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Joe Dumars says Lawrence Frank is his ‘mulligan’

Joe Dumars gave Mike Valenti and Mike Stone on 97.1 a seven minute interview after today’s press conference that’s very interesting. He was more relaxed in the informal setting than he was in the presser and I think as candid as he could be considering he can’t say much without drawing a fine for pretending the NBA has players right now. He answered questions about Dave Checketts’ alleged involvement in the coaching search (calling it a “bogus” story) and also, for the first time, said that while the team was for sale, it got to the point where he couldn’t “take on a dime” when it came to trying to improve the team.

Thanks to rob in the comments for the link.
Stone and Valenti asked direct, difficult questions and Dumars answered them pretty honestly I think.

56 Comments

  • Aug 3, 201110:36 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i haven’t got the latest version of flash, so i’ll have to hunt this down elsewhere. very interested in seeing what his version of “candor” was here.
     
    two impressions from the blurb: 1) a mulligan is not the same as a second chance. none of joe’s mistakes have actually gone away, but he’s getting a chance to repair them. can’t wait to see if he’s going to have as much trouble fixing this mess as i predict, and i can’t wait for the excuses. on that note… 2) cry me a f*cking river about not being able to take on a dime after you f*ck a roster in the @$$ the way he did.

  • Aug 3, 201111:51 pm
    by oracle

    Reply

    This makes me fall in love with JoD all over again.  It’s obvious he’s been aware of the problems with the roster/coach relationships, the performance of the team, and it sounds like he’s been waiting as long as we have to make some moves to improve.  I had lost almost all faith when we didn’t move Tay at the deadline, but I’ll give him a pass.  I wasn’t sure about the “KD doesn’t want to spend any more” argument because Joe signed Wallace and McGrady and we didn’t trade away our picks, but those WERE all minimal signings.  Seeing the relief on Joe’s face when talking about the ownership situation finally being over, I believe he’s ready to deal.

    • Aug 4, 20111:33 pm
      by Sebastian

      Reply

      Oracle, I agree with you, man. Joe has been reborned and so has my faith in the Piston Legend.

  • Aug 4, 201112:10 am
    by khandor

    Reply

    When listening to this Joe Dumars’ interview, realize that the toxic atmosphere in the Pistons locker-room according to the GM may have been the fault of John Kuester. Joe Dumars was once one of the best players in the NBA and he knows from first-hand experience when the fault lies with a team’s head coach and when it lies with its players.

    • Aug 4, 201112:03 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      @khandor

      Joe Dumars was once one of the best players in the NBA

      Are you serious? Dumars certainly played an important role for the Bad Boys, but he wasn’t even close to being the best player on his own team, let alone in the entire NBA. He was basically a little better version of what Ben Gordon used to be, plus defense.

      I’ll take a guy like that on my squad, sure, but best player in the NBA? No way.

      • Aug 4, 20111:32 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        @ Ben,
        Yes, I’m being serious. For those driven by individual player stat analysis, Joe D. may not qualify as being one of the best players in the league when he played for the Pistons. For those not driven by individual player stat analysis, Joe D. certainly falls into this category, based on the way he played the game … i.e. as a non-star player … for championship-winning teams in Detroit.

        • Aug 4, 20112:29 pm
          by brgulker

          Reply

          I’m getting tired of you pigeon-holing me.

          I played basketball. In high school and college. I still play basketball. I have coached. I understand the game as both a player, a teacher, a fan, and observer.

          I also like stats. But stats don’t define my entire perspective on the game. Respectfully, stop all the underhanded, snide, dismissive comments about me being “stats driven” and the like.

          • Aug 4, 20113:37 pm
            by khandor

            @ Ben,
            With all due respect … I am not pigeon-holing you. I am pigeon-holing the POV that says Joe Dumars was somehow NOT one of the best players in the NBA when he played for the Pistons. IMO, when this viewpoint is expressed, the reason is because the person expressing that perspective is pointing towards Joe Dumars’ “individual stat production” during the course of his career. If I am WRONG about this, and you would like to point to something other than THAT, as the basis for your position, then, by all means, please go right ahead.

  • Aug 4, 20111:20 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    god, the credit this guy still gets is unbelievable.
     
    @oracle: it simply doesn’t matter that he’s “ready” to deal. the roster itself is every bit as much of a hindrance to making quality trades as an edict from the top.
     
    @khandor: who hired kuester? who silently let the problems fester? who created the problems in the first place by putting together such an ill-conceived (and firmly entrenched) roster that made finding a sensible rotation all but impossible? your answers to those questions must somehow be “john kuester,” if he’s the source of our troubles, but i could swear that it was someone else. i can’t think of who. god forbid the f*king buck stops at the top. and of course a joe dumars one-on-one interview will make it CRYSTAL clear that joe was not the problem. god.

