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Highlights of Lawrence Frank’s introductory press conference as Pistons coach

We already knew that today’s press conference with Joe Dumars and Lawrence Frank would be light on specifics since they were prohibited from discussing players on the roster. How he’ll deal with specific players and roster situations is obviously of the utmost importance, but minus that, I think we got a good glimpse at not only Frank himself, but how Dumars is adjusting and adapting to the team’s new organizational structure. Here are the highlights:

Frank’s sense of humor

When I asked Hayes Davenport of Celtics Hub for some thoughts on Frank after news broke of his hiring, he included this:

He’s a very friendly, very funny guy, and he managed to bring the players onto his side by the end of his first day in camp.

Frank opened the presser with a joke about needing a booster seat, talked about being so ugly his wife doesn’t even like to look at him and he responded to a question about his final two seasons in New Jersey with an, ‘Aw, come on!,’ at the reporter who asked. He also shared this story when asked about never playing the game:

“I was like a bad Hollywood actor, all I heard was cut, cut, cut. (A coach told me), ‘You’ve got a lot of courage, you’re still cut.”

The substance

Jokes are great, but John Kuester was a pretty funny guy too and Michael Curry … well, he dressed funny at least. Frank came across as a confident and intelligent guy, but more importantly, even if he couldn’t talk about specific players, he clearly has an understanding of the major problem in Detroit: the fact that the team has lost sight of the defensive toughness and culture that made the Pistons into one of the top organizations in basketball.

On his responsibility as coach:

There is a standard of excellence here, it’s on me, on all of us to reclaim the culture we need to establish Detroit basketball to the forefront of NBA basketball.

On how to build that culture:

First and foremost, culture always starts with a work ethic. Investment vs. entitlement. You get yourself into a lot of problems if people feel entitled. The head coach has to enforce accountability. Every player wants the coach to challenge them but also connect with them.

It comes down to your actions. If you don’t back up what you say, no one will trust what you say. It’s our habits that define us. We have to embody what this city has been about. That starts with the DNA of the players.

On the style the team will play:

We’re gonna be a defense first team, a rebounding team, an attack offensive team. It’s hard to play good defense, it’s a collective effort mindset and trust, it’s about having a system and believing in it.

On what he learned from Doc Rivers:

To me, Doc is elite. Doc won a championship. Doc also was part of losing a bunch of games, all those things helped shape him.

On his own experience in a losing situation in New Jersey:

You define yourself during those periods of time. We all have setbacks, it’s about how we bounce back. This is a results oriented business and I deserved to be fired. I failed (in New Jersey), but I never allowed that to define me as a failure.

On how he connects with players despite never playing in the NBA himself:

I study the game, I love the game. Someone once told me there are four traits that anyone who works with NBA players has to have – competency, trustworthiness, reliability, sincerity.

On whether past actions or performances of players will be held against them:

It has to be a clean slate. I have to earn my way just like they have to earn theirs. Communication has to be honest and you have to be fair and consistent, that’s all players want.

Frank also mentioned that he respects both Brian Hill and Pat Sullivan as coaches, but did say that the team fill those positions based on the following criteria:

In terms of staff, it will be a process. Qualities we’re looking for are – high character, work ethic, passion and energy every day, excellent teacher, lifelong learner. We have to be about what we talk about.

Joe Dumars on Frank

Dumars believes that Frank will be a long-term coach in Detroit:

It’s a very good day for us. We went through a very extensive process, a meticulous, detailed process. When it was completed, it was a very clear choice that Lawrence was the best guy. It was kind of a unanimous feeling throughout the people involved that he was by far the best candidate for the job.

We competed against Lawrence when he was in Jersey and then in Boston last year. You learn to respect people when you have to battle against them.

As we got to know him even better, it became clear that he was the right person for the Pistons job. There’s a sense of relief to have him on board with us.

He’s young, energetic, brings a big personality to the job. He embraces being a head coach and is up for the challenge.

Dumars also noted how Frank is already displaying the work ethic he’s known for:

You want that person (the new coach) in place as soon as possible because you want that culture and environment to start with him on day one. His (Frank’s) first day was Monday and he was here at 5:30 a.m. The guy comes in at 5:30 every morning. You want that in your organization as soon as possible. The current situation (lockout) has no impact on how soon you should get that sort of guy in your organization.

