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Pistons hire Phil Jackson to advise on coaching search

Earlier today, I wrote about Tom Gores ‘looking to put his stamp on’ the Pistons coaching hire. It didn’t take long to learn what that meant. Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

Tom Gores’ vow to use every available resource to restore the Pistons to greatness has led him to Phil Jackson, who has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity in the franchise’s search for a head coach.

“Phil Jackson is a friend and one of the best minds in the business,” Gores said. “We are thrilled to have him as an adviser as we make some very important decisions for this franchise. Joe (Dumars) and I discussed this and he and I are in full agreement that this is a great opportunity.”

“Phil Jackson and Tom Gores are friends,” said Mark Barnhill, a partner in Platinum Equity, Gores’ California-based private equity firm. “Based on that relationship, Phil has agreed to provide advice and counsel on the coaching search and immediate basketball needs. He will be in Detroit next week as a resource to Joe Dumars, who is leading the search.

Phil Jackson’s presence might be meaningless – a way to spread wealth from a billionaire to a millionaire friend, a Hollywood show designed to excite fans. I’m not one to tell Tom Gores how to spend his money, especially when it doesn’t affect the NBA’s salary cap, but that seems like a waste. No fan will spend any more money on the Pistons simply because they hired Jackson for a few-week or few-month job.

But maybe Jackson will have a real role in the search. If that’s the case, this could get very counterproductive.

Reportedly, Gores hired Lawrence Frank over Mike Woodson, despite Dumars preferring Woodson. I can’t imagine the Pistons hiring Frank unless Dumars at least liked him, but Dumars’ preference to a coach succeeding with the Knicks over one just fired by the Pistons should give Dumars more leeway in this coaching search.

Hiring coaches is Dumars’ job, and if Gores can’t trust him to do it, he should just fire him now. If Dumars actually wants Jackson on board as an advisor – see Langlois’ article for a boilerplate quote from Dumars about looking forward to working with Jackson – that’s one thing, but Dumars is basically forced to respond that way whether he supports adding Jackson or not.

What does this mean about the Pistons’ next coach?

If Jackson is a figurehead, nothing.

If he’s involved, I’d still call Nate McMillan the favorite, but former Jackson assistant Brian Shaw certainly has a better shot.

Or maybe Jackson will pull a Dick Cheney and hire himself. In that case, ignore all my negative concerns and check back for my post praising the big-thinking Gores.

82 Comments

  • May 2, 201311:44 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    wow, awesome job making a huge story sound like absolutely nothing. Congrats

    • May 3, 201312:04 am
      by Jerrific

      Reply

      He kinda has a point. Unless Joe D is on the way out, this just seems counter-productive. It undermines his authority and shows a lack of faith in his ability. Really, the only way this makes sense is if Phil is coaching, Joe is going, or as a publicity stunt. 
       

      • May 3, 201312:46 am
        by mike

        Reply

        Did you read the press release? Joe is on board with the move, and said he looked forward to working with him. 

        How in the world could adding one of the best bball minds of all time to your front office ever be deemed counter-productive?

        Thats the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. Adding Phil means we now have 2 great basketball minds working together instead of just 1. Whats counter-productive about that?

        Just getting Phil into the organization is probably the most productive move this franchise has made since trading for Rasheed. (outside of drafting Drummond/Monroe)

        This is a HUGELY productive move. I can’t see how getting Phil Jackson into your organization could ever be counter-productive. Thats basketball blasphemy..

        • May 3, 20132:54 am
          by Vince

          Reply

          You need to stop buying into the media hype. If anything this is a publicity stunt to entice FAs or coaches to come to Detroit. Need I remind what happened what happened when we brought in an “expert” to help with the coaching hire? I’ll refresh your memory: 2011. Cheketts. He worked for the Knicks and essentially poached Woodson from our hands. HE convinced Gores to hire Frank and not Woodson. HE is the reason we got stuck with a shitty coach for two years. HE is the reason why Woodson is in New York. Everyone in the NBA has an agenda. Jerrific and Dan are right. This move doesn’t necessarily mean anything. 

          • May 3, 20132:55 am
            by Vince

            Need I remind you what happened last time we brought in an “expert” to help with the coaching hire?** 

             

          • May 3, 20133:50 am
            by Jon

            11 championships in 20 seasons gives phil all the hype he’ll ever need. you can’t overstate that kind of dominance

          • May 3, 20134:27 am
            by mike

            Are you really suggesting that Dave Checketts came in and sabotaged our coaching search in 2011?

            yeah…ok…he formulateded an elaborate plot to infiltrate the Pistons organization,  make sure they hire anyone but Mike Woodson, and then get the Knicks (of whom he did NOT work for then or after) to hire Woodson as an assistant instead. Knowing that later that year D’Antoni would be fired and then his master plan would be complete when Woodson  then takes over as the Knicks HC and savior. LOL

            A coach who btw is on the verge of possibly being the 1st coach ever to lose a series up 3-0.

            yep, I bet he did all of that to get the great Mike Woodson in place as the Knicks HC. smh

