s disastrous tenure is none other than Mr. Jerry Sloan.

  • Jul 30, 20114:15 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    And I don’t think a guy like Ainge is better.  His track record with the Big 3 isn’t better than Joe’s with the going to work team.  Both teams won 1 title, lost another, but Detroit got the conference finals 4 other times in their run. This Boston team hasn’t matched this.

    • Jul 30, 20118:31 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Ainge is what  he is. He gets credit for pulling off the deals that led to that title. But you’re right, putting up his collective body of work vs. Dumars’, I think Dumars has clearly been superior.

      The understated thing that Dumars always did and I hope he returns to is doing things with cost and budget in mind. Mike mentioned above that it’s remarkable Detroit had a title team without any of the core pieces coming via Detroit taking them in the lottery. Equally remarkable is that he built a team that contended for six years and avoided the luxury tax.

      Ainge had a much easier time in Boston simply because he had an owner unafraid of going into the tax, so if Ainge needed a player, he always had the ability to go well over the cap to get him. I don’t think Ainge could’ve had any success as a GM working under the budget constraints Dumars always had to work under.

  • Jul 30, 20117:05 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    joe’s not that bad.

    He had a championship team for 6 years, but lost his 2 (carlisle & brown) championship coaches to politics.  Most of the bad trades were desperate attempts to get over the Eastern Conference finals hump, which was impossible without his championship coaches. 

    Then the ownership situation changed and tied his hands even worrse. 
    CV was a bad signing… but that wasnt a really good free agent year anyway. I’ll wait till we get rid of Rip to set the verdict on BG.

    If you subtract the ownership drama his record becomes less tainted. Now that he has solid no-drama ownership you’ll begin to see the old Joe D (not perfect, but making 3/4 good decisions). T

    This draft was dissapointing because of Charlotte & Sacramento, but he did ok.
    THe coach decision was great.

    • Jul 30, 20118:28 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yep, that’s the thing … Dumars has always been a gambling GM. He took good, inexpensive gambles on Wallace/Billups that paid off better than anyone could’ve imagined. He’s made more moderate gambles (McDyess, McGrady, Ben Wallace part two) on players who really out-performed what anyone thought they could do when he signed them. He’s drafted pretty well considering where he picks most years (Many guys he picked are still in the league and at the very least in rotations: Cardinal, Okur, Prince, Johnson, Afflalo, Delfino, etc.).

      The Gordon/Villanueva/Hamilton signings were terrible and signing Hamilton/Gordon in conjunction with each other just compounded already poor decisions. But his biggest weapon for erasing poor decisions in the past was the trade. Now that he theoretically can make trades again minus the restrictions he was working under, we’ll see how quickly he goes about fixing those mistakes.

      • Jul 31, 20111:10 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        “But his biggest weapon for erasing poor decisions in the past was the trade.”
         
        So trading a rookie-scaled big man is as easy as trading a $12m/year undersized shooting guard who has fallen off a cliff in productivity?  This isn’t just wishful thinking, Patrick– it’s an illogical cop-out in un-matchable context.

      • Jul 31, 20111:24 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        “He took good, inexpensive gambles on Wallace/Billups that paid off better than anyone could’ve imagined.”
         
        OMFG, what?  No one could have imagined the production he ultimately got out of Wallace/Billups?  With emphasis on the Billups signing, those weren’t gambles at all, they were smart bets on players who had clearly established the expected first year production that Dumars bought.  If any GM (or sports blogger, nudge nudge) had looked at both players production pre-Pistons, you could have clearly seen what Dumars did.
         
        The year before Billups signed with Detroit, he started 54 games for Minnesota.  His averages as a starter:  15 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 three pointers made.  During the Pistons championship year, where he was named Finals MVP, he averaged 17 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 three pointers made.  He earned two more points per game, but averaged one more attempt per game.  He did nothing at all more than he did the year before Joe signed him.
         
        Given that Ben Wallace played lower minutes and less starts in Orlando, he was more of a risk than Billups (okay, Billups was not a risk at all).  Per minute, however, Wallace’s production changed very, very little between his last season in Orlando and his first in Detroit.
         
        I’ll meet you half-way.  Wallace paid off better than his numbers suggested he would.  Billups paid off precisely in line with the production he had established before joining the Detroit Pistons.  That wasn’t risk, nor was it un-expected.

        • Jul 31, 20111:32 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “OMFG, what?”

          Pipe down, drama queen. The dude had had two injury plagued seasons before ending up in Minnesota. He’d been given up on by three organizations relatively quickly. He’d only been a starting PG for just over half a season with the T-Wolves. There were questions, even if they were small ones.