  • Aug 4, 20112:46 am
    by khandor

    Reply

    Laser,
    IIRC, Joe Dumars has been responsible for hiring George Irvine, Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown, Flip Saunders, Michael Curry, John Kuester and [now] Lawrence Frank. Of these coaches, it would be fair to say that Carlisle, Brown and Saunders worked out rather well; while Irvine, Curry and Kuester did not. This would give Joe Dumars a success rate of what, according to you:
    yr-1, 2000-2001, Irvine [32-50], missed playoffs
    yr-2, 2001-2002, Carlisle [50-32], lost EC Semi-finals
    yr-3, 2002-2003, Carlisle [50-32], lost EC Finals
    yr-4, 2003-2004, Brown [54-28], won NBA Finals
    yr-5, 2004-2005, Brown [54-28], lost NBA Finals
    yr-6, 2005-2006, Saunders [64-18], Lost EC Finals
    yr-7, 2006-2007, Saunders [53-29], lost EC Finals
    yr-8, 2007-2008, Saunders [59-23], lost EC Finals
    yr-9, 2008-2009, Curry [39-43], lost 1st Round
    yr-10, 2009-2010, Kuester [27-55], missed playoffs
    yr-11, 2010-2011, Kuester [30-52], missed playoffs
    The fact is … relative to the other GMs, during this same time frame, Joe Dumars’ record of accomplishment puts him in the upper echelon of the NBA.
    re: “silently let the problems fester”
    What a good GM does is let his coach work with his team on a day-to-day basis without butting in where he does not belong. The problems which the players had with Coach Kuester were of his own doing.
    re: the implausibility of a set rotation with last year’s roster
    The person who was most responsible for not settling on a consistent rotation last season was John Kuester. There was enough talent on last year’s Pistons team to stay in the hunt for the No. 6 & 7 playoff positions:
    Exhibit A
    1stUnit: Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Monroe and Wallace
    2nd Unit: Bynum, Hamilton, McGrady, Maxiell and Wilcox
    Extras: Daye and Villanueva/Summers
    Out: White, Jerebko [inj.] and Summers/Villanueva
    if it was handled properly by Coach Kuester.

    • Aug 4, 201112:04 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      Wait just a minute. You’ve been harping for the past 2+ years that Bynum doesn’t belong in Detroit’s rotation, and you’ve grilled Curry and Kuester for playing him.

      Now, you say that Bynum should be the 2nd unit PG, at least if an elite level coach were planning the rotation.

      Hypocritical comment is hypocritical, khandor.

      • Aug 4, 20112:49 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        @ Ben,
        1. A top level NBA head coach is capable of developing different rotations which are capable of playing at a high level.
        2. Over the last 2 seasons, I have suggested on numerous occasions that ONE [Option 1], possible, set rotation which the Pistons could have used, if they were being coached by a competent practicioner, was the one where the PG and OG positions were shared, exclusively, between: i. Stuckey, Hamilton and Gordon, with Bynum relegated to the bench. I have also said, on occasion, however, that ANOTHER [Option 2], possible, set rotation would have been to use these 4 players in the following combination: A. Stuckey and Gordon, and B. Bynum and Hamilton, at the PG and OG positions. Given the functionality of these two alternatives … and the different roles of the players in question … I, personally, would have favoured Option 1 [i.e. the 8-player rotation, rather than the 10-player rotation], since it is the best at promoting Team Cohesion, which has been sorely needed by Detroit, since the departure of Flip Saunders.
        3. For the purposes of accurately evaluating the talent level on the Pistons, however, the 2 rotations look as follows:
        Option 1 – 8-Player Rotation
        1st Unit: Stuckey, Hamilton, Prince, Monroe and Wallace 2nd Unit: Gordon, McGrady, Maxiell [or Wilcox, or Villanueva] Extras: Bynum, Daye, Villanueva, and Wilcox   Outs: White and Summers
        Option 2 – 10-player Rotation [see shown above]
        When discussing a team’s “talent level,” overall, it is often easier to use a model which uses a simple 10-player rotation, than it is to use an 8-player one. Hopefully, this explanation provides further clarity for you.

  • Aug 4, 20113:54 am
    by jake the snake

    Reply

    @laser…   how is a mulligan not a second chance?  it is exactly that.  you hit a bad golf ball and you get a second chance to hit it better.  (personal attack removed)

    • Aug 4, 201110:31 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      man i wish i knew what the personal attack was!
       
      a mulligan erases the previous mistake. joe’s previous mistakes are going to continue to plague us for years to come. nothing’s been erased. nothing. so it’s not a mulligan. it’s a “second chance.”

  • Aug 4, 20114:27 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    Dumars should have never been trying to take on a dime in the first place. He had free reign to try and cut costs. His number one objective should have been trying to shed these contracts. That doesn’t sound like something he was limited in doing.
     