            Checketts chose Frank because he didn’t know what he was doing, not because he was trying to sabotage us. There’s a big difference between Dave Checketts and Phil Jackson – the greatest coach of all-time. I think its safe to say Phil knows a little more about coach’s than Dave Checketts

             

          • May 3, 20136:01 am
            by oats

            @ mike. I agree on the Checketts thing. Checketts has been rumored to be trying to get back into being a GM, so for him to intentionally sabotage a consulting gig seems ludicrous. That said, when it comes to the press release, Dumars had absolutely no other response he could feasibly give. If he came out and publicly questioned his owner’s decision making he’d hurt not only his ability to keep his job, but also his ability to get a new one. No one wants to hire the guy that throws his owner under the bus. So Dumars has to come out in support of this decision. That press release about him looking forward to working with Phil doesn’t mean he actually is looking forward to working to Phil, just that he knows he has to say he is.
             
            As for the 2 minds thing, well, they both seem to have different takes on basketball and that can be counter productive. Especially if Dumars feels like his job is being threatened by having Phil on board. Jackson is a really high profile dude and it seems logical for Dumars to worry about that. Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m generally in favor of this development, but I understand the skepticism about it.

          • May 3, 20137:40 am
            by tarsier

            I’m not worried about what did or didn’t happen with Checketts. But let’s just be clear on something. Phil Jackson is no greatest coach of all time. He did extraordinarily well getting phenomenal teams to live up to their potential.

            But he has never had to make due with a weak roster. He has never built up a team or gotten more fight than anyone saw coming out of a scrappy underdog. He has never brought in mediocre role players or castoffs from other teams and turned them into major contributors for a good team. Basically, he has walked into the settings that every other coach can only dream of and has managed to not mess it up.

            Give me Poppovich over Jackson any day. 

          • May 3, 20135:34 pm
            by mike

            Its funny that the greatest coach of all-time might also be the most underrated coach of all-time. Because ppl just refuse to acknowledge his greatness as a coach. None of those teams he took over could win before he became HC, and none of them won anything after he left. Phil is a n amazing coach, he just doesn’t get credit because he had great players. But those players never won anything without him. Think about that. If it was all Jordan, why Collins ride Jordan to a few championships? Why didn’t Shaq/Kobe win any championships before Phil? Did you ever think its because Phil MADE them into the great players they became, and he developed them into champions?

            I laugh whenever this gets brought up, as if Phil just sat there on the sidelines in games and watched, and had nothing to do with how his teams were put together and prepared. Its still a team game. Jordan was the greatest all time, but at his best only avg 35 ppg. The Bulls weren’t beating teams 35-34. In other words, it takes a great coach to orchestrate a team, not just 1 player scoring 30 pts.

            And you can have Popovich, and enjoy getting owned in the playoffs by Phil, as he owned Popovich his entire career.

             

        • May 4, 201312:40 am
          by jerrific

          Reply

          @mike, I seriously doubt this is “the most ridiculous thing (you’ve) ever heard.” In fact, if you follow the Pistons in any capacity you’ve heard far more ridiculous in the past few years. 

          As others have already stated, Joe D has no choice but to give that type of answer. Either he’s on board with the decision, or he isn’t but he has to react that way for the sake of his job. Also, just because Phil was is a great coach (and seriously, people doubt that?) doesn’t mean it will translate into being a good “adviser”/decision maker in terms of basketball personnel. He has literally no track record in these kinds of matters. Furthermore, it begs the question of how much sway Phil’s opinion holds with Gores. If Phil and Dumars disagree, who does Gores listen to? I suppose there could be a conflict of interest with Phil looking for a GM job somewhere, but I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory’s. I just question the basketball reasons behind this. I don’t really see what Phil can offer in an advisory position that they couldn’t already receive from available resources. If this was purely for basketball reasons, why even have a press conference about it? To me, it seems like a pure media move to create some hype for what is otherwise a completely irrelevant franchise this time of the year. 

  • May 2, 201311:46 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    Love the Cheney reference.

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/11/a-history-of-vice-presidential-picks-from-the-pages-of-time/slide/2000-dick-cheney/

     
    What does this mean for Hunter and McMillan who interviewed prior to Phil Jackson being part of the selection committee?
     
    Brian Shaw was an assistant coach for the Lakers/Jackson and Kobe Bryant wanted Shaw as Jackson’s replacement, not Mike Brown. Does this have an impact on the coaching selection, since Jackson is a consultant?
     
    I only see this as a win-win for Dumars. He gets to absolve himself again from the final coaching decision in this off-season. This one is on Gores-Jackson, similar to in 2011 when Gores- Checketts reportedly made the decision on Lawrence Frank. Maybe Phil (Lakers) will get the Pistons to pass on the best candidate and the Lakers will swoop in and hire said candidate, like Checketts (Knicks) did with Mike Woodson.
     

    • May 3, 20138:01 am
      by Tony J

      Reply

      Hearing from reports, Brian Shaw showed no interest in the Pistons job. Maybe having Phil come in can convince Shaw to interview for the gig.