          • Jul 31, 20112:22 am
            by Mike Payne

            “Pipe down, drama queen.”
             
            No drama here, sweetheart.  I respond to ignorant and uneducated statements in a pretty predictable way as I did there.  No reason to get personal or resort to name-calling though.  Seeing a bit of personality is refreshing though, I wouldn’t know it existed if I only watched your ESPN videos.
             
            “The dude had had two injury plagued seasons before ending up in Minnesota.”
             
            And in Minnesota, he averaged 80 games a season for two full seasons before signing in Detroit.  Straws, you’re grasping at them.
             
            “He’d only been a starting PG for just over half a season with the T-Wolves.”
             
            He started 2/3rds of his final season before signing with Detroit.  He started a portion of the season before when starter Terrell Brandon was out.  His starter numbers were as impressive then.  His per-minute bench numbers were as impressive then.  There was a ridiculously well-established base of production to suggest what he would do under a new contract.
             
            “There were questions, even if they were small ones.”
             
            Right.  Like how would Chauncey Billups handle his PR responsibilities?
             
            I’m gonna go grab some popcorn.  I’ll be back in a bit to respond to whatever nit-picking you’re typing next.

          • Jul 31, 20112:45 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I respond to ignorant and uneducated statements in a pretty predictable way as I did there.”

            With feigned outrage/text message speak? I mean, fine. If it was ignorant and uneducated of me to not think it was a given that Chauncey Billups was going to become an All-Star, a Finals MVP and one of the best PGs in the league when Detroit signed him, then I accept. I mean, I thought Detroit was getting a Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook level PG when they signed him. How could I have known they were actually getting Andre Miller superstar-level?

            “Seeing a bit of personality is refreshing though, I wouldn’t know it existed if I only watched your ESPN videos.”

            Are you kidding? Awkward blogger nervously reading a thrown together script on a computer in a basement getting aired on the world’s largest sports network? It’s all very calculated on my part.

            “And in Minnesota, he averaged 80 games a season for two full seasons before signing in Detroit.  Straws, you’re grasping at them.”

            I concede man. Gamble was the wrong word. They weren’t gambles. They were guys signed to be reliable starters who became among the best in their league at their respective positions.

            “Right.  Like how would Chauncey Billups handle his PR responsibilities?”

            No. I’ve learned that the proper questions that determine whether or not someone is qualified for a job or not are: Is he tough? Does he have balls?

             

          • Jul 31, 20114:13 am
            by Mike Payne

            “With feigned outrage/text message speak?”
             
            Yeah, precisely what you brought to the table.  You should try joining a DBB conversation sometime.  You’d be eaten for lunch.
             
            “If it was ignorant and uneducated of me to not think it was a given that Chauncey Billups was going to become an All-Star, a Finals MVP and one of the best PGs in the league when Detroit signed him, then I accept.”
             
            Oh, sweet– the logical conclusion angle.  Glad you got that under wraps.  It would have been pretty cool if instead you looked at the points I made about how his per minute numbers were nearly identical during his minny years to when he was signed in Detroit.  But no, let’s jump to the non-objective conclusions and expect everyone to jump onboard our elementary-reading-level argument.  I like the cut of your jib.
             
            “Are you kidding? Awkward blogger nervously reading a thrown together script on a computer in a basement getting aired on the world’s largest sports network?”
             
            Is someone holding a gun to your head there, Senor Albom?  I’ve been in your shoes before.  My advice– talk, don’t read.
             
            “I concede man. Gamble was the wrong word.”
             
            Funny, let’s fight over nonsense minutia then concede on a point you can’t nit-pick.  What was the original thing we were discussing again?
             
            ESPN.  Where hiring anybody happens.
             

          • Jul 31, 201111:08 am
            by khandor

            re: “Yeah, precisely what you brought to the table.  You should try joining a DBB conversation sometime.  You’d be eaten for lunch.”
            THAT is absolutely hilarious to read. And I really do mean, a b s o l u t e l y, h i l a r i o u s! Mike Payne is a moderator at DBB. In his role as a moderator at DBB, Mike Payne is also a liar and a coward who attempts to bully and intimidate others who contribute comments to that site, if/when they do not agree with his own way of thinking. OTOH, if/when he comes to visit a terrific site like THIS ONE, he simply cannot get away with the B.S. he regularly perpetrates at DBB. Dan and Patrick, in sharp contrast, do a great job with Pistonpowered.com … expressing their own ideas about the team, and the game, in general, WHILE allowing others to express their ideas, as well, in a welcoming and clean and friendly and fun and informative, etc., environment … and it’s a complete joke when someone like Mike Payne says utter nonsense like the words contained in the above quotation. The fact is … It is someone like Mike Payne who “gets eaten for lunch” on a well-run site like Pistonpowered.com.