Dumars and ‘the process’

There were a few questions about the length of this process and Dumars noted that it was a result of Tom Gores and the Platinum Equity influence:

It was different in terms of how thorough and meticulous it was. They have a system of how they like to do things like this, especially with a big hire like this. We’re desperately trying to settle into a long-term coach. None of us are happy about the past few years. We were looking for someone we can say will be our long-term coach here. It was an urgency to get the right guy.

Gores’ biggest statement after buying the team was that his job would be to challenge Dumars every day, and it sounds like, based on his comments in the presser, Dumars has adapted to that and even been impressed by the process the PE folks have brought to the team. It’s no secret I respect Dumars a lot, even if I’ve disagreed with most (if not all) of his recent moves. He’s always struck me as a self-reflective person. I think over the last few years, he’s been alone on an island somewhat. He lost right hand man John Hammond to Milwaukee. He lost Bill Davidson. Everyone in a position of power needs people who will challenge them. This is just my own total speculation as Dumars is as close to the vest as it gets, but when he talked about ‘the process’ he seemed almost relieved that there is some structure in this organization again.

I also liked Dumars’ response when it came to last season. Again, he couldn’t talk about much without risking a fine, but here’s what he said when he was asked a general question about the culture:

We don’t have to rehash everything, but you know what you’ve seen. We’re not gonna throw anyone under the bus. He’s (Frank’s) gonna have a lot to do with (fixing) it. He truly becomes the face of what we’re trying to do. I like his energy, I like his spunk, I like that he has a swagger about him. Guys will follow that, regardless of if he played basketball or not.

The fact that the organization never really publicly said anything about the constant bickering, coach-player fights, locker room factions, shootaround boycott, etc., gave the impression that, perhaps, the people in the front office had blinders on. It’s good to see that they fessed up to the dysfunctionality (as much as they could without specifics).

Frank and Dumars have a huge challenge in front of them. I didn’t come away from the press conference with any more confidence that the Pistons can immediately turn things around, but at the very least, I’m confident that Dumars and his new coach have an understanding that a philosophical shift is needed before we can even begin talking about on-court success again.

36 Comments

  • Aug 3, 20111:18 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Great coach hire! Hopefully we make a trade for a center to complement Monroe to help Frank with his defensive schemes…

  • Aug 3, 20111:27 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    Dumars believes that Frank will be a long-term coach in Detroit:

    Heh.

    He’s always struck me as a self-reflective person.
     

    I’m scratching my head on this one.  I’m curious as to why you think this.

    From where I’m sitting, he looks like he’s dodged every bit of responsibility for everything that’s happened since the Billups trade. He’s scapegoated two coaches in the past three years (and today his words about the coaches could be interpreted that way), to say nothing of Carlisle and Saunders. He’s never once admitted that he’s made any personnel mistakes. He has refused to consider any type of objective and/or statistical evaluation of players, in spite of the fact that his eyeball approach is broken.

    Etc., etc.

    Admittedly, I’m one of the biggest Dumars pessimists out there, but I do welcome being corrected. But on being self-reflective, I’m struggling to see where that would actually happen.

    • Aug 3, 20111:32 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Maybe poor wording a bit. I think Dumars is willing to be challenged by people he respects and that perhaps the reason this team/culture is so off track is he lost two people who seemed to challenge his thinking in Davidson/Hammond. I liked the way he talked today when he mentioned the coaching process. I’m really glad that it was thorough. And though he didn’t specifically say “this process was better,” it was clear he felt that way when he talked about how he’s spent a good two months talking to Frank (and I would assume the other strong candidates) because the interview process has been so lengthy.

      I don’t know. I don’t think you’re ever going to get any executive to fully admit that they’ve messed things up. To me, Dumars came pretty close to doing that today. It was clear he thought that the thoroughness of the process was a good thing and he also credited Gores/PE for bringing that way of thinking to the organization.

    • Aug 3, 20111:55 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “He’s scapegoated two coaches in the past three years (and today his words about the coaches could be interpreted that way), to say nothing of Carlisle and Saunders.”

      I don’t know that I necessarily agree with this. Davidson reportedly wanted Carlisle fired and the fact that Dumars and Carlisle appeared together at the firing presser leads me to believe that Dumars may not have wanted to make that move.