  • May 2, 201311:52 pm
    by tommy t

    Reply

    I’m sure Joe is super psyched about this. What’s not to love about your boss hiring somebody else to do your job because you apparently suck at it.?

    • May 3, 201312:50 am
      by mike

      Reply

      You’re an idiot. So Joe admitting he’s not perfect in every aspect of being GM and asking for help is somehow a bad thing?

      I guess Drummond seeking help from Hakeem means he’s worried about Slava stealing his job. LOL 

      • May 3, 20132:59 am
        by Vince

        Reply

        Are you supposed to be the new Brandon Knight/I HATE FRANK/Jodi Jezz? Because you sure sound like you have no idea what basketball is.

        • May 3, 20135:05 am
          by Jodi Jezz

          Reply

          Lame can’t use my name…Vince your not the few who truly know about basketball on this site, please don’t say my name like we’re cool…

          • May 3, 201311:52 am
            by Vince

            I never said I was, and neither did I ever say we’re “cool” I was just referencing you because you usually make outlandish remarks.

          • May 3, 20139:54 pm
            by Brandon Knight

            I agree!

      • May 3, 20136:57 am
        by oats

        Reply

        @ mike. Joe probably didn’t make this decision, it almost certainly came from Gores. That makes it very different than the Drummond thing. What’s more, this isn’t Joe trying to get better. It might mean very little, either that they felt Jackson is too good of resource to waste or that they are using him as a figurehead to put a good spin on the coaching search. It also might mean that they think Joe isn’t qualified to run a coaching search, and that lack of faith in his ability to do his job would definitely be threatening to Joe. 
         
        Even if you think Joe did bring in Phil, or if you think Joe is completely on board with it, you should still admit the possibility something else is at play here. I said it above and I’ll repeat it here, Phil is a ridiculously high profile guy to bring in to just be another voice in the room. Given that, it seems relatively likely the team is considering finding a more permanent job for him if Phil wants it. If Phil does stay on, all those people who defend keeping Dumars on the basis of not knowing who to replace him with will not be able to use that to fall back on. It seems possible that this could be the first step in grooming Phil to take over the GM job sooner than later. I don’t think that’s the most likely scenario for what is going on, but it definitely could play out that way.
         
        Before I forget, that insult was not only off target, but it was also inappropriate. Attack the ideas and not the commenter. If the person has a long standing history of making poorly thought out comments then I care about that much less, but I’m unaware of that being the case here. The other exception is if the person is being unnecessarily rude and deciding to respond in a similar fashion. I considered doing that with you just now but thought better of it. But this one is particularly egregious since the idea wasn’t actually dumb.

  • May 3, 201312:41 am
    by Shawn

    Reply

    I can’t help but think this tells me more about Gores than anything else.  This seems like an impulsive move and an effort to give the appearance of control to a process that he doesn’t really understand.  If Gores were more confident I think he would have went in another direction already with managment.  But I have this feeling that he’s not sure about the backlash of removing JoeD.  You don’t bring in your own advisor (at least not publicly) to interfere with the existing management team.  You let the existing management team make their own decisions or you replace them if you feel that they aren’t up to the task. 

    I guess this also could be a public relations move to generate interest in the Pistons for the off season.  Still, it seems like phrenetic decision making.  And that concerns me.

  • May 3, 201312:47 am
    by Reaction

    Reply

    Maybe Gores is going to hire Phil as GM after the draft and is just keeping Joe around til then

  • May 3, 20131:03 am
    by Scott

    Reply

    You’re kind of a douche.

    i come here on a daily basis to get  my Pistons news filling and you always have a negative tone in your writing. Nothing ever seems good enough. Hope you’re happy.

    Great site though. 

    • May 3, 20132:06 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      If you’re looking the party line, check out Pistons.com. Personally, I appreciate the perspective these guys give because it isn’t so unconditionally positive. A healthy dose of skepticism, especially given this team’s track record over the past 4 seasons, isn’t anything to attack them on. It’d be one thing if this team was consistently making the playoffs/getting past the first round. But this team blows and I’d fully expect Dan and co. to write in a way that reflects this fact.

      • May 3, 20138:11 am
        by Scott

        Reply

        I get it. I’m not someone who just wants positive comments on my team but when you start writing sentences like “a way to spread wealth from a billionaire to a millionaire friend, a Hollywood show designed to excite fans” You sound terribly bitter and well…. Detroit.

        Thats all.

    • May 3, 20137:21 am
      by oats

      Reply

      And we’ve got a new front runner for worst comment on the thread. Congrats Scott. As Desolation Row already pointed out, not having at least a somewhat skeptical view of what Detroit is doing would be pretty strange considering how miserable the team has been the last few years. This site is pretty big on the writers giving their honest assessment to what’s happening with the team, and frankly that’s the kind of approach I want them taking. With a team this bad you have to be willfully avoiding reality to give nothing but rave reviews on everything that is going on. It’s not like this site does nothing but dump on everything. They’ve very consistently praised Drummond, while they though Monroe struggled a bit at adding an outside shot they’ve also been quite fond of him, and they made a really big deal out of pointing how much progress Knight made on defense. I really do think they keep a pretty good balance here. Yeah, there is probably more negative stuff than positive, but that’s going to happen when the team stinks.