        • Aug 3, 201112:00 pm
          by brgulker

          Reply

          “OMFG, what?  No one could have imagined the production he ultimately got out of Wallace/Billups?  With emphasis on the Billups signing, those weren’t gambles at all, they were smart bets on players who had clearly established the expected first year production that Dumars bought.”

          I think you’re giving Dumars too much credit, actually. I think Billups and Wallace appear to be very solid bets on players who looked good based on objective data.  I 100% agree with you there.

          But I don’t think Dumars used any of that objective data to make the decisions he made about them, and I’m saying that because of what he did with Gordon/Villa.

          I think Joe eyeballs players, and he’s got enough basketball sense that sometimes his eyeballs tell him that a player is good, and that player is actually good. But I think sometimes his eyeballs tell him a player is good, and those players are fool’s gold.

          I also think that what Joe has said publicly (through KL) about statistical analysis vs. eyeballs confirms my hunches here.

          In short, I think you’re reading your correct analysis of CB and Big Ben into Dumars’ analysis of those players, when he really didn’t do any of that and just got incredibly lucky.

          And for all the reasons you’ve already said, plus what I think about the way Dumars evaluates players,  I think he’s among the worst in the league.

      • Jul 31, 201110:51 am
        by khandor

        Reply

        Patrick,
        re: “The Gordon/Villanueva/Hamilton signings were terrible and signing Hamilton/Gordon in conjunction with each other just compounded already poor decisions.”
        I would beg to differ about the actual quality of these three personnel decisions. Although I, personally, would never have signed a player like Charlie Villanueva, the signing of Ben Gordon was NOT a poor decision, in-and-of itself; and, neither, was the decision to extend the contract of Rip Hamilton, even though it hasn’t worked out for the Pistons the way Joe Dumars would have liked. IMO, Joe Dumars did not anticipate properly that John Kuester would be an inept coach when it comes to establishing an effective PG-OG-SF rotation that could readily accommodate the skill-sets of Rodney Stuckey [Starting PG], Ben Gordon [Back-up PG-OG], Rip Hamilton [Starting OG] and Tayshaun Prince [Starting SF] … once Joe D. made the decision to sign Will Bynum [who is a talented player, in his own right BUT, not a good fit with a Pistons team that has the aforementioned 4 players at the PG, OG, and SF positions]. Then, unfortunately … once Kuester showed that he was actually incompetent, in this regard … Joe D. was “caught”, so-to-speak, in the Pistons ownership uncertainty, following the untimely passing of Bill Davidson [i.e. IMO, were it not for Dill Davidson's death, Joe Dumars would have fired John Kuester at the end of his 1st season as the Pistons' head coach, based on how he functioned that one season. Sometimes, however, life circumstances simply do not allow you to do what you think is right, and what you have to do is something else and make the best of a bad situation, while making slight adjustments where you are able to and hoping that things work out for the best in the end.] Hopefully: i. The Pistons will be able to re-sign Tay Prince; and, ii. Lawrence Frank can develop a sound rotation, as their next head coach. All is NOT lost in the Motor City with a man like Joe D. in-charge. All he needs is time to fix the mess that’s been created with the passing of Bill Davidson.

        • Aug 3, 201112:07 pm
          by brgulker

          Reply

          Translation:

          In spite of all of the factual history and evidence we have about players like Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon, I continue to assert that they are, in fact, good players who are worth their pay.

  • Jul 31, 20111:03 am
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    One point about Dumars that apologists commonly point at is the 6 years the Pistons hit the ECFs, which appears to suggest that Joe was a brilliant GM throughout that stretch.  Here’s an analogy– if I plant a seed which bears fruit without my involvement for six straight years (while I spend the rest of my time planting nothing), am I a genius for the year that I planted that seed or am I a genius for the full bearing of that plant?  Furthermore, when that plant stops bearing fruit and I have done nothing and shown no ability to repeat that success, can I be counted on to do it again?
     
    I officially gave up on Joe Dumars on the date of the trade deadline in February of 2010, 17 months and a week ago.  I wrote a lengthy article about giving up on him on DetroitBadBoys, comparing Joe to George Lucas.  When I re-read the article, there’s plenty of points I don’t continue to agree with and I don’t mention them in my critique of Joe.  It’s an opinion piece, kind of my modus operandi, even though some (looking at you Patty Hayes) might question my journalistic integrity when I’m not a journalist.  Thing is though, the comparison to George Lucas is spot on if you think about it, and if I do say so myself.
     