      Of the other three coaches you mention, even if Curry and Kuester were dealt bad hands with the roster, didn’t they still fail pretty badly in what are generally considered responsibilities of the coach? I don’t remember Dumars saying, in either case, “these guys were fired solely for losing games.”

      You can still do a good coaching job with a bad roster that loses games by having a system, by communicating what are the expected roles of players, by developing young players, etc. Kuester waffled on playing time/disciplinary decisions. He didn’t always play the players who played the hardest. The perception among players was that he had different sets of discipline for different players (i.e. Stuckey getting benched for in-game insubordination, but nothing happening to Prince after his in-game tantrum). Austin Daye will be entering his third season and in his first two, we still have no clue what he is because he didn’t get consistent enough minutes/role to show much of anything.

      Curry refused to patch things up with Hamilton when he was told to do so by his boss.

      Saunders may not have deserved to be fired, but based on comments Rasheed Wallace made after it happened, it didn’t seem like Saunders could come back into that locker room either.

      So all three of those guys failed to establish control in the locker room, an essential function of any coach. We can talk about Dumars or the organization failing to back them, but in general, I think it’s an expectation that coaches handle their locker room without interference from the GM. Did Riley step in early in the season when Heat players were bitching about Spo? No, he let Spo work it out.

      So I 100 percent understand that Curry/Kuester and now Frank will be inheriting rosters that Dumars is responsible for. Dumars shares and in reality should get most of the blame for the poor on-court product over the last two years. That’s just the nature of being a GM, he assembled a team that isn’t good enough, that’s on him. But Saunders, Curry and Kuester all failed in key areas of coaching. I don’t see how any of them were scapegoats.

      • Aug 3, 20112:25 pm
        by Jason

        Reply

        I think we have good enough players. Its the mixture of players that is wrong and maybe a defensive/scrappy center. I mean maybe Stuckey was way off base for the point guard but can you say 100% that with a different mix and coach he still wouldnt of preformed better.  I can’t but maybe you can. 

        I can remember Charlie V won at least two games by himself for us with his play. When I say by himself I mean at the end of the game.  And then I can remember him sitting after that.  I also can remember Gordon having spurts of really good games and then having to sit long periods for some odd reason.  And please can we all remember Gordon’s play for the bulls.  I do!

        Don’t get me wrong cause I blame not just Kuester and ownership.  I think Dumars, Rip and Stuckey had there faults as well.

        But to sit here and say we have this horrible roster and are so limited moving forward. I disagree. 

        • Aug 3, 20112:27 pm
          by Jason

          Reply

          This is directed toward everyone to see.  Not a direct reply to Patrick. My bad

        • Aug 3, 20112:49 pm
          by brgulker

          Reply

          But to sit here and say we have this horrible roster and are so limited moving forward. I disagree. 

          Three straight losing seasons.  Very few trade assets. One of the scariest salary profiles of any lottery team in the league. 

          Disagreement is cool, but there are very concrete reasons to think that we are limited moving forward. I’d be curious to see what your reasons for optimism are.

          • Aug 3, 20113:04 pm
            by Jason

            Majority of my optimism comes from the fact Dumars has freedom now.

            And like I stated I think we have good players just the wrong mix. So when you say very few trade assets and salary profiles I understand where you are coming from. But if we DO have solid players we don’t need to make large player moves like you probably think.

            Mainly we get rid of Rips contract somehow. Which is feasable through a couple ways. But if we do this then our roster and future is very bright.

            Knight/Stuckey/Bynum/White – At least for couple years we are set here. More if Knight is as good as we hope.
            Gordon/Stuckey – To me this should turn into one of our strengths
            ???/Daye/Singler – Very solid backups.  We could use Daye as trade bait and hopefully we can sign Prince
            Monroe/Charlei V/Jerebko/Maxiell – Very very bright future.  Use Charlie V and Maxiel in trades.
            ????/Wallace – Wallace will be a really good backup for one more year.

            We need two pieces.  Optimism!

            I know somethings you will say.  We can’t trade Charlie V.  I think we can and Dumars said he was getting the most calls for him last trade deadline.  Do you remember that?  Lots of teams would love a big guy who spreads the offense out. Or we can’t pay for more players.  We can if we get rid of Hamiltons contract.  If we have to wait one year so be it.