  • May 3, 20131:33 am
    by Reaction

    Reply

    FYI I think this is a great move.. who would know a coach that has the potential to be a great coach than a former all-time great coach

    • May 3, 201310:28 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      So Phil Jackson should be able to spot someone who can coach like him?  In other words, Phil can help us find a guy that could win championships if the Pistons were to acquire the next Jordan Pippen/Combo or Kobe/Shaq?  Phil’s track record is great, but it does not at all align with the situation that the Pistons are in.  Phil made deep playoff runs every single year of his career until his first time just getting out in the first round like 12 years in.  Phil’s success, while great, is strongly tied to the talent level of the teams he had.
       
      If this is a publicity stunt and helps attract players or coaches that wouldn’t be on our radar otherwise then great, but I don’t see why there is any reason why Phil is expected to have an eye for a coach that knows how to rebuild.

  • May 3, 20131:37 am
    by Lorenzo

    Reply

    Yeah, as a fan I feel very uneasy about this. The fact they are announcing Jackson as a consultant is certainly a publicity stunt…but apart from that, a name like Jackson (figurehead or not) really undermines Dumars and the front office, or certainly broadcasts that perception.

    As a rebuilding franchise there needs to be a unified direction on the future of the franchise, if you want Dumars to lead let him make the hire and shape the roster, if not release him from his duties ASAP. This seems like Joe operating with one hand tied behind his back. Ultimately I think Joe will be made the scapegoat (win or loose), which isn’t fair to him, the fans, or the franchise. I’m not sure Gores knows what he wants (organizationally), he wants a spectacle for sure, but his posturing only projects splintering at the very top of the organization.  

    • May 3, 20132:03 am
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Joe being the “scapegoat” isn’t fair to him? Who exactly is to blame for the current mess of this roster? Who traded Afflalo for a future second rounder to make room for the marquee FA signing of Ben Gordon? Who signed CV? Who drafted Daye ahead of Ty Lawson? Who hired Kuester and Michael Curry? Who traded Billups for AI and cap room to sign CV/BG?

      Look, I want to keep Joe D around as badly as anyone, but I don’t think it’s necessarily unfair to pin the team’s lack of success on him. If there’s anyone to point to for the team’s failures not named Karen Davidson, it’s Joe D. Certainly not Gores’ fault. 

      • May 3, 20133:29 pm
        by Lorenzo

        Reply

        @Desolation Row…..What T Casey said. This isn’t as much about Dumars as it is about the position of GM/President of Basketball Operations and the unique and unsavory position that it is being put into. Essentially the risk of this situation is that publicly whoever holds the position is making the calls and will be held responsible in lieu… but privately decision are being made by other wings of the executive body. Not only does this hamstring whoever is GM/PBO but it shields the executives who are actually making franchise altering calls at the expense of the PBO. To me that is scapegoating; it’s something no general manager deserves. More importantly it is indicative of a lack of direction on the franchises’ part, you have too many forces drifting to opposing navigable points. What ever the franchise does going forwards needs to ubiquitous and galvanized…it is essential to the positive growth of this team.     

    • May 3, 20136:26 am
      by T Casey

      Reply

      Joe D being held responsible for his many poor decisions over the past few years is completely understandable, but what Lorenzo is referring to is the unique situation at hand. How much power Joe D will actually have in this coaching process with Phil Jackson being brought in to “advise” him is uncertain to all but the parties involved. However, in the event that Joe D does not have the final say in this matter and things don’t go well, he may well still be the one taking the blame for whatever coach we hire. That wouldn’t be a fair situation for anyone to be in.

    • May 3, 201312:21 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      It’s easy to point out all the bad thing that Joe has done lately, but he also has done some very good things also.  He brought in Drummond & Monroe and gave us a huge amount of money to spend in free agency.  It’s easy to look back and say you should have drafted someone else, but it’s a crap shoot every year.

      Most people thought that getting rid of Billups was a good move at the time.  He looked like he was going thru the motions and they weren’t going to win with him leading the ship.  Stuckey came off of a very good rookie year and there was a lot of hope for his future.

      Before all this happened he won a championship and was named GM of the year.

  • May 3, 20131:49 am
    by Gareth Masters

    Reply

    Just appoint yourself already, Phil!!

  • May 3, 20131:50 am
    by Gareth Masters

    Reply

    Or, Phil as GM and Brian Shaw as coach.

  • May 3, 20132:06 am
    by jacob

    Reply

    what’s this really mean? Kinda weirdd

    • May 3, 20139:08 am
      by G

      Reply

      Yeah, that was my thinking. I was wondering if it was a prelude to firing Joe D, but then why would he bring in Jackson prior to firing Dumars? 