    George Lucas made what might be the best film trilogy of all time– using no-name actors and a shoestring budget.  Joe Dumars may have built the best unlikely NBA champion of all time– using no-name players and a shoestring budget.  For the decades after the first trilogy was made, Lucas was considered a genius even though he produced nothing of importance since.  Joe Dumars was a genius after the championship even though he didn’t do anything of merit after signing Dyess.
     
    Then, Lucas decides he’s going to make another trilogy.  This time, he has a ridiculous amount of money to spend, but instead of shoestring inventiveness and clear creative vision, he blows his money on actors that can’t act, special effects that don’t feel real, no discernible identity and bad, bad, bad results.  Joe Dumars did the same.  Every move he made since McDyess, with the exception of Ben Wallace and Tracy McGrady at or near the vet minimum, have been moves that were entirely 1000% out of character for the genius that built the Going to Work era.
     
    When did Lucas lose his genius?  As far as anyone can prove, it was the day after he finished The Empire Strikes Back.  Yet some fanboys still call him a genius, even though no discernible proof of a lasting genius endures.  The same is true for Dumars.  Those who choose to ignore all of the objective data on Dumars can tell themselves he’s a genius all they want.  Those who look at the data are free to celebrate the genius he once was– while decrying the failure he has been since signing Antonio McDyess.
     
    If I had to choose between the 29 other GMs on this list that has spurred a terribly illogical debate–  I’d look at their rosters, their recent transactions, and I’d place Dumars at or near the basement.  I can do that, or I can be a blind homer and COUNT DEEZ RINGZ!!1 while watching my team continue to suck, not have an identity and pay out a buh-gillion dollars to the worst players on the team.
     
    I’m a rotten critic, I know.  But hey, it’s easier to fix someone else’s mess than it is to retool your own.  Joe Dumars is living proof.

    • Jul 31, 20111:19 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t know who this George Lucas fellow is, but I don’t think I’ve ever questioned your “journalistic integrity” or, for that matter, claimed to have any of my own.

      The fundamental disconnect in how we’re looking at this is simple. It’s fine if you’re insinuating I’m some “Count tha ringz” dipshit, and if that’s how I’ve presented my argument, then I’ve failed. The championship was certainly an accomplishment, but championships are luck. They don’t just depend on talent, but on health, favorable matchups (ask this year’s Spurs about that), etc. So great that they got a title, but that’s never been the basis of my argument.

      The No. 1 job of a GM is to run a team that makes money. I think it’s safe to say that Joe Dumars has done that effectively. So even if he got lazy and didn’t do much after building the initial team, he still put a team on the court each year that made a deep playoff run, that brought in a lot of revenue and he kept that core intact without ever paying luxury tax. So by that measure, the ‘does he make the team owners money?’ measure, he’s been incredibly successful.

      Now, I assume the team has not made money the last two years. I assume that if that continues under a new owner, that Joe Dumars will not keep his job long. But for the overwhelming majority of his career, he’s run a team that has been profitable. The key to that is that they won a lot of games, which brought in a lot of extra playoff revenue, and obviously, they are in no position to recreate that formula any time soon. I’m under no illusions whatsoever of that.

      But the point is, does Joe Dumars have a better roster than Chris Wallace or Larry Bird or a lot of other guys on that list right now? No, he doesn’t. But has Joe Dumars, for nearly his entire career as an executive, been better at making his franchise money than most of those guys? Yeah, I think so.

      • Jul 31, 20111:40 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        I don’t think I’ve ever questioned your “journalistic integrity”
         
        I started to look for the exact line, which might have been in a (thousand word) email, a comment on DBB, here, maybe even elsewhere, but my brain hurt when reading through that stuff.  Basically, back in our debate re: Laimbeer, you questioned the value of my opinion article in support of Laimbeer because I didn’t fully report on the negatives.  So maybe it wasn’t my “journalistic integrity”, but you did in fact question my voice.  I’m not butthurt about it, but in the interest of you reading that opinion post and nit-picking, saying so was a defensive ploy to avoid seeing this conversation de-railed.
         
        “The No. 1 job of a GM is to run a team that makes money.”
         
        Fully, 1000% disagree with you here, Patrick.  And If I ever own a team, its fans should revolt if I hold this responsibility to my GM.  A professional recording artist who chooses his/her musicians, score and sound should have zero interest in making money, but making amazing music.  The record label’s job is to make money with that art.  If you sign a musician and task them with making money, that’s like hiring a banker’s dog to manage your investment portfolio.  Was Dumars hired to run this team because of his business experience or his understanding of basketball?  Again, 1000% fully disagreed.
         