    As for the coaching mulligan – I love how Khandor cites Carlisle, Brown, and Saunders as successes and Irvine, Curry, and Kuester as failures. Are you serious? Give Irvine, Curry, and Kuester the rosters Carlisle, Brown, and Saunders had and let’s see how they fair. A coach is a failure because they aren’t provided with talent.

    • Aug 4, 20117:57 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Are you sure he had free reign to cut costs? Selling an NBA team is complicated as is. I’d imagine big changes to the team’s payroll. Dumars cutting costs could’ve delayed the sale even further. I don’t think anyone wanted that.

      Plus, it’s difficult to make a trade that reduces salary both in the short- and long-term. Most do one or the other, and each teams weighs its priority. In order to make a trade, Dumars had to have it both ways (along with it making sense on the court). Not many trade hit all three objectives.

      • Aug 4, 201110:44 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        feldman, dude, you’ve made your share of claims that were far from certainties. the baseless rumored rip-boozer trade comes to mind. it’s one of the least substantiated, least believable NBA rumors i’ve heard in ages, and several times you’ve claimed that trade WAS in place but was nixed by KD. i have no idea how you could be so skeptical that KD would let joe do anything he wanted to cut payroll.
         
        i’d be much quicker to believe that joe had free reign to cut costs. heck, there’s actually evidence to support it, since we all know about the nixed cleveland deal that would have cost us a future first rounder just to dump rip. that one was somewhere between substantiated and confirmed. if he was permitted to attach such a valuable and desperately needed pick to unload a marginally exigent salary dump, i don’t see what dumps KD would have halted.
         
        note that he didn’t say his hands were completely tied. his options were merely limited. “not taking on a dime” doesn’t mean he couldn’t make a player-for-player trade. the near future will go some ways towards showing us what he might have been able to do. i say “might” because all of his atrocious contracts will be one crucial year shorter and that much easier to unload. and i still don’t think we’re going to find many appealing trade opportunities.

    • Aug 4, 201111:55 am
      by khandor

      Reply

      neutes,
      If you’ve read what I’ve said about quality coaching over the last several years then you should already know that I do not believe in the ability of a good coach to work a miracle with a wholly deficient roster, but that good coaching is capable of making terrible talent perform at a mediocre level, mediocre talent perform at an above average level, above average talent perform at a top level, and top level talent perform at an outstanding level. That said … 1. The Pistons’ recent rosters have not been wholly deficient, yet they performed in a less-than mediocre way. 2. It is a big mistake in basketball acumen to think that a team with above average, top, or outstanding level talent – which succeeds under the guidance of a good coach – is also capable of working just as well when directed by a less-than stellar head coach … who does not have the ability to create a stable rotation and communicate effectively with the players on the roster. 3. Part of the reason the outstanding teams Detroit has had over the last decade have succeeded is the symbiotic relationship which exists between Top Level Coaches and a Collection of Top Level Players. Both are needed for a team to reach its maximum capacity. Both have been absent from the Pistons for the last few seasons. 4. By hiring Lawrence Frank to be the Pistons’ next head coach, the first ingredient is no longer missing in Detroit. 5. Now it’s up to Joe Dumars to adequately address the second requirement … which, by definition, is a longer process. 6. So far, this has been a terrific summer for the Detroit Pistons franchise!

      • Aug 4, 201112:08 pm
        by brgulker

        Reply

        You’ve made lots of assertions, but you’ve never offered one verifiable/falsifiable example that backs up your assertions. 

        “Trust me, I’m a Dr.” is the extent of your support. 

        I cannot understand why this isn’t self-evident and obvious to you.

        • Aug 4, 20112:53 pm
          by khandor

          Reply

          @ Ben,
          Please let me know if you are familiar with the old saying:
          “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
          Is what I said, in advance, would happen with the Pistons what has actually happened? If so, then …

          • Aug 4, 20113:16 pm
            by brgulker

            You said that if Kuester didn’t do what you said, the Pistons would lose.

            I said that the Pistons would lose no matter who they played.

            The Pistons lost a lot.

            Who’s right? Whose claims are verifiable and falsifiable and whose are not?

          • Aug 4, 20113:50 pm
            by khandor

            @ Ben,
            My assertion has already been verified, as being accurate.
            Your assertion, however, has not yet been verified, as being accurate … since ALL combination of players were not actually utilized by John Kuester. Now that Lawrence Frank is the head coach it will be interesting to see if your assertion is verified, or not.
            Time will tell if you were, either, right or wrong.
            PS. Or, you could possibly say that your assertion is no longer veriable, since John Kuester is no longer the coach of the team and the set of players from last season is no longer in effect.