      • Aug 3, 20112:46 pm
        by brgulker

        Reply

        Well, I’m on record saying I don’t think Kuester was all that bad. I’ll simply say about him that for the most part, he played the best players he had, and for a rookie/sophomore coach, that was good enough for me.

        The Rip/Gordon situation was impossible. He played Jerebko and Wallace big minutes. He handled McGrady well, especially early on. He benched Villanueva when he deserved it, and he played him when he deserved it. In spite of playing him out of position, he found significant minutes for Daye. When his team cooperated, he ran good offensive sets, especially out of timeouts. 

        So all three of those guys failed to establish control in the locker room, an essential function of any coach

        I have always interpreted this as saying much more about the players than the coaches. In other words, this core of players was able to run three coaches out of town by quitting on them.

        I can’t prove that, but that’s what my gut tells me, and I think I can build at least a respectable case based on what we know from the reporting.  

        We can talk about Dumars or the organization failing to back them, but in general, I think it’s an expectation that coaches handle their locker room without interference from the GM.

        Can coaches suspend players on their own? Honest question. I’m under the impression they cannot.

        If that’s correct, then I don’t agree with this line of reasoning. Dumars should have suspended the idiots who staged the boycott, and he should have publicly supported Kuester and Curry. His failure to do so more vocally has been a key factor in building the culture that we currently have to deal with. 

        Remember, we’re talking about the GM who made the “no sacred cows” speech when our team was winning. His failure to do something similar throughout this mess is just that, a failure.

        But that only begs the question. Why was there discord in the locker room?

        I think the obvious answer is failure to get back to the Finals. The players were frustrated that they coudln’t get back. So were the fans, and the caoches, and the management.

        Surely, Flip deserves some blame for that. He was especially bad at letting young players develop in the regular season, and he was even worse at utilizing his bench during the Playoffs. No question. But  you have to ask the questions MP was asking  over the weekend about what Dumars did and didn’t do after the Wallace trade and Dyess signing. Dumars never fully replaced the bench that was so instrumental in winning the chip.

        This is sort of a chicken / egg problem. Locker room and on-court chemistry is either a cause of or a byproduct of winning (or somewhere in between). I lean strongly toward the latter, based on my playing experience and observation.

        When the Pistons won the chip, all we heard about was their chemistry as a team over the individual. When they failed to get back, all we heard about was bad chemistry in the locker room with Flip.

        I tend to think winning breeds chemistry, and frustrating losses like DET experienced during the Flip years breeds frustration. If that’s the case, you’ve gotta place at least some of that blame on Dumars for failing to give Flip the tools off the bench that he desperately needed.

        As for Curry, all I’ll say is look at the summer prior to the Billups trade and the first handful of games with Billups. The team was running beautifully. I remember attending a preseason game that year and marveling at the fluidity of the offense. I was very excited about Stuckey as a change of pace guard off the bench, being able to spell either guard position.

        Then, Dumars blew it up. Post Billups trade is surely a different story with respect to MC, and I don’t question MC’s ineptitude to handle the team Dumars built with that trade.

        But Dumars had to know Curry wasn’t ready for that. Didn’t everyone? Wasn’t everyone scracthing their heads and hoping against hope that somehow Curry would solve the impossibility of AI?

        What first-year coach would be prepared to handle that? What veteran coach would be able to handle that? Was there any correct move? Someone had to sit, someone had to play out of position, and someone was going to be upset. Losses were the inevitable result. AI sucked, the team struggled, and so did Curry. Curry’s responsible for mismanaging Rip, but would Rip have ever been a problem without that idiotic trade?

        In summation of this ridiculous wall of text…

        I think the players quit on Flip, and I don’t think there was anything he could do about it. I think Joe failed to provide the tools Flip needed. He was fired, at least partly, because he couldn’t win it all, but he couldn’t win it all, at least partly, because he didn’t have the tools he needed in the rising EC.

        I think Joe sealed Curry’s fate by trading for AI. I mean this literally, I don’t think anything he could have done would have worked. He was fired as a scapegoat for Joe’s failed rebuilding plan.

        I think the players quit on Kuester the way they quit on Flip and Curry before him. I think the good things he did are overshadowed by all the losing, which has much more to do with roster than coaching.