        The No. 1 job of a GM is to run a team that wins.  Franchises hire vast departments of people to run profitable teams.  They fill seats, sell advertising and push merchandise will GMs do what their job titles require– example: President of Basketball Operations.
         
        –breaking this up into another comment for clarity’s sake–

        • Jul 31, 20111:51 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “The No. 1 job of a GM is to run a team that wins.”

          Right. And why is that the No. 1 job of a GM? Because winning = $$$. So by that measure, winning a lot of games, Dumars has done his job well up until the last two seasons. The team has won, been in the playoffs and made money in most of the seasons he’s been on the job. Again, most of the guys on that list of GMs can’t claim that.

          • Jul 31, 20112:05 am
            by Mike Payne

            “Because winning = $$$”
             
            Winning sells tickets, yes.  That doesn’t make a GM responsible for ticket sales.  Leapfrog logic is cute, though, even if it is stubborn and tangential.

      • Jul 31, 20111:58 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        –continuing…–
         
        “So even if he got lazy and didn’t do much after building the initial team, he still put a team on the court each year that made a deep playoff run”
         
        No, Patrick.  He failed.  His failure was pretty apparent to many of us over at DetroitBadBoys, who discussed this as it happened.  For me at least, there were three failures in a row that cost Detroit another championship– 1) hiring Flip Saunders, 2) Not re-signing Ben Wallace and 3) Not moving Tayshaun Prince.
         
        Hiring Flip was the first signal of a failure in philosophy.  Flip was step one in giving up the defensive identity that Joe had crafted in Detroit.  It was also the point at which Joe had given up on the coach as chess player, the final possession mastermind who could beat the opposing coach night-in, night-out.  Larry Brown and Rick Carlisle were excellent coaches, and Joe opted instead for a good-enough coach who would essentially let his players run the show.  At the moment Joe hired Flip, the loyalty of his players and the defensive identity he has established were both lost.
         
        Next, Joe didn’t re-sign Ben Wallace.  Ben was asking for way too much money.  He wasn’t going to be the player he had been in the years prior.  But Ben was one of the rare cases in the NBA where you have to over spend.  The rule should be– never overspend on a wing player unless you have a superstar.  Point guards, power forwards and centers get a premium based on their rarity.  Without Wallace, the paint became our weak point, and after Ben left, that basket was free and clear for Lebron and Paul Pierce, the keymasters who have owned the Eastern Conference since Ben left.
         
        That leads to the final point, the weakest link in a team that was one proper change away from continued contention.  After 2005, Tayshaun Prince was the greatest weakness in Detroit, the player most responsible for our collective failures.  Prince has always been lauded for his defense, but his defense has always been and always will be great only against finesse players.  Remember how he shut down Tracy McGrady?  Remember how he virtually ended Reggie Miller’s career alone?  Prince could always handle a defensive assignment when his opposition could be contained with his length.  But then the culture changed.  Then size, speed, strength and willingness to take contact became the norm at his position.  Players like LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Danny Granger and others became fully relevant.  Prince could not even hope to contain them.  But the problem with Prince was that the harder the defensive assignment, the more he disappeared on offense.  For the Pistons last three seasons in the playoffs, Prince averaged 26%, 32% and 24% shooting in their season-ending series.
         
        No sacred cows.  Something must change.  Fire the coach.  Trade the point guard.  Spend a ridiculous amount of money on bad players who anyone with even a moderate awareness of statistics would abhor.   But don’t trade the one weak link, the player responsible for falling apart worse than any other player on the roster when it really counted…
         
         

        • Jul 31, 20112:17 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “His failure was pretty apparent to many of us over at DetroitBadBoys, who discussed this as it happened.  For me at least, there were three failures in a row that cost Detroit another championship.”

          Uh, OK. Sure. There’s also the small matter of the East getting way better — LeBron became LeBron, Wade became a stud (they might have beat Detroit in 05 had Wade not got injured in the ECF), the Celtics became good again. The East, overall, sucked still, but it became much better at the top than it was in 04.

          Maybe those three failures cost them four more championships. Maybe Brown’s reluctance to play Milicic in 05 cost them seven. He was totally a future All-Star. Maybe if Dumars had never traded Jerome Williams they would’ve won it all in 2001. Maybe if Michael Curry had never take Amir Johnson out of the starting lineup they would’ve won it in 2009. Speculation is fun.

          • Jul 31, 20112:30 am
            by Mike Payne

            “Maybe those three failures cost them four more championships. Maybe Brown’s reluctance to play Milicic in 05 cost them seven. He was totally a future All-Star. Maybe if Dumars had never traded Jerome Williams they would’ve won it all in 2001. Maybe if Michael Curry had never take Amir Johnson out of the starting lineup they would’ve won it in 2009. Speculation is fun.”
             