      • Aug 4, 20111:32 pm
        by neutes

        Reply

        Khandor,
         
        What can a coach control? He controls what players are on the court. He draws up plays during dead ball situations. He decides the pace and defensive scheme, but players have to be able to execute. It’s ultimately the players on the court who are responsible for whether or not the coach is successful or not, and it’s up to the coach to put the best players on the court. Did Kuester do that? I say yes. Did he do that at critical times? Eh. It all evens out in the end.
         
        Looking back I don’t have a problem at all with the minutes distribution Kuester had.. Kuester was also great at drawing up plays out of timeouts. And until I see what Frank can do with this team I can’t comment on his defensive scheme because it’s likely these players just suck too bad at defense to play it under any scheme no matter how much it’s stressed. People act like the locker room dysfunction attributed a great deal towards the record, but I don’t buy it. A happy locker room is a winning locker room, a winning locker room is a talented locker room. You have a bunch of guys that think they are better than they are, and that’s not something a coach is going to be able to correct. It’s what happens when you overpay unproductive players.
         
        Kuester wasn’t a bad coach, he was unfortunate to coach a bad team with a serious disparity between pay and talent, with disproportionate amount of salary wrapped up in certain positions and unproductive players. There isn’t a coach that’s going to be able to solve this problem it lies solely in the hands of Dumars.

        • Aug 4, 20113:09 pm
          by khandor

          Reply

          @ neutes,
          1. An authentic elite level head coach can exert a great deal more influence on the way a team performs for him than the few items/categories which you’ve listed above. 2. That said … it is absolutely correct, as well, that a coach does not physically put the ball in the basket, or stop the opponent from doing likewise. 3. That said … it is also the case that each player’s job is made more difficult by working for a coach who is not in the elite level category.
          As food for thought …
          Think for a minute of a teacher, mentor, or coach [etc.] that you have had in your own life who you actually believe fit into the elite level category … and how much easier/better prepared to succeed you felt working under that person’s direction … in comparison with the multitude of other teachers, mentor, or coaches [etc.] that you have had in your own life who you actually believe DO NOT FIT into the elite level category [i.e. that fit instead into the large numbers involved with being just above average, average, just below average, or poor at doing something]. It is the rare coach who is capable of creating this type of environment in which to learn and perform.

          • Aug 4, 201110:49 pm
            by Laser

            it’s not easy for me to keep track of all the regular commenters around here (who makes sense, who to take seriously, who to dismiss as a joker, etc.), but in the span of a few comments you’ve ensured i’m never going to forget to take anything you say with a grain of salt the size of a house. a good sized house.
             
            red auerbach couldn’t have coached this team to 41 wins.

          • Aug 4, 201111:31 pm
            by khandor

            @ Laser,
            Never mind what a legendary coach like Red Auerbach might well have been able to do with the Pistons’ roster of players from last season … I would simply suggest to you that a “very good” contemporary coach, like Nate McMillan, might well have been able to extract 41 wins from this out-fit:
            POR vs DET;
            PG, Miller vs Stuckey;
            OG, Matthews vs Hamilton [or McGrady, or Daye];
            SF, Batum vs Prince;
            PF, Wallace vs Wallace [or Villanueva];
            C, Aldridge vs Monroe;
            —————————–
            G, Roy [inj.] vs Gordon;
            F, Fernandez vs McGrady [or Daye]
            PF/C, Camby vs Wilcox [or Wallace, or Maxiell, or Villanueva]
            if he had been Detroit’s coach, instead of John Kuester.

          • Aug 5, 20119:01 am
            by neutes

            Miller>Stuckey
            Matthews>Rip
            Batum/G.Wallace>Prince/Mcgrady
            Aldridge>Villanueva
            Camby>Monroe
            Roy/Fernandez>Gordon
             
            Nate McMillan had a better player at every single position.

          • Aug 5, 20111:25 pm
            by khandor

            @ neutes,
            If you happen to be someone whose evaluation of players is driven by a stats-only examination of ability, then, I can certainly see how you might think that the Blazers’ rotation was better than the Pistons’ at each of the 5 positions. However, if you are not someone who fits into this category, then, it might well be the case that the Blazers’ rotation was not really THAT much better than the Pistons’ at very many of the 5 positions at all …
            1. PG – Miller => Stuckey;
            2. OG – Matthews => Hamilton;
            3. SF – Batum < Prince;
            4. PF – Wallace > Wallace;
            5. C – Aldridgre > Monroe;
            ——————
            6. Combo – Roy [inj.?] <= Gordon;
            7. Forward – Fernandez <= McGrady;
            8. Big – Camby > Wilcox;
            … and yet, Nate McMillan was still able to get them to compete for the lower tier playoff spots in the WC.

          • Aug 5, 20112:34 pm
            by brgulker

            Yes, if you prefer facts, you might conclude that the Blazers had a better, deeper team than the Pistons.