      There are a couple of different ways I imagine this going down. Maybe Gores approached Dumars and said something like “I think I can get Phil Jackson to be our coaching search consultant, what do you think?” and Dumars says “Fantastic, he knows these guys well and will add some perspective”. Phil comes in because he’s basically auditioning for his next job as GM, so if he’s able to help the Pistons swing a great hire, he could land in a more favorable position (ie GM of the Knicks instead of the Raptors).

      The other way I see it is Gores thinks maybe if he brings in Phil, he can lure him to take over for Dumars. Dumars sees it this way also but toes the line because he doesn’t want to start crossing his boss while he’s in such a precarious position. Jackson comes in because a) he’s friends with Gores & knows he’s ready to start throwing money around, and b) he ALSO sees an opportunity, and GM of the Pistons is a more favorable job than GM of the Raptors.

      The first scenario is pretty happy-go-lucky, and everyone wins. The second scenario is pretty cut throat, and I’m not sure who wins besides Phil, but Dumars DEFINITELY loses. 

      • May 3, 20139:19 am
        by G

        Reply

        Ok, since Phil apparently isn’t getting paid, he’s strictly auditioning. Does this mean he’s more likely or less likely to steal Joe D’s job? Unclear.

  • May 3, 20132:21 am
    by Tiko

    Reply

    Brian Shaw 

  • May 3, 20132:49 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I am hearing Brian Shaw as the next coach from various sites atm and it kind of makes sense due to the fact that we haven’t got a coach yet. If Indiana goes through to the next round and isn’t eliminated by New York/Boston then Shaw might just be the guy there looking at. I’ll admit that I don’t know about Shaw’s coaching ability or schemes. 

  • May 3, 20133:11 am
    by theicon77

    Reply

    If I was Dumars I would resign. They did not trust him in the last coaching hire and they still don’t trust him now.  What’s the point of staying? Are they going to hire draft experts next to help him with the draft? 

    • May 3, 20133:24 am
      by Gareth Masters

      Reply

      Jonathon Givony is in talks with Gores as we speak haha

      • May 3, 20133:26 am
        by theicon77

        Reply

        I wouldnt be surprised if it was Mel Kiper. 

    • May 3, 20136:37 am
      by T Casey

      Reply

      @theicon77

      I agree. Unless Joe D is fully on board with this decision and it’s actually as harmless as it’s being billed as, It may be better for him to step away from the situation on his own terms than have his power undermined and aptitude for his job questioned and so openly.

  • May 3, 20133:27 am
    by theicon77

    Reply

    Screw it, throw some money at Bill Simmons. 

  • May 3, 20134:03 am
    by domnick

    Reply

    brian shaw , phil jackson, nate mcmillan..

    interesting!

  • May 3, 20135:05 am
    by Gareth Masters

    Reply

    Also, isnt it a bit strange due to the fact Jackson is actively looking for work himself?

    For example if the stuff about moving to the Raptors front office is true, and potentially could be reasonably advanced, there could be a conflict of interest. Directing-us-away-from-a-preferred-candidate type conflict?

    And if the Raptors stuff is not advanced, he could have spoken with numerous other teams and be similarly decided on what he wants to do.

    • May 3, 20135:53 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Good point Gareth

      • May 3, 20136:12 am
        by Gareth Masters

        Reply

        Suppose the plus side is that we have him in and around our organisation for a week, a week to convince him that he could sign on with us and achieve something over the next 3 or so years. Other teams courting him wont have that advantage.

  • May 3, 20135:16 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Sounds like a good plan…Phil as our adviser and Dumars as our GM…If Phil is hired permanently we’ll have a 2-headed beast in our front office…Lets go Pistons!..

  • May 3, 20137:09 am
    by HorsePower

    Reply

    I`ll throw a name out there – Derek Fisher.
    Oh, by the way – some of you guys should let go of the 90`s BAD BOYS memories (i.e. Dumars, Laimbeer and Thomas running or coaching Detroit) and embrace some changes at the PISTONS.
     

    • May 3, 20138:52 am
      by G

      Reply

      Disagree on Fisher, I want a guy who’s at least been an assistant a couple of years & gotten his feet wet. There’s too much to figure out, learning how to be a coach on the fly complicates things further.

      REALLY agree on your second point. Too many people think Laimbeer would be the answer based on some WNBA success and his no BS mentality. Some people even stump for Isiah, which I don’t get at all, since he’s already proven himself a TERRIBLE coach. While Detroit is probably Laimbeer’s only shot at an NBA HC gig, it’s not clear he deserves it. Isiah DEFINITELY doesn’t deserve it, and Dumars has shown no inclination to coach, so I don’t know why people think he would.

    • May 3, 20139:24 am
      by Jeremy

      Reply

      Well that should be relatively easy considering the Bad Boys memories are from the mid to late 80s and many consider the death of the Bad Boys team to be when McCloskey left Mahorn unprotected for the 89 expansion draft. I think that there are relatively few fans who aren’t willing to embrace change within the organization. You don’t let go of your past though. It is what got you here, to this moment. All your decisions and actions lead up to where you are today. The fact of the matter is that the teams that have been the most successful in NBA history all have former players working for them in some capacity in the front office. The vast majority of them played during the NBA’s golden era of the 80′s. That’s like telling Lakers fans they need to let go of the Showtime memories.