            Speculation is kind of annoying when you do it.  But it’s important for us fans to critique what has gone wrong for our franchise in the past.  You said so yourself:
             
            “There’s also the small matter of the East getting way better — LeBron became LeBron, Wade became a stud (they might have beat Detroit in 05 had Wade not got injured in the ECF), the Celtics became good again.”
             
            Yeah that’s what I said, dude.  The weakest link on our team was all-of-a-sudden tasked with guarding two of the best small forwards in the league, LeBron and Paul Pierce.  Yet that was the one factor Joe has not changed to this day.  LeBron grew up, Pierce became relevant when Allen and Garnett arrived.  But Joe changed nothing.  He sat on his hands and changed the OTHER chairs on the deck of a sinking ship.  Is it speculation if I yell “holy hell, change this or X will happen”, and then for three years straight, X happens?

        • Jul 31, 201111:30 am
          by khandor

          Reply

          Wow.
          re: “That leads to the final point, the weakest link in a team that was one proper change away from continued contention.  After 2005, Tayshaun Prince was the greatest weakness in Detroit, the player most responsible for our collective failures.  Prince has always been lauded for his defense, but his defense has always been and always will be great only against finesse players.  Remember how he shut down Tracy McGrady?  Remember how he virtually ended Reggie Miller’s career alone?  Prince could always handle a defensive assignment when his opposition could be contained with his length.  But then the culture changed.  Then size, speed, strength and willingness to take contact became the norm at his position.  Players like LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Danny Granger and others became fully relevant.  Prince could not even hope to contain them.  But the problem with Prince was that the harder the defensive assignment, the more he disappeared on offense.  For the Pistons last three seasons in the playoffs, Prince averaged 26%, 32% and 24% shooting in their season-ending series.”
          It is reading a comment which reads like this that the delusional aspect of someone’s understanding of how basketball actually works quickly becomes crystal clear. Tayshaun Prince is in no way close to being the best wing player in the NBA, but … so, too, is he now way close to being “the greatest weakness in Detroit.” Mike Payne is a walking-talking-hate-spewing-fire-breathing example of how exactly NOT to use supposed “statistical” analysis in the game of basketball. e.g. The FACT is … Size, speed, strength and willingness to take contact” did NOT become “the norm” following the Pistons run at the Top of the Eastern Conference. Just think about the mind-set and the limited understanding of how basketball actually works for a person who says those specific words … in the same comment that makes reference to the proper understanding of rudimentary statistical analysis. The performance of Tayshaun Prince has NOT been the MAIN problem with the Pistons, following the trade of Chauncey Billups … based on the facts of the matter.

          • Jul 31, 201112:37 pm
            by Mike Payne

            “Mike Payne is a walking-talking-hate-spewing-fire-breathing example of how exactly NOT to use supposed “statistical” analysis in the game of basketball.”
             
            Sweet!  I’m making that my profile signature over at DBB!
             
            BTW, I miss you Khandor.  It’s not the same at DBB since you’ve been banned.  We still pay homage to your spirit over there though.  The fun part is when we write game previews or recaps in Khandor style insane grammar f#ckery:  http://www.detroitbadboys.com/2010/12/20/1886695/hornets-v-pistons-game-recap

          • Jul 31, 20112:23 pm
            by khandor

            As I said earlier, re: Mike Payne, in his role as a “moderator”, at DBB … A liar and a coward, who functions on feeble attempts to bully and intimidate others. When the going gets tough, “Wahh, wahh, wahh.”

          • Aug 3, 201112:12 pm
            by brgulker

            My lord, khandor, did you even read what you quoted?

            Remember how he shut down Tracy McGrady?  Remember how he virtually ended Reggie Miller’s career alone? 

            AFTER 2005!

    • Jul 31, 20111:38 am
      by Jason

      Reply

      George Lucas analogy has to be the most spot on things i’ve ever seen! haha.. Well said, brother. Well said.. I knew this team was headed for disaster the day Flip Saunders was fired… You don’t just fire a guy that wad doing as good as he had. Sure, there will be plenty of people that disagree with me, they’ll scream that he didn’t “win it all”, but there was only so much he could do.. Dumars was responsible with filling up a bench with talent, Dumars wasn’t able to do so. The team had some great years, but they had a pocket of years that they were set and ready to win it ALL, multiple times. Too many people want to just discredit Duamrs for the recent 3 years, but in all reality it extended well beyond that as well… With the starting 5 bargain contracts we had, more could have been done to help the team.. It’s easy to go back now, sure.. .But aside from Dyess, very little was done to make this team better, even in the glory years of the last decade…

      • Jul 31, 20111:43 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “Dumars was responsible with filling up a bench with talent, Dumars wasn’t able to do so.”

