He had only a two-month consulting arrangement with the team, according to sources — a deal that supposedly expired on July 31.
Aldridge also said Checketts has an “open desire to get back into the NBA,” but Checketts can’t do that until he sells the St. Louis Blues. Once he sells the NHL club, would he rejoin the Pistons? Aldridge has doubts – mainly because Checketts could own a team rather than working for someone else. To explain why Checketts likely wouldn’t have enough power in Detroit long term to satisfy, Aldridge shed some light on the shape the Pistons’ management structure is taking under Tom Gores:
It’s believed that Gores, worth $2.4 billion and ranked 153rd among the richest Americans, according to Forbes, wants to put a management structure together that is similar to that of AEG, the facilities and entertainment conglomerate headed by Philip Anschutz, the Lakers’ part-owner. Anschutz almost never gives interviews and the publicity-shy Gores is equally reticent to speak with the media. AEG president Tim Leiweke does almost all of the public speaking for the organization, which built Staples Center and L.A. Live in Los Angeles, transforming the city’s downtown.
Checketts would be a natural for such a position in Detroit; he was a strong public voice for the Knicks in New York during the late 1990s, when the team made The Finals in 1994 and ’99, and held onto his power base while internal feuding consumed the team’s front office. And the Pistons’ business side has been in flux for a couple of years. Longtime team and Palace of Auburn Hills CEO Tom Wilson resigned in early 2010, and Gores dismissed Wilson’s successor, former COO Alan Ostfield, in June.
But Gores already has capable executives in Bob Wentworth and Phil Norment, partners of his at Platinum Equity, the private investment firm Gores founded in 1995. They conducted many of the second interviews with the coaching candidates, and while they are expected to remain in Boston at Platinum’s corporate offices there, they are expected to be Gores’ eyes and ears in Detroit.
That’s the first time I’ve heard Gores described as publicity-shy. (Although, I’ve never heard him called publicity-hungry, either.)
Lawrence Frank-Mike Woodson competition
And though Dumars never publicly indicated whom he preferred to succeed John Kuester as coach, several people around the league believe he preferred former Hawks coach Mike Woodson to Frank. But Frank blew Gores and his people away during the interview process.
Yet a source insisted this weekend that Dumars concurred with Gores that Frank was the right choice for the job.
Unless more information emerges, I’m sticking with my theory: If the choice were completely up to Dumars, he would’ve hired Mike Woodson, but he was also happy with Lawrence Frank. I still don’t think there’s any way the Pistons would’ve hired Frank if Dumars had been against it in any way.
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