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Tom Izzo on Pistons coaching rumors: ‘Never say never’

Tom Izzo on a report the Pistons will chase him, via ESPN:

"There’s been so many rumors over the years," the Michigan State coach said on ESPN’s "SportsCenter" on Tuesday. "I look at people I used to recruit against years ago [that] said that I’d be gone, but I’m still here and some of those schools have had three different coaches.

"I’ve always said I’d never say never to anything because you never know what it brings. But I got so much more work to do here. I have a great president, a great AD and a football coach that I really get along [with]. So this is a pretty good place for me right now. We’re in a pretty good spot. Program’s in pretty good shape.

"Ain’t broke, so why fix it?"

You can read my thoughts at ProBasketballTalk.

Tom Gores expected to chase Michigan State coach Tom Izzo

Sam Amick of USA Today on Pistons owner Tom Gores:

One name he’s expected to go after is Tom Izzo at Michigan State.

You can read my thoughts at ProBasketballTalk.

Tom Gores to determine Joe Dumars’ fate quickly once season ends

David Mayo of MLive:

Whether there is a front-office overhaul or not, Gores said it not a decision that will be allowed to fester.

“Yeah, after the season, we’re going to address it right away,” he said.  “We have to.  We have to let the season play out, then we’ve got to get it done.”

“I feel it was the right thing to do and I feel good about it,” Gores said in his first public comments on the firing, save for a press release.  “This is a very young team, a very young team.  So we have to put them in a position grow as much as possible, and I felt like they were not in a position to grow as much as possible.  So I feel good about it.”

Gores said interim coach John Loyer is “doing a great job,” even if that hasn’t been reflected in the standings.

“The team is better than their record,” Gores said.  “They just are.  They’re better than their record.  So I wouldn’t say they didn’t respond.  I would say that they’re just doing their best right now.  I believe in these guys.  I believe in this team.”

You can read my thoughts at ProBasketballTalk.

Isiah Thomas still bitter about Karl Malone’s cheap-shot elbow

Isiah Thomas on Karl Malone elbowing him in the face, via Terry Foster of The Detroit News:

“I think it was the dirtiest play I have experienced in the game of basketball in my life,” Thomas said of the play, which happened on a Pistons pick-and-roll with Malone rotating to cover the middle. “I don’t think I’ve seen anything as vicious and as intentional to a player. I still don’t understand it.”

“It was horrific,” Thomas said. “That was the cheapest (bleep) in my mind in the history of the game.”

You can read my thoughts at ProBasketballTalk.

Ben Wallace receives one-year jail sentence, will serve two days


Former NBA and Virginia Union University basketball star Ben Wallace entered a plea of no contest after he was arrested Tuesday for leaving the scene of a February car crash.

Wallace received a one year jail sentence.

The Henrico County judge suspended all but two days of the sentence. Wallace started serving his two day sentence Tuesday.

The previously reported details weren’t pretty. Wallace’s previous arrest wasn’t pretty, either.

I just hope Wallace turns things around and still finds a way to pursue the career as a lawyer he always wanted. This won’t make it any easier, though.

Greg Monroe channels Rasheed Wallace

James Herbert, writing for SB Nation, has a great profile on something I think everyone is curious about — what is coach Rasheed Wallace like? Although ‘Sheed himself isn’t doing interviews these days, plenty current Pistons players as well as former player Amir Johnson have great insight on Wallace’s coaching style and abilities. By far the best part, however, is the end:

A reporter approaches and Monroe deadpans that he won’t be taking questions. The reporter comes back with some sound logic: he’s already talking.

“Both teams played hard,” Monroe says.

The reporter laughs and mentions Wallace’s name. Monroe repeats himself: “Both teams played hard.”

Another reporter gives it a go: “You had a double-double, did you know that?”

Before deciding to sit down and answer questions in earnest, Monroe makes eye contact with the second reporter.

“Both teams played hard,” Monroe says.

You might remember that from such classic press conferences as this one:

Seriously, if we finish this season with Monroe as the new Rasheed Wallace when it comes to giving amazing quotes, then this season is a success.

“Bad Boys” 30-for-30 to air April 17 on ESPN

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated:

In an interview with SI.com this week, ESPN Films vice president and executive producer Connor Schell said a documentary on Detroit’s championship years titled "Bad Boys" will air on April 17 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. More than 40 people were interviewed for the film, including 10 members of the championship Pistons teams as well as opposing players such as Jordan. Following the film, ESPN will immediately air a one-hour discussion on the Bad Boys era that will be hosted by Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose. ESPN NBA analyst Doug Collins will also appear along with several Pistons players from that era.

Something NBA fans will be excited about, according to Cocoros, is Thomas talking about Bird’s famous steal in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals in 1987. That story has been documented often from the Celtics side but rarely have viewers heard from Thomas and other Detroit players about it. "Isiah lives and breaths this stuff," said Cocoros. "His memory and recollection on how things went down and what he knows about this team is amazing."

Cocoros said he discovered never-before-seen footage of the team inside the locker room before and after games, as well as compelling footage of Daly’s huddles. Daly passed away in 2009, but Cocoros said viewers will feel his presence throughout the film. "You will hear how the players talk about Chuck and what a father figure he was for these guys and the way he handled himself," said Cocoros. "He’s not around to talk about the team but you don’t miss him at all