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Reaction: Lawrence Frank’s hiring shows that Tom Gores will challenge Joe Dumars

Dan Feldman’s post yesterday pretty much summed up both of our thoughts on Lawrence Frank: we think the Pistons hired the best of the candidates they were interested in, even if compelling cases could also be made for Mike Woodson, Bill Laimbeer or Kalvin Sampson as well. Below are reactions from local and national media to the hiring.

Danny Bohnlein, Need4Sheed:

No Laimbeer, No 2004 LB connection in Mike Woodson, No 1st year coach, and more interestingly No Joe Dumars companion. Frank is from outside of the organization, and will likely fill his coaching staff with others who are from outside of the organization and who have had little to no affiliation with the Pistons and/or Joe Dumars.

Interesting. I’ve been on Team Frank all along so…. I’ll take it.

Matt Dery, 97.1:

I was a Sampson fan at the start of #Pistons search, but I like L Frank. Dynamic guy and fun to talk to. Hope this also means Sully stays.

Does the hiring of Frank signal any discord in Auburn Hills? Stein seems to imply as much with his article on the Pistons hiring Frank. The report is rife with instances of pointing out the “growing influence” of Cheketts. Wojnarowski, meanwhile, doesn’t bother to mention Checketts at all. He does, however, say:

“Frank has benefited from the recommendations of Philadelphia 76ers president Rod Thorn – his old boss with the New Jersey Nets – and Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Pistons general manager Joe Dumars holds both Thorn and Rivers in high regard.”

This would indicate that it was Dumars who gave the final blessing and not a sign of Checketts exerting power on the team.

Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys:

Now, I imagine there’s going to be some initial disappointment around these parts because it’s not Laimbeer, but at least it’s not Mike Woodson/Dumars’ choice, right? The report less than a week ago was that Dumars wanted Woodson for the job, but his new boss Tom Gores fancied Frank. If that’s true, then I think Gores is making it pretty clear who is running the show.

Either way, Frank is a strong choice. He has experience (and a record for consecutive wins to start a coaching career!), he’s defensive minded, and perhaps most importantly he’s not another pluck from the 2004 Larry Brown family tree of coaching.

Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie:

He’s famous for starting his coaching career with a pretty good New Jersey Nets team that was better than the 22-20 record Byron Scott left it with when he was fired in 2003-04. Frank started off his Nets tenure with a 14-0 record, and finished it with an 0-16 run in 2009-10. Both disparate records were the function of players either tuning in and tuning out. He, and those teams, weren’t as good or as bad as either record.

Noam Schiller, Hardwood Paroxysm:

Frank is a defensive guru – otherwise he wouldn’t have been Thibsy’s replacement in Boston – which is something that has been lacking from the Pistons persona since the end of their glory days. With his main competition for the role being Mike Woodson, improved over the years but still responsible for the Atlanta Hawks Isolation Program, this hire is both the best available, and good in any circumstances. With a horrible defensive team, a promising young center that glorifies the concept of a moving offense, and several players prone to gunning for their own shots (Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, the current version of Rip Hamilton, and while we’re reluctant to include his name on this list and hope he proves us wrong we have to be realistic – Brandon Knight), you can see why the defensive Xs and Os guy takes precedent over the Iso-heavy Mr. Potato Head motivator.

Terry Foster, The Detroit News:

Frank is passionate, and knows his stuff. But will players believe in him? No.

But I’m not here to simply rip a decision by an organization that put their faith in Michael Curry, Flip Saunders and Kuester. Here is a solution that will make this hire work: Clean house.

That means Joe Dumars must forget about re-signing free agent Tayshaun Prince. Dumars must get rid of Richard Hamilton. And Rodney Stuckey. And Tracy McGrady. And the players who turned this franchise into a circus.

Pat Caputo, The Oakland Press:

I would have taken Mike Woodson over Lawrence Frank as Pistons head coach. One of the problems the Pistons have had is controlling players. Woodson’s status as a former player of note would help him in that regard. Also, I didn’t think Frank did that well in New Jersey. He completely lost his last Nets’ team and was more of media darling than an actual success.

Trey Kerby, The Basketball Jones:

And here’s hoping your team of overpaid veterans and mismatched youngsters actually plays for you, unlike when they turned on their previous coach, John Kuester. After two straight seasons that saw the Pistons win fewer than 40 percent of their games, the first such stretch since 1995, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you. Maybe try that thing where you win your first 13 games again? I dunno, just a suggestion.

9 Comments

  • Jul 22, 201110:41 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    Your title confuses me. Can you please further explain?

    • Jul 22, 201110:51 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Tom Gores said when he took over the team that his job was to challenge Joe Dumars on key issues. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Dumars initially favored Woodson for the job, Gores and his people favored Frank. I assume that Dumars is on board and supports hiring Frank, but I think it shows that Gores did, indeed, have healthy debate with Dumars, living up to what he promised he would do in his press conference. It doesn’t mean challenge in a bad way, it just means challenge him in the sense that they will have a lot of dialogue and debate over key moves with a goal of reaching consensus on what is the best possible course of action.

  • Jul 22, 201111:22 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    If we can remember far enough back, Bill Davidson put his hands all over the management of the team as well.  Joe D didn’t want to fire Carlisle.  Davidson nearly pulled of the AI trade years before he became a piston as well.
     
    If Gores pushed Joe D this direction, then he’ll look better when/if it doesn’t workout.  Like I tell my clients when they want to do something I disagree with: “when this doesn’t workout I’m not going to say I told you so; but you’ll know that I’m thinking it.”

  • Jul 22, 201112:16 pm
    by Andrew

    Reply

    I don’t think L.Frank will have any issue taking control of the locker room.

  • Jul 22, 20111:14 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    Word to the wise: disregard everything Pat Caputo has to say about the Pistons. He is obviously a Red Wings, Tigers, and Lions fan first, and probably watches 2 Pistons games or any NBA games per year, if that.

    I’m tired of hearing this guy comment on the Pistons when he barely ever watches them, or any NBA for that matter.

    • Jul 22, 20111:56 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Oh, you won’t find someone who loathes Pat Caputo more than me. But he’s the star columnist at a decent size newspaper and for some reason, he’s on 97.1 like 17 hours a day (seriously … I think he just sleeps on a cot at their studio and they just wake him up and throw him on the air whenever they have some hours to kill), so I figured I’d link to what he had to say. But you’re 100 percent right. The next time the dude has an astute basketball observation will be the first time.

  • Jul 22, 20111:39 pm
    by Andre

    Reply

    I have a problem with Gores or any guy that he brought in making decisions for this team. Especially, if the person he brought in doesn’t have a vested interest in the Pistons.  Gores is not Mr D who had more experience than the GM, so I don’t trust him just yet.  I’m not saying Franks won’t do a good job, but I just think it was more qualified people out there than him.

    • Jul 23, 20111:43 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Who was more qualified? You can make the case that other candidates possess higher upsides and were worth the risk, but I didn’t see a single legitimate candidate with better experience than Frank has.

  • Jul 22, 20119:10 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I just read a story that said that the T-Wolves are going to interview Rick Adleman. He is one coach i wanted before Frank or Woodson.

    http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/214845/Adelman_To_Interview_With_Wolves_Saturday

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