      • May 3, 20139:49 am
        by G

        Reply

        I have no problem with remembering the good old days, but I do have a problem when people try to literally resurrect them. A better analogy would be for the Lakers to hire Magic as a GM, and Byron Scott and James Worthy as coaches so they can bring back those Showtime days.

        The league has changed, and trying to bring back Bad Boys basketball in Detroit is a bad idea. Let this new group figure out who they are, don’t try to make them something they’re not. 

        • May 3, 201310:07 am
          by Travis

          Reply

          I agree 100%. If Joe Dumars wasn’t the Pistons GM, Laimbeer’s name would’t be tossed around by fans and the media like it is. I don’t believe in players being inspired by: “Back in my playing days” coaching. 

          A winning team puts fans back in the seats. Not the coach.  

    • May 3, 20131:31 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      agree on fisher.
      i’ve been pounding fisher’s name for a while now and i just think he’s going to be a great coach.  a smart team will lock him up, sooner rather than wait for a line of teams that will compete for his services.
      a smart young coach will hire a couple of veteran assistants and do just fine.  why did phil jackson keep tex winter sitting right next to him on the bench all those years.  daly always had a smart guy like dick harter next to him.   i don’t think mark jackson’s broadcasting experience has had much to do with his success at GS.  he seems to be doing just fine.
      this time, i hope detroit gets a good young coach who will grow with the team, as daly did with the bad boys.
      the one good thing i could see coming out of this phil-as-advisor fiasco is if he pushes a guy like fisher for the job.  jackson has always loved fisher and i could easily see him recommending fisher as an out of the box choice. 

      • May 3, 20131:54 pm
        by G

        Reply

        We’ve talked about Fisher before, but hear me out on this – how many 1st year coaches are successful in their first coaching job? Look at all the coaches that came into a HC job with little or no experience as even an assistant. Outside of a couple player-coaches like Russell, I can’t think of any examples. Almost always those guys struggled with their first HC gig & didn’t put it together until they were on their next team. 

        • May 3, 20134:06 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          you are probably right as far as most guys struggling a bit.
          i would, however, point to a guy like mark jackson as an example of a brand spanking new coach – never been an assistant anywhere – who came in and had success almost immediately.  it happens.  it is just not the norm.
          it is a legitimate concern, no doubt, i just think that on balance, getting a young guy like fisher in place, letting him go through some growing pains and letting the team and its young guys like drummond and monroe and knight grow with him would create an incredibly tight-knit group.  
          if it works.
          imho, the main task of a head coach is distributing playing time.  that was what chuck daly always believed and he was a master at it.  a guy like fisher can come in and with his understanding of players and the flow of games, he could perform that task very well.  
          the head coach also has to manage egos.  
          fisher spent the majority of his nba career playing under phil jackson with the lakers and its ongoing soap operas.  if you look at jackson’s la coaching career and fisher’s playing career it seemed as though jackson wanted fisher around as much as possible.  i’m sure fisher has learned a ton of things about managing players and egos from jackson.   in fact, jackson stated publicly that fisher was his team’s leader, a couple of years ago.  
          imho, that is amazing.  that jackson, speaking about a team with kobe as its best player, could come out and simply announce that fisher was the team’s leader.  
          you can bet that fisher has had plenty of chats with jackson about coaching, handling players and doing what needs to be done to get all of his players going in the right direction.
          a smart coach can always hire his own tex winter.  the smart ones do that.  have a smart assistant coach with a clp board, trust that guys judgment totally, and be willing to take the heat if things don’t work out.  (and you’ll also get the credit when they do, as jackson always has when people talk about stuff like winter’s triangle offense.)
          while the coach handles players and playing time.
          so, yea, there might be one rough year where he does some stupid rookie things, and loses a couple of games.  
          (you really only see how good -or bad – coaches are in playoff series.  the nba season is really about teams putting their systems into place and refining what they do.  but teams rarely deviate from what they do, and little in game coaching like fine adjustments, occur during the course of the 82 game season.  when teams get into playoff series and have to adjust to the other teams and coaches, that is when you really see how good individual coaches are.   some guys can adjust and others cannot.  it is what separates the good coaches who can run up 50-55 wins, and the better coaches who can get to the nba finals.)
          but i’d expect that his ability to move past those glitches will be very strong and soon a lucky team is going to have one of the best young coaches in the nba.  and in a couple of years, when the young pistons will really need a coach who knows how to handle a coaching opponent in a playoff series, fisher will probably be ready.
          and you could probably get him for a bargain price now. 
          so, yes, it is a gamble and the odds are against him being successful here.  but sometimes you have to gamble in order to reap great rewards. 