        Now wait a minute … Amir Johnson, Carlos Delfino and Arron Afflalo were all on Saunders’ bench at different times and he never played any of those guys consistently. All three are at the very least rotation players and Afflalo is a well above average starter. In fact, there were reports that Saunders thought Johnson would never amount to anything and that he disagreed with the front office on Johnson’s talent level.

        Saunders did some good things as coach, but he certainly has some responsibility for young players not developing until immediately after they leave and start getting playing time.

        • Jul 31, 20112:17 am
          by Jason

          Reply

          I see your point, but I think Delfino got a good amount of playing time under Saudners.. Maybe i’m mistaken, but I’m pretty sure he saw the floor a good amount.. As far as Amir and Afflalo, they were young, and not all that ready to contribute.. (IMO). Afflalo is proving to be a great player, I just think its hard to get him consistent minutes, on a team where you are backing up the player who has the highest PPG on the team. (Rip). Amir was inconsistent with the Pistons, we all wanted to see him get better, and maybe with more minutes he would have. BUT, a team ready to win NOW, isn’t necessarily the best situation for developing young guns.. I guess in my statement, i meant more that Joe should have done more to bring in veterans, ready to win a ring now – while accepting a role player/bench position. Maybe that is too much to expect, but we see it quite regularly around the league. Why didn’t we see it from the Pistons? It can’t be that players didn’t WANT to play here, who wouldn’t? We were consistently the beasts of the East for the better part of the last decade, why were there no more vets begging to join us?
           
          Dumars should have been seeking that help.. I think my tangent has taken a wrong turn though, of all my knocks on Dumars, this has to be the least important to me.. I just wanted to throw it out there, i guess.. That the Dumars BAD moves weren’t JUST in the past 3 years.. I think he got too comfortable with a “Good” team, and probably could have done a little more in those years.. BUT, i do see your point… Regardless, nothing will convince me that Flip wasn’t a solid coach, and I wish he were still here. Did he have clashes with some players? Sure… But after his firing, we ultimately blew up the team anyways, so did that really matter??? He had a great run as a Piston coach, a run I wish could have continued longer..

        • Jul 31, 20112:43 am
          by Mike Payne

          Reply

          “Saunders did some good things as coach, but he certainly has some responsibility for young players not developing until immediately after they leave and start getting playing time.”
           
          Fully agreed.  Saunders was a draw on this team for not properly developing and using his bench when it truly mattered.  I’ve contended for some time that Flip’s misuse of his rotation, especially the bench, cost us an NBA finals berth at the least during the 2006-07 season.  I got my hand slapped for speculating above, but I’m going to do it anyway.  Properly using Jason Maxiell against Cleveland in the 2007 playoffs could have been our X-factor, a chance to compete for the last title during the going-to-work run.  This might sound a bit crazy, but the advanced stats centered around that theory strongly support my claim.

        • Jul 31, 201111:35 am
          by khandor

          Reply

          Patrick,
          Coaching decisions are such an important aspect of success in the NBA game, and you’ve actually hit the nail right on the head with your comment about the poor job done by Flip Saunders, in Detroit, in this regard. Kudos to you, Sir!

  • Jul 31, 20115:15 am
    by Danny

    Reply

    Guys, lets be honest; the roster we had for that run was built mostly on luck, and not on any sort of genius by Joe. NO ONE could foresee Billups growing the way he did….same with Ben…..he did make a good trade for Rip and then we got real lucky with Rasheed. And 1 title with that group was a huge disappointment. The worst move he made, was not being able to mend whatever problems there were with Larry Brown. His second worst move was hiring a mediocre coach, in Saunders. Those 2 moves trump any roster or draft mistakes, simply because had we kept Brown or brought in an actually good coach, we would of probably won at least 1 more title. 

    No need to list all of the bad roster moves, but they heavily out-weight the good.

    I will always love Joe, but I think 20 is a little high.

  • Jul 31, 20115:20 am
    by Danny

    Reply

    For any Flip Saunders supporters, he is a fine coach. The only way I can explain it, is he is like a Wade Phillips or Norv Turner in the NFL. Good minds, but no where near great leaders. I knew this from watching him with Minnesota, and I was extremely discouraged when we hired him, because I honest to god knew he would never lead us to a title. Its almost like that ‘it’ factor we talk about in a player. Flip doesnt have it. He may do good things, and improve a bad team, or whatever, but he wont get it done when it counts the most.