            But if you prefer baseless speculation, you can easily see why the Pistons were a .500 caliber team.

          • Aug 5, 20114:58 pm
            by khandor

            @ Ben,
            Are individual player statistics the only facts which matter to you? Because it sure seems as though you fall back on this type of “supposed” factual information a great deal of the time when attempting to present your position about which players are actually better than others. For someone who actually played the game at a fairly high level, it would seem that this type of information is the ONLY thing that resonates with you. e.g. Tayshaun Prince has a list of accomplishments in the game of basketball which is fairly extensive and, IMO, it would be a serious mistake in basketball acumen for anyone to think that he is somehow not as good a basketball player at this stage of his career compared to a terrific but-still-youngish player like Nicolas Batum, strictly on the basis of their respective “individual stats”. If the only thing that mattered in the proper understanding of how basketball actually works is “statistical number-crunching, then, there would be no need for any of us to even watch or enjoy the game. Fortunately, however, this is NOT how basketball actually works … as an intricate balance of individual and team, strategy and tactics, etc. The Mavericks did not win the 2011 NBA Championship because they had the best individual stats in the league but because their coach and their players out-manouevred their counterparts on the Miami Heat, in an almost unending series of “individual and team match-ups” … which have yet to be recorded accurately by any of the statistical metrics which have been developed. e.g. If you took Nate McMillan and exchanged him with John Kuester, the Blazers might well have missed the playoffs altogether last season in the WC, while the Pistons could well have qualified for the No. 7 or 8 position in the EC … simply on the basis of their respective methods of communication with their players and their means of maintaining team discipline. If you think that Tayshaun Prince or Richard Hamilton or Rodney Stuckey would have displayed the same attitude they showed last season with Nate McMillan as their coach … instead of someone like Flip Saunders, Michael Curry, or John Kuester then, unfortunately, there is nothing I can ever do to change this mis-perception on your part.

  • Aug 4, 20117:35 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    I think this interview should answer most of the questions the Dumars haters have.

    1) Joe could not take on a dime that entire period.

    2) he got strung along by ownership (which is exactly why Karen Davidson deserved to get booed)

    3) the locker room was four letter word toxic and Joe could not make any changes.

    4) frank was Dumars first choice 

    5) Joe is still learning and new ownership has been helpful in that process. A longer coaching search is now something that Joe will embrace because it shows up any red flags in personality or differences of vision.

    • Aug 4, 201110:52 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      joe couldn’t make any changes? where did this come from? the man himself said he could have made some moves but was severely limited. he could certainly take on expiring contracts and picks. he was allowed to attach a HUGE pick to rip just to be rid of him, and rip isn’t even our worst contract.

  • Aug 4, 201110:11 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    Love this interview.  You get everything from Dumars. 

    Can’t wait until next year. Can’t wait to see what the Dumars haters will be saying.

    Obviously I remain optimistc there will be a next year.

    • Aug 4, 201110:55 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      optimistic there will be a next year?? that doesn’t scratch the surface of your optimism.
       
      i can’t wait to see what happens next year, because i love hearing the excuses everyone can’t stop making for him. when he can’t do shit to fix this roster, it will give me immense pleasure to read how he was given a raw deal somehow and deserves an infinite line of credit. i’m convinced he could brutally rape the grandmothers of all of his flag-wavers and they’d give him a pass.

      • Aug 4, 201111:45 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        @ Laser,
        And, if Brandon Knight eventually develops into a first-class PG in the NBA will you then be saying that “he just happened to drop into Dumars’ lap, in the No. 8 position of the 2011 Draft Lottery”? Or, if Jonas Jerebko eventually develops into a very solid PF? Or, if Austin Daye eventually develops into a very solid SF? Or, if Rodney Stuckey eventually develops into a top flight Combo Guard [i.e. who can function quite well beside either Knight, or Hamilton, or Gordon, depending on the overall system implemented by their coaching staff]? etc. … Will you be saying that Joe Dumars just got lucky, again, and the Pistons are still a long way from ever re-claiming their former perch atop the EC?

  • Aug 4, 201111:17 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    I think he should have taken the high road more.  You can say, yes things were difficult but that’s to be expected given a pending sale.  But he went ahead and threw family of the man who gave him the job under the bus.  I thought Joe D was classier than this.
     
    A comment like, we weren’t able to do some of the deals we would have liked to…but we all knew that was temporary.  We can’t thank the Davidson Family enough for what they’ve done to that point.  He would have looked a lot better in my opinion.
     
    I love the line: a certain power forward with the longest last name of anyone on the team, who’s allergic to rebounding…  I sure hope CV was listening to this interview.

    • Aug 4, 201111:55 am
      by Jason

      Reply

      I don’t see how he was throwing the Davidson’s under the bus.  I think he was showing he had frustration. 