          • May 3, 20134:14 pm
            by G

            tommy t reminded me of Fisher’s douche-y habit of using his daughter’s illness as an excuse to get released by the team he’s on, then he signs with a contender. He’s done it twice so far, and I want no part of his act.

          • May 3, 20135:08 pm
            by frankie d

            just curious…what makes that a “douche-y” act, or something that marks  him as somehow undesirable?
            he had a contract.  he wanted to get out of his contract.  he was able to work it out with the other party to the contract.
            end of story.
            happens every day.
            contracts are voided, amended, discarded….
            if utah had not wanted to let him out of the contract, they would have held him to it.  they had their own reasons for letting him go, like the fact that they owed 21 million to a guard that was probably not going to be as essential going forward cause they had a bunch of young guards.  same thing with dallas.  dallas could have kept him to his contract, but they decided not to do so.
            teams make decisions on players all of the time.
            i fail to see why it is a bad thing that a player request a certain move, and that he has enough leverage to make it happen.  
            just seems like a smart, assertive move.  exactly the type of thing a good head coach would do. 

          • May 6, 20138:48 am
            by G

            What makes it douche-y is he leveraged his SICK DAUGHTER to get out of his contract obligations. What makes it undesirable is he’s shown that when the going gets tough, he books it for a better situation. If he becomes a HC, I see him pulling some LB shit.

        • May 3, 20135:45 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          @g
          btw, we also have a great example of how the typical rules don’t apply.
          have you forgotten that dumars retired, spent one year away and then was hired on as the guy to not only be a coach but to actually run the franchise.  and that he built a championship within what…5 years.
          if a guy can retire, come in cold and then build a title team without any management experience, why can’t a guy come in and simply execute coaching duties in somewhat the same fashion? 

          • May 6, 20138:52 am
            by G

            GM & coaching are different. Being a GM is mainly talent evaluation, and I’m sure Dumars was at least watching basketball during his year off. Coaching involves many different aspects of the game and I suspect requires a lot more study to get right. Anyway, as you pointed out earlier, the failure of 1st year coaches is more of the TREND than the RULE. And there are always exceptions.

    • May 3, 20133:29 pm
      by tommy t

      Reply

      Fisher has become my least favorite NBA player…seriously. I’ve don’t know of any other player who has used his family as an excuse so many times to get out of contracts, only to turn around and show his true colors.

  • May 3, 20138:24 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I wonder if Phil is pissed at Detroit for denying him a 12th ring. I mean he’d be 12-0 in NBA finals series if we never beat him in 2004. Surely no one could be still bitter about something that happen almost 10 years ago…right??

    • May 3, 20135:39 pm
      by mike

      Reply

      Actually he’d be 12-1 still as the Celtics denied him another in 08. But I don’t think he would have any animosity towards us for winning. If anything I’d think he’d respect us  more for our great history of success vs his teams. That must show him we are a legit franchise worth working for, unlike others like TOR who have nothing to indicate they know how to win.

  • May 3, 20139:48 am
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    As far as the Phil Jackson issue goes, I honestly don’t know what to think of it at the moment. I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory and the Phil/Detroit story has some pretty loose strings that allow for the fabrication of a good conspiracy. Taking it at the face value of the reports, he only is going to be with the organization for a week and I’m not sure that Shaw will have the opportunity to interview if Indy moves on in the playoffs. Also at that level, it seems as though the organization is looking to hire someone within the next week or so.
     
    I for one would probably throw a celebration party (and you’re all invited!) if Phil actually took the coaching gig. I’m not sure that the roster meets what would be needed to run the triangle offense. They need a wing (…that’s an obvious understatement, but they need a legit one even more so if they were to run the triangle). The triangle also requires floor spacing, movement, accurate passing, and fairly intelligent basketball players to know what reads need to be made and what options are available under the offense. 
     
    If it was to go the route of the conspiracy theory that Phil was being groomed for a long term tenure in the front office, I don’t know if Phil has the wherewithal for making personnel decisions. He was the beneficiary of some pretty good GMs over the years and I don’t know how much pull he actually had in any decisions that were made. The other thing to remember is he is just as much to blame for the Kobe-Shaq debacle as those two were. The current roster still consists of guys who were insubordinate during the Kuester coaching reign and Phil’s history doesn’t offer kind evidence that he could handle that type of a situation very well.

    • May 3, 20139:58 am
      by G

      Reply

      Agree with your first couple of points, although I think Singler would thrive in the triangle.

      Really disagree with your last point. Yeah, Phil egged on the Shaq-Kobe rivalry (which was already there), but he did it as a motivational tool to get them both to play even harder. It ended up blowing up mainly because Shaq’s skills were slipping, Kobe was taking over the alpha-dog role, and Shaq’s ego couldn’t take it. 

      Also remember, that Lakers team was totally disfunctional when Phil came in. They should’ve already won a title the year before, only they couldn’t work together. I think Phil’s history shows he handles disfunction very well.

  • May 3, 201310:17 am
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    I am a big fan of Joe D but his record for picking coaches isn’t award winning. If you own a team I don’t see what is wrong with using high caliber help to do a job, it just shows me that you are trying hard to get it right.