  • Jul 31, 201110:37 am
    by JoshB

    Reply

    Okay, lets’ make a deal to stop using the only reason we won was because Joe was lucky argument. Here’s a bit of info for everyone that has that argument…………there is always a bit of luck involved in the process of becoming a championship contender, and there is definitely luck involved when you actually win it all. It’s weak to support your argument by trying to go back in history and belittle the positive moves, but when it comes to the negative you don’t allow for the fact that a little bad luck could be in play in those situations. I can promise you that I can come up with legitimate examples of how every single champion over the past 25 years was lucky in some way that led to their success. When any gm is trying to build a team, they have a vision for what they want their team to look like, and then they have their people to scout the players they feel like would fit that vision, after that if they’re able to obtain the pieces they went after, then if they’re lucky the players play like they envisioned they would……you don’t get the benefit of luck unless you’ve actually put in some work beforehand. This is the same reason why I won’t defend Joe too much, because when he tried to rebuild on the fly it was like all semblance of his vision seemed to disappear. I don’t know if it’s because he didn’t feel a team with that kind of identity could compete again, but whatever the reason that apparent lack of focus on a specific vision set him up for this streak of bad luck. I think it was a bit much to ever call him a genius, but I also think it’s extreme to call him the worse.

  • Jul 31, 201112:44 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    To Patrick and the community here– it’s one thing to disagree with someone, but I sure didn’t do it gracefully.  I stand by the content of my opinion but I should have dropped the attitude.  It doesn’t reflect the respect I have for Patrick and the readers here, no matter which side they sit on the Dumars debate.

    • Jul 31, 20112:29 pm
      by khandor

      Reply

      When someone actually takes the approach expressed in THIS solo comment, then, it’s a pleasure to read what they have to say about the Pistons on a terrific site like Pistonpowered.com … even if/when you might happen to disagree with their specific opinion. Kudos for finally showing, at least, a touch of class.

    • Jul 31, 20118:10 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Mike:

      No harm done. You’re a passionate dude and that’s why you’re one of the best Pistons reads out there. Also, looking at the time stamps on all of those comments we posted, I think we both might be insane people.

      • Aug 1, 201112:48 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        “I think we both might be insane people.”
         
        You are fully, entirely correct in this assumption.  :)  And Patrick, my Passion for Pistons only matches yours on a good day, much respect to you my man.

  • Jul 31, 20114:58 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    Mike, your critique of Joe, Flip, and Tayshaun are spot on.  I’ve been saying the same thing on the Piston’s message board on ESPN.  

  • Jul 31, 20118:08 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Missed this one.  Would of been fun.

    I think someone already said it but yes basketball is game of wins and losses.  Dumars had his restrictions and we as fans get to see what effect that really had on him in the coming years. My bet is Dumars will show that he still is one of the best.

    Also would like to point out that Charle V and Ben Gordon may be overpaid but we did not get to see there potential.  You guys can debate that all you want but to me that is a fact. We may get to see BG’s potential but personaly Charlie V may have trouble cause we have so many power forwards as it is and may be expendible.

    This lockout sucks though.

  • Aug 1, 20111:52 pm
    by Jon L.

    Reply

    This is a bit too high of a ranking for my liking.

  • Aug 3, 201112:17 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    @khandor

    Yeah, Flip Saunders was such a horrible coach that he only managed to win 60+ games once in Detroit.

    Please.

    Saunders wasn’t good at developing the bench, he wasn’t defensive-minded enough, and he ultimately lost the trust of his team. Those were his failures.

    But the dude was a brilliant offensive coach in Detroit, which is evidenced by the differences in offensive performance when you look at Brown vs. Saunders.

    Unlike others, I think Flip was the best choice at the time, and I have zero problems with it to this day. If Joe had made some roster tweaks to better suit what Flip was trying to do, we could have been real contenders for at least his first two seasons.  

    A GM can only hire the best coach available, and there are only so many Hubie Brown’s on the planet. Flip had brilliant regular season success, but his failures as a coach made is so that it wasn’t repeatable enough in the Playoffs.

    That coupled with the improvements out East meant we were outside shots at a championship in his tenure. But that doesn’t mean he was a failed coach. He wasn’t.

  • Dec 30, 20118:24 pm
    by Damonski

    Reply

    I think you need to score Darko into the overall rating.  But, that mistake hurt the team less than the Billups for Iverson trade.  The overall attitude that Iverson brought to the team hasn’t been improved.   It’s not like Iverson was getting into fights, but the “I won’t play if I don’t start” mentality has left more whiners than winners.
     
     

  • Jun 15, 20131:21 pm
    by DJ hay

    Reply

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post appear to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not confident if this is a format concern or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and style look excellent though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Thanks

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