        • Aug 3, 20113:18 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Damn Ben, are you trying to keep me up until 4 a.m. like Mike did? I see you.

          Listen, there’s not a lot I disagree with you or with MP about really. You guys have valid arguments, supported by data that i can’t really formulate much of an argument against. There’s a track record of failed moves, of over-spending and of failing to develop talent that is refutable by only people with the biggest blinders on.

          But my perspective is basically this: I like Dumars. I think he’s intelligent. I also think he has shortcomings, like virtually every GM in the league not named Presti or Buford. He needs to have people around him who question his logic — again, that’s a role I think Hammond filled based on the few stories over the years about their relationship. And I think Davidson was a huge, huge influence both because of their personal friendship and because Davidson was so frugal. That challenged Dumars to have the budget as a constant worry all those years. It sucked from a fan perspective, because they couldn’t spend to get extra pieces like other title contenders, but it was great for Dumars and I think made him think harder about doing things like, oh, I don’t know, spending a combined $24 million on the shooting guard position. Maybe it’s just personal good feelings about Davidson, but I like to think those signings wouldn’t have happened had he still been alive.

          I think any executive who operates in an environment without people who challenge him/her is bound to have pretty major failures. It’s not as if Dumars purposely insulated himself — Hammond got a better gig and Davidson passed away. So with new ownership that seems to have structure and a principled way to make key decisions, I do have some hope that Dumars can flourish again, and I say that knowing that he has major, major issues to fix because of the troublesome salary situation he created with bad contracts, which could be further complicated by whatever happens with the new CBA, and because the culture in the locker room has become toxic.

          I also think Frank can have an impact. He doesn’t seem like a yes man and he doesn’t seem to be unafraid to give input. He works hard and he has a good basketball mind. He also doesn’t necessarily think like Dumars on every issue, another good thing I think.

          There’s a common sentiment that Dumars has been hamstrung by the sale of the team and now that he has freedom to make moves again, he’ll be fine. I reject that theory, that he needs freedom to be successful. I think Dumars had way too much unchecked freedom after Davidson died and Hammond left. He became a sole decision maker, he had a ton of cap space and he didn’t have anyone there saying “this is too much to spend on this player” or “I think we should wait for a better coaching candidate.” I’m hopeful because of the new structure. Dumars’ success came when the Pistons had an almost unmatched leadership structure, and if they get back to that, I think Dumars will be better for it.

          • Aug 3, 20114:55 pm
            by brgulker

            Damn Ben, are you trying to keep me up until 4 a.m. like Mike did? I see you.

            LOL! I got a kick out of that. I consider all three of us kindred spirits, no matter how much we agree or don’t. 

            I also think he has shortcomings, like virtually every GM in the league not named Presti or Buford. He needs to have people around him who question his logic — again, that’s a role I think Hammond filled based on the few stories over the years about their relationship. And I think Davidson was a huge, huge influence both because of their personal friendship and because Davidson was so frugal. That challenged Dumars to have the budget as a constant worry all those years
            Here’s the thing, I can buy into almost everything you said in that comment, for sure.

            So let me lay my cards out there — here’s my ideal scenario.

            I, too, think Dumars is smart. I think he’s very savvy in his business. I think he carries weight that few GMs do.

            My problem with him is his eyeball approach to player evaluation. It’s proven to be wildly successful (luck?), but it’s also failed completely.

            So, if I were Gores, here’s what I’d do. I’d keep Dumars, but I’d keep him as the guy as the face of the franchise, to shmooze FAs and other GMs, etc. But I’d insist on hiring a team of people who will do objective, statistical analysis, and I’d insist that this be a check and balance to Dumars (in addition to the points about accountability you made above).

            My problem with my own ideal scenario is that I just don’t see that self-reflection and recognition of limitation that you see in Joe. I see a guy who thinks what he’s doing is good enough.

          • Aug 3, 20119:43 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @Ben:

            Check the interview I just posted that Dumars did with Valenti. It could just be my bias because I’ve admittedly always liked and respected Dumars, but I think him talking about not taking his time with previous coaching hires and learning with this process that his previous way of doing it was not the best way to do it is what I mean by self reflection. I liked that he admitted that.