    • May 3, 201312:02 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Joe won a championship with one coach, won 60 games with another and made the Pistons relevant again with Carlisle.  I would say that’s a pretty good record.

      It was the ownership that made him get rid of those coaches.  After winning the championship and lots of games with Flip, I think Joe that that it didn’t matter who was coach, that the players were all you needed.  After losing Big Ben and Chauncey, they didn’t have enough of a team to offset a bad coach.

      Frank was not someone that Joe wanted to hire either, so out of the 6 coaches he hired only 2 that were his choices were bad.

  • May 3, 201311:07 am
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    Shame they cant just hire Jackson, if Gores and him are so buddy-buddy.

    • May 3, 20135:41 pm
      by mike

      Reply

      Agreed. It almost makes you wonder if this whole thing started with Gores trying to get Phil to be our next coach, but when Phil refused, he offered to help Gores find another coach instead “as a favor” to make up for turning him down.

       

  • May 3, 201312:10 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Bringing in Phil to help in picking the next coach is a good idea as long as it’s just as an advicer.

    I would hate to find out we ended up with another bad coach, that everyone is going to be complaining about for the next couple of years and then find out that Joe wanted someone else, but got over-ruled by either Gores or Phil.

  • May 3, 201312:22 pm
    by Brian

    Reply

    This reminds me of what Golden State is doing with Jerry West as an advisor. It seems to be working for them so far. I don’t understand why Phil is not getting paid though. Perhaps (and hopefully) this is his introduction as a long term advisor for the Pistons that he gets paid for. 

  • May 3, 20131:23 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    the west comparison is just not applicable, imho.
    west has made his name.  his reputation is establlshed and he doesn’t need to do anything more in order to walk off into the sunset as a legend both on and off the court.  according to everything i’ve read, west does not want another full time gm’s job.
    jackson, on the other hand, is actively seeking exactly the kind of job joe dumars has here in detroit.  he is like the broadway actor who hopes the guy he’s understudy for gets walking pneumonia.  
    the GS gm has little reason for insecurity.  dumars, on the other hand, would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the danger lurking behind the curtain.
    no matter what the truth behind the move, this sucks for joe.  in even the best possible interpretation – that phil is just here to provide sage advice on guys he may know around the league – it doesn’t make any sense for the situation to be handled this way.  if gores really just wanted jackson’s voice to be heard, why not just talk to joe, give joe phil’s private email address and cell phone number and let them have an open line of communication, to be used as needed.
    why announce, for the whole world, that phil jackson is coming in to actually sit down and “advise” your current gm, especially after it has become well-known that you did essentially the same thing that last time you had to hire a coach?  
    i cannot fathom any person in any business in joe’s position who would welcome that kind of presence.  in fact, whenever i’ve seen something of that sort happen, it has usually been the first step that eventually leads to the guy in joe’s position leaving.  either because he eventually gets fed up because he feels his authority is undermined.  or because his boss has been rather obviously laying the groundwork for his forcible dismissal.
    the only good thing, from joe’s perspective, is that it gives him another opportunity to survive, if this coaching hire flops.  just as everyone knows that frank was not his hire and therefore he was not really responsible for him, he can play that same card with this new coach, if it turns out poorly.
    personally, it is hard to imagine why a guy with joe’s credentials would want to remain in such a situation, but if that was your goal, if he just wants to stay here, because of inertia, or whatever, then bringing in a guy like jackson, to “advise” will provide him with another excuse, if it doesnt work out. 

  • May 3, 20131:38 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    This is outrageous. Don’t hire someone to help Dumars do his job. Hire someone to DO Dumars’ job.
     
    This organization is broken.

    • May 3, 20134:08 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      @otis
      this might be a slowmotion way to actually do exactly that.  it may be gores way of making that happen.
      i think it sucks and is very inefficient.  but it is hard to imagine what he is trying to do, if he is not trying to ease dumars out.

  • May 3, 20136:01 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    Good news of TX
     http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–spurs-top-assistant-mike-budenholzer-in-running-for-pistons–head-coaching-job-200014850.html

  • May 4, 201312:57 am
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    California Douche Bag Gores (CDBG).  He’s out there in Cali wheeling and dealing, undermining his GM when we need to be on firm ground, for both the draft and free agent period.  What a move, what professionalism! Gores is a bitch!

  • So Gores is no good because he  is tired of losing and having no one see his project and all the coaches lately have been a joke ? Only good things can happen and now Joe  will try harder because he knows his job is more than likely on the line.

    • May 5, 20137:02 pm
      by Rodman4Life

      Reply

      You must be young, huh? This isn’t how you treat a grown man with respect. If you have a valuable, talented employee, then you treat him/her with respect. If they are no longer performing to your standards, then you create performance standards and/or fire them. To show professionalism, you man up and choose one of these routes with transparency, you don’t undermine the person and create a circus. Tired of losing does’t mean you have to behave so immaturely. And yes, it can get much worse.

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