      Dumars has given the Davidson family plenty of praise over the years. 

      I think admitting he screwed up with prior coaching decisions was enough class for that interview.

      • Aug 4, 201112:03 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        Agreed. Joe Dumars did a solid job in this interview, balancing what he could say with what he could not say, including, being humourous/light-hearted wherever possible. With the new regime in place … i.e. Gores, Dumars, and Frank [in the proper order] … expect a player like CV to, either: A. Shape up; or, B. Be shipped out of Detroit.

  • Aug 4, 201112:00 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    it got to the point where he couldn’t “take on a dime” when it came to trying to improve the team.

    Pffft. If he hadn’t porked the franchise in the financial rear in the first place, this would never have been a problem.  

    We are all — including all the naive Dumars defenders — about to learn just how bad the contracts this franchise has are. Charlie V might be tradeable, because he’s 6’11″ and can shoot. There’s a market for him.

    But Rip, Gordon, and Maxiel are awful players at this point on really bad deals.

    And if Stuckey’s resigned at a much higher level than Villanueva, he becomes a toxic contract, too.

    • Aug 4, 201112:09 pm
      by khandor

      Reply

      Ben,
      re: “But Rip, Gordon, and Maxiel are awful players at this point on really bad deals.
      And if Stuckey’s resigned at a much higher level than Villanueva, he becomes a toxic contract, too.”
      If Joe Dumars is eventually able to move [i] Villanueva, [ii] Bynum, [iii] Hamilton and [iv] Maxiell for productive assets, then, resign Prince and Stuckey to reasonable contracts, what will you have to say about the future direction of the Pistons?

      • Aug 4, 201112:12 pm
        by brgulker

        Reply

        If we trade all of our bad players and bad contracts for good players and good contracts, and then follow that up by retaining productive players on reasonable contracts, obviously, we’d be in a good place. 

        The possibility of all of those things happening is the problem.

        • Aug 4, 201112:28 pm
          by Jason

          Reply

          @brgulker

          Can I just ask you that while watching the games last year did you notice at particular times during the season Rip, Charlie, and Gordon had great play.  It wouldn’t last long but it was numerous times for each.

          Do you think maybe with consistent playing time those stretches of great play would come around more for these guys?  Or no?

          • Aug 4, 20112:36 pm
            by brgulker

            Well, I think every player in the NBA is capable of having a good night. Heck, even Summers had a nice game or two, and dude clearly isn’t an NBA talent.

            As far as Rip goes, no, I don’t think he has the capacity to consistently score 15+ ppg (with any efficiency), and that just has to do with age. He’s old. Further, he’s probably only worth 60 games tops. The nagging injuries of the past 2 seasons are likely to continue due to age.

            WRT to Charlie V, well, I’m not optimistic. Dude’s only had one good season (contract year in MIL), and beyond that, he’s been a roller coaster. I just think that’s who he is. He needs to play for a team that can afford to ride him when he’s hot, and bench him when he’s not. We’re not that team, IMHO.

            WRT Ben Gordon, again, his best season was arguably his contract year in CHI. Apart from the beginning of each season in Detroit, he hasn’t shown that he actually is the player he appeared to be in CHI. I think that he needs to be on a team that can and will play him 30 minutes per night, but where he’s not the #1 guy. Again, I don’t think we’re that team.

            Further, I’ll add that I think the inconsistency of these guys is on them, not coaching. Rip’s just old. Charlie’s just streaky and inconsistent. Same goes for Gordon. Coaches can’t cure streak shooting or volume scoring. That’s just the DNA of some players.

          • Aug 4, 20113:01 pm
            by Jason

            So are you saying they were given consitent minutes to prove this last year?

            I get what you are saying and whoever is still here of them three next year will have to prove there worth. But when you are limited by inconsistent minutes it does matter. Not sure how you can disagree with that.

          • Aug 4, 20113:15 pm
            by brgulker

            I wasn’t talking about last year specifically. I think if you look at their careers as a whole (BG, CV), you’ll find them to be very inconsistent players.

        • Aug 4, 20113:24 pm
          by khandor

          Reply

          @ Ben,
          re” Further, I’ll add that I think the inconsistency of these guys is on them, not coaching. Rip’s just old. Charlie’s just streaky and inconsistent. Same goes for Gordon. Coaches can’t cure streak shooting or volume scoring. That’s just the DNA of some players.”
          Bill Walsh was the first elite level coach who I heard speak directly to this myth. According to what Coach Walsh said: “One aspect of what qualifies as good coaching is being able to take an inconsistent player, who is capable of making terrific plays every once in a while, and turning that player into a consistent great performer.”
          IMO, this is precisely what Bill Walsh did with Jerry Rice … through a combination of: i. Having a great eye for real talent, in the first place; ii. Having the ability to instruct and teach others how to perform a skill at a high level; iii. Having the ability to challenge and hold players accountable for their performance; iv. Having the ability to create a focused and fun environment where each person’s individual role is made clear within the Team Concept; and, v. Having the ability “to connect” with each individual on the team.
          Great coaching just doesn’t happen by accident; and, neither do great players and great teams.