            As far as paying more attention to analytics, I think that’s a tougher sell with former players. But hey, Michael Jordan just hired Rich Cho, and if there’s any former player turned exec/owner who I would think would never embrace advanced stats, it would be MJ. I think there’s hope that Dumars would consider it. And the No. 1 selling point should be, “Hey? About those V/Gordon contracts? Yeah, if you look at this data, everyone in the advanced stats community knew those were mistakes and wrote about them being mistakes the second they happened.”

        • Aug 3, 20115:05 pm
          by kamal

          Reply

          I agree with brgulker that Joe didn’t provide Flip enough help in ’06 and ’08.  But there was no way in hell he should have allowed that Cavs team to beat his team 4 straight games.  I understand James going off, but Daniel Gibson?  Boobie?  And let’s not talk about Game 5 of that series.  What did James hit, like 25 straight on us?  After some point, you have give him a hard double.  Nope, not Flip.  He kept that dumb ass box and 1.  At one point, Maxiell was at the top defending Lebron.

          Flip showed his defensive ineptitude the season before when we played Miami in the regular season.  We were up 13 at one time and 7 with 4 minutes to go.  Then, Wade scored 17 consecutive points, including the game winner with about 2 seconds left in the game.  

          I knew right then, that this guy didn’t have it.  Even though he DID need more bench help to beat the Heat and the Celtics, Flip was still a bad hire for the Pistons.

          • Aug 3, 20119:50 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @Kamal:

            They actually defended Lebron well for a good portion of that series. I mean, everyone remembers the two games that he went off in. But these were his shooting percentages in the other four: 27 percent, 42 percent, 37 percent, 33 percent. They held Cleveland to 91 or fewer points in four of six games.

            Detroit’s major problem was their own offense. They couldn’t score. Prince was 16-for-66 (24 percent) in that series. Rasheed Wallace was 13-for-37 in the final three games. Yeah, it would’ve been nice if they avoided giving Gibson constant open looks, but if Prince and Wallace weren’t duds offensively much of that series, Detroit wins it easily.

             

      • Aug 3, 20115:02 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        Patrick,
        Great job in this.
        Elite level basketball players get upset when they are not communicated with properly by their coach and their roles are not outlined clearly for them within the team’s standard rotation. IMO, the chief reason Joe Dumars did not “back” John Kuester to a greater extent than he did was because he did not happen to agree with his coach’s decisions … but, unfortunately, he was not in a position to relieve Coach Kuester from his duties, given the pending sale of the team. Now that the Pistons ownership situation has been clarified, it will be interesting to see how Joe Dumars goes about re-building the Pistons. My scoreboard, reads like this, thus far: 1. Fired John Kuester [check-mark]; 2. Drafted Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler and Vernon Macklin [3 check-marks]; Hired Lawrence Frank, head coach [rather than Mike Woodson; check-mark].

        • Aug 4, 201111:55 am
          by brgulker

          Reply

          Elite level basketball players get upset when they are not communicated with properly by their coach and their roles are not outlined clearly for them within the team’s standard rotation.

          I honestly despise the way you talk about NBA players, as if they’re the next step in human evolution or some unique sub-species of homo sapiens.

          NBA players are human beings, and they’re no more or less entitled to good managers than the rest of us. The reality is that we’re all responsible for doing our jobs and for having positive attitudes, even if we’re not managed effectively.  

          And frankly, it’s comments like this that make it next to impossible for me to believe you ever coached any “elite level players.” No coach worth his salt would treat these players like prima donnas the way you do.

  • Aug 3, 20111:59 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    I was kicking ass at noonball and missed the conference call. I can’t find the video. Anyone know where one is? pistons.com doesn’t have one.

    Maybe Lawrence will influence our decision to keep Prince around.  Then all we need is a damn good off the ball defender.  Not sure how we can do either yet.  Dumars is going to have to cheat some teams for some cap space.

    • Aug 3, 20116:52 pm
      by detroitpcb

      Reply

      Jason, the last thing this team needs is to have Tay around. Not because he is not a very good player, but because he is a holdover and it is time to see if Daye and JJ and Singler can handle that position.