          • Aug 4, 20113:39 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            OK, I’m trying to stay out of the fray on this, but I can’t. This is craziness.

            “According to what Coach Walsh said: “One aspect of what qualifies as good coaching is being able to take an inconsistent player, who is capable of making terrific plays every once in a while, and turning that player into a consistent great performer.””

            Hmm … it’s interesting that a coach would place a lot of emphasis on the value of coaching. That’s a shocking revelation.

            “IMO, this is precisely what Bill Walsh did with Jerry Rice”

            Ignoring the irrelevance of comparing football to basketball, Jerry Rice very well might be the hardest working, most self-motivated athlete not named Jordan of all-time. We’re talking about Charlie Villanueva. I don’t know how to quantify this, but I would guess, since Villanueva looks basically the same now as he did when he was a NBA rookie, that he doesn’t work particularly hard. Usually players who work hard have, you know, muscles.

            So coaching one of the most talented football players of all-time and one of the most self-motivated athletes of all-time is just a tad easier than coaching the first player in NBA history to Tweet during a game.

            “Great coaching just doesn’t happen by accident; and, neither do great players and great teams.”

            John Kuester isn’t a bad coach. He’s a bad communicator. John Kuester knows more about basketball than you, me, Ben, probably anyone who reads this blog save for Keri Laimbeer. He had a poor roster whose absolute ceiling was maybe finishing .500 and sneaking into the bottom of the playoffs. Now, there are certainly aspects he did a terrible job at — keeping harmony in his locker room, communicating the roles he expected veterans to play and he seemed to discipline different players differently. Those are all legit reasons he was fired. But to think Lawrence Frank, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Bill Laimbeer, Vince Lombardi, whoever the effe you want to throw in there, would’ve fared all that much better with that roster is crazy.

            Great coaching doesn’t exist without great talent.

          • Aug 4, 20114:01 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            re: CV vs Jerry Rice
            Did you read the part where I said that “Having a great eye for real talent, in the first place,” is one of the MOST important aspects of what actually qualifies as good coaching?
            Bill Walsh actually identified that Jerry Rice had the skill-set which you described accurately, when coming out of tiny Alcorn St … as so many other GMs/coaches passed him by. Without Bill Walsh doing that which an elite level coach can do … Jerry’s terrific talent might well have never been developed in the way that it was allowed to flourish in San Francisco.
            Unfortunately, CV is not in the Jerry Rice category.
            IMO, CV is capable of being: i. A limited usage role player [offensively focused only] for a top team in the NBA; or, ii. A quasi-star player on a BAD team in the NBA; or, iii. A non-NBA player, altogether.

          • Aug 4, 20114:08 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Rice went to Mississippi Valley State.

            And ‘eye for talent’ would have zero to do with this discussion about Pistons coaching. The Pistons have a front office and basketball ops staff that does that. Walsh was a coach/GM, so eye for talent was obviously important for him. It’s much less important for the Pistons coach since that person will have minimal input into who is on the team.

            This whole digression just makes absolutely no sense. It’s a poor example that does nothing to further your argument.

          • Aug 4, 20114:15 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            re: “John Kuester isn’t a bad coach. He’s a bad communicator. John Kuester knows more about basketball than you, me, Ben, probably anyone who reads this blog save for Keri Laimbeer. He had a poor roster whose absolute ceiling was maybe finishing .500 and sneaking into the bottom of the playoffs. Now, there are certainly aspects he did a terrible job at — keeping harmony in his locker room, communicating the roles he expected veterans to play and he seemed to discipline different players differently. Those are all legit reasons he was fired. But to think Lawrence Frank, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Bill Laimbeer, Vince Lombardi, whoever the effe you want to throw in there, would’ve fared all that much better with that roster is crazy.”
            1. With all due respect … You are certainly entitled to say that you believe John Kuester actually knows more about basketball than you do, yourself; but, you really do have no idea if he actually knows more about basketball than Ben, me, or anyone else who just happens to read this blog.
            2. IMO, great coaches and great players alike … in addition to other non-great players and coaches, as well … will tell you that the items you’ve identified as being “not done well by John Kuester in Detroit,” are some of the FUNDAMENTAL aspects of what qualifies as good coaching, e.g. communication specific roles and maintaining discipline.
            3. Please keep in-mind … I am not saying that any of the other good coaches you listed would have lifted Detroit into the upper echelon of the East; only that the Pistons would have been able to compete effectively for the No. 7 & 8 playoff positions last season, if any of them would have been the coach of last year’s Pistons team.

          • Aug 4, 20114:26 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “With all due respect …”

            I assure you, I’m due none.

            “but, you really do have no idea if he actually knows more about basketball than Ben, me, or anyone else who just happens to read this blog.”

            Are you Michael Curry? I knew it!

            If any of us knew more about coaching in the NBA about Kuester, we would be working in the NBA. And if any of us were working in the NBA, we wouldn’t be having silly, pointless arguments in the comments section of a blog all day. So yes, although I think we have some very intelligent readers, I don’t think that any of us are more knowledgeable about the league or about coaching in in that John Kuester. Kuester might be a boob compared to other NBA head coaches. Compared to any of us though, Kuester wins hands down.

          • Aug 4, 20114:27 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            Thanks for correcting my mistake, re: Alcorn St vs Miss-Valley-St.
            If you don’t like the example I chose to illustrate my point because Jerry Rice was simply a terrific football player and, therefore, nothing like CV, at all … then, perhaps you will like this one better?
            With authentic elite level coaching Robert Horry was able to develop into a highly productive NBA player, despite a slew of physical limitations.
            Whether or not Charlie Villanueva ever develops into a Horry-esque NBA player will be determined by a combination of CV, himself, and the coaching he gets from this point forward.
            PS. Based on what I’ve seen from CV, thus far … in Toronto, Milwaukee and Detroit … it does not seem to be the case that he has what it takes to become a solid starting player in the NBA. If he gets traded to a team like San Antonio, however, he might be salvageable, as an offensively-focused role player, ala Mr. Horry.

          • Aug 4, 20114:37 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            #1. In my eyes … both you and Dan deserve a great deal of respect for running a terrific blog about the Pistons. I could choose to visit any other Pistons blog if I wanted to but the fact is that I choose to spend some of my time here. The two people most responsible for that are you and Dan for operating in a first-class manner! #2. I stand by what I wrote initially, re: John Kuester’s weaknessess, as an NBA head coach. #3. IMO, John Kuester would have done a much better job in Detroit, if 2 of his assistant coaches had not been Brian Hill and Darrell Walker.

          • Aug 4, 20114:59 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            re: “An ‘eye for talent’ would have zero to do with this discussion about Pistons coaching. The Pistons have a front office and basketball ops staff that does that. Walsh was a coach/GM, so eye for talent was obviously important for him. It’s much less important for the Pistons coach since that person will have minimal input into who is on the team.
            This whole digression just makes absolutely no sense. It’s a poor example that does nothing to further your argument.”
            ————————–
            If a GM has a great eye for real talent but the team’s head coach does not share that same great eye for real talent, AND then also have the ability to place that real talent into the proper/most effective roles on the team, then, unfortunately, both the team and the individual players are going to suffer, as a result.
            [PS. Conversely, when a coach like Nate McMillan is running your team on a day-to-day basis then you are still able to compete effectively, if/when you have to trot out an unusual line-up  that looks like this: 1st Unit: PG - Andre Miller, OG - Wes Matthews, SF - Nic Batum, PF - Gerald Wallace, and C- LaMarcus Aldridge; and, 2nd Unit: Brandon Roy [inj.?], Rudy Fernandez and Marcus Camby [inj.] … and is over-populated with wing players and a lack-of-depth in the traditional “Big” positions.]

        • Aug 4, 20113:30 pm
          by khandor

          Reply

          @ Ben,
          re: “If we trade all of our bad players and bad contracts for good players and good contracts, and then follow that up by retaining productive players on reasonable contracts, obviously, we’d be in a good place.
          The possibility of all of those things happening is the problem.”
          Based on his track record, as a GM in the NBA … vs the track record of the other 29 GMs in the league today … the possibility of “all those things happening” for the Pistons is, in fact, greater WITH Joe Dumars as the team’s GM compared to all the others except for RC Buford, Mitch Kupchak, Pat Riley, Danny Ainge and Donnie Nelson.

  • Aug 4, 201112:05 pm
    by matt

    Reply

    I just hope we see a flurry of moves once the lockout is lifted…I’d like to see at least half the team turned over. Anyone not named Monroe, Jerebko, or Knight is fair game in my eyes. Bynum can stay as the backup point.

    Some team wants Daye? Sure! He’d fit in great in Phoenix. Ben Gordon? Ok, make me an offer, Milwaukee. Can I interest you in a late-model Maxiell? He’s got low mileage. (I’m looking at you, Miami.) Hamilton’s gotta go. (Cleveland, are you still on the line? Hello? Anyone?) Tay and Mcgrady should move on. Ben should retire. Let’s cash in Stuckey for something/anything. Charlie’s contract might be too long but the dollars aren’t totally crazy. He could be swapped for someone with equally raunchy dollars.

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