      And your comments about ben Gordon are toally off base. He is a terrible defender, never gets over screens, the defense is always forced to help against his man. Since he is too short to play most two guards, he is often defending the opponent’s point and is completely outclassed in terms of footspeed. On offense he is careless with the ball and makes stupid turnovers. He takes high degree of difficulty shots and maybe he made them with the Bulls but he has never showed that ability with Detroit. Once again, his size is a negative, since defenders are longer and can challenge his shot. And i don’t like his decisions on when to rotate the ball and when to shoot. He always holds the ball too long for my taste.

      If the Pistons are going to be a defend first team, Gordon has to go.  His contract is the worst value on the team

      • Aug 4, 201110:07 am
        by Jason

        Reply

        I somewhat agree. Regarding the downplay of his offensive decisions you made I think you have to put some of that on what other players were doing and what our bad coach was trying to do. He was obviously out of it at times. 

        Gordon next to Prince to me is a good enough combination.  If you put Daye in there then yes we would suck really bad. 

        I would trade Gordon if what we get makes sense.  But I also think he can be our guy going forward at the 2. Just my opinion

        JJ is not a 3.  He can be forced at the 3 spot but he is a 4.

  • Aug 3, 20112:19 pm
    by Peter D. Brown

    Reply

    Frank on future assistant coaching hires:
    “In terms of staff, it will be a process. Qualities we’re looking for are – high character, work ethic, passion and energy every day, excellent teacher, lifelong learner. We have to be about what we talk about.”
    Sounds like Laimbeer to me. I’m definitely on-board with bringing him in as big-man coach, so that there’s a good mix of unknown personnel with familiar faces.
     

    • Aug 3, 20112:33 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      That just doesn’t seem plausible to me. I can’t think of any scenario where a guy who just got a head coaching job hired someone who also interviewed for that same job as an assistant. Maybe it has happened and I’m blanking, but that just seems to me like something that will never, ever go down. Why would any head coach hire someone who the organization obviously had enough interest in to interview for that same job? Especially in a situation like Frank’s, where, even though he says he wants a long-term solution, Dumars has a reputation for having a quick trigger in firing coaches. You wouldn’t want to put a big name potential replacement one seat away from you on the bench.

      • Aug 3, 20115:10 pm
        by Peter D. Brown

        Reply

        Patrick, you’re right. Only in an ideal world would that happen. Frank will hire coaches that he can trust and are, more than likely, former colleagues. To the best of my knowledge, Frank and Laimbeer have not crossed paths during their coaching careers. my b. I’ll write that one off as typing without thinking plus wishful thinking.B

  • Aug 3, 20113:45 pm
    by jayg108

    Reply

    Regarding PEI and the search, Dumars uses “They” and then “We’re”

    “It was different in terms of how thorough and meticulous it was. They have a system of how they like to do things like this, especially with a big hire like this. We’re desperately trying to settle into a long-term coach.”
    Question:  Does this mean that under Mr. D, Joe did not have checks and balances?  Does it mean that “they” will guide Joe’s future moves?
    I know I’m scrutinizing this and maybe taking it out of context, but it sounded weird to read “they.”

    • Aug 3, 20113:48 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, I didn’t take it as they guided the move, just that they dictated the interview process, how many times they should talk to each candidate, timeframe for making a decision, etc. I’m sure they gave input into the move, but didn’t make the move or dictate what it would be.

      It just sounded like Dumars was comparing it to the past philosophy, which has always been to make coaching decisions quickly. He seemed to be complimentary of taking extra time though.

      And they didn’t say it, but I think it’s at least possible this process wouldn’t have been as meticulous if the lockout hadn’t given them more time to work with.

  • Aug 3, 20115:24 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    Stoney and Valenti interviewed Joe after the presser. You can watch it here:

    http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/08/03/joe-dumars-this-is-my-mulligan/#comment-57368

    • Aug 3, 20119:29 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Just posted. Good looking out Rob.

      • Aug 3, 201111:25 pm
        by rob

        Reply

        no prob, thanks for posting, its a good interview that everyone should see.

  • Aug 3, 20116:04 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    “We don’t have to rehash everything, but you know what you’ve seen. We’re not gonna throw anyone under the bus. He’s (Frank’s) gonna have a lot to do with (fixing) it. He truly becomes the face of what we’re trying to do.”

    This is what i would say makes me nervous. Dumars sounds like Jason or Khandor or some of the other guys around here that actually think coaching matters. That some coach is going to actually ‘fix’ the mess he created. Frank is only going to be successful if Dumars can somehow provide him with better players. To think that Frank can fix the players themselves in some way is foolish. Dumars irritates me.
     
    As for Frank I think he’s a good hire. I think he’s a smart defensive oriented coach. I think he’s maybe insane for taking this job with the roster we have and thinking these guys are capable of playing a sound defensive scheme. I actually wonder what Frank thinks about this roster. Is he like please god do something about this before I end up thrown under the bus like I was in NJ by a crap roster, or does he actually think he can win with this roster? And is he prepared to take the full blame that will be placed on him when he can’t because we all know Dumars won’t take credit for any of it.

    • Aug 3, 20116:24 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      I guess he already answered that:
       
      “You define yourself during those periods of time. We all have setbacks, it’s about how we bounce back. This is a results oriented business and I deserved to be fired. I failed (in New Jersey), but I never allowed that to define me as a failure.”

      Maybe this is why Dumars liked him so much because he took the blame. Frank probably said he could have done a better job. That may be true but the Nets had one of the worst rosters ever. I’d like to see a coach get fired and throw the GM under the bus. Frank didn’t forget how to coach all of a sudden in NJ. He lost Jason Kidd. He went from a winner to a loser, not because of bad coaching, but because of bad GM decisions.

      • Aug 3, 201110:06 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “And is he prepared to take the full blame that will be placed on him when he can’t because we all know Dumars won’t take credit for any of it.”

        See, I know I addressed this up above, but it’s not like Curry and Kuester didn’t deserve to be fired. They were terrible. And Dumars didn’t fire them and say “it’s unacceptable that these guys lost games.” I think it was pretty clear both guys were fired for a multitude of shortcomings, many of which we as fans probably couldn’t even see on a day to day basis.

        A team can be lousy in terms of wins/losses and a coach can still prove his worth. Scott Brooks lost games in OKC but still was successful in implementing a culture, system, etc. Nate McMillan lost early in his Seattle career and was still clearly a good, valuable coach. Doc Rivers in Boston is another great example of it.

        I think if Curry or Kuester had done anything whatsoever to show competency as leaders, as guys who preached a system and culture and lived by it themselves, they would’ve had different fates. I mean, to scapegoat someone, doesn’t that imply that the person being scapegoated is competent? Maybe it helped take some heat off of Dumars that those guys sucked, but I don’t see them as scapegoats. They were bad hires that Dumars deserves and has received blame for, but it’s not like some coaching talent got away. A better coach could’ve done a better job with those rosters, even if it didn’t translate to more wins.

    • Aug 3, 201111:50 pm
      by khandor

      Reply

      When the multitude of decisions that a competent head coach must make are what’s fundamentally broken with a NBA team then replacing the coach can fix that problem. The Pistons players will benefit from the decision-making skills of Lawrence Frank. It will be very interesting to see what the naysayers have to say once the Pistons are in the playoff hunt once again.

    • Aug 4, 201111:57 am
      by brgulker

      Reply

      This is what i would say makes me nervous. Dumars sounds like Jason or Khandor or some of the other guys around here that actually think coaching matters.

      I love this comment. So. Much.

  • [...] via Patrick Hayes, “Highlights of Lawrence Frank’s Introductory Press conference as Pistons … [...]

  • Aug 3, 201110:55 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    blech. madness. “the major problem” with this team isn’t about the players’ commitment to defense. you can’t get blood from a stone. personnel is the major problem. objectively.
     
    and to you jokers who keep clamoring for a center, you act like monroe is this prototypical power forward. he’s a tweener. he isn’t particularly athletic, and i’d just love to see the dumbfounded looks on your faces watching monroe and a true center plod up and down the court and get beat in transition on 100% of possessions. in today’s NBA, dude is better suited to play center, ideally with someone who’s more athletic and can shoot a little, maybe even block a shot or two. he’s got the size to guard virtually any center in the game today, he’s a pretty superb offensive rebounder, he can bang inside. the power positions are basically interchangeable these days, but unless we pair him with a hyperathletic phenom center we’re probably better off if monroe is the biggest dude on the floor.

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    Aug 7, 20114:28 am
    by Wednesday Bullets

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    [...] from Lawrence Frank’s introductory press conference, where he talks about the importance of “competency.” Pretty sure the better word is [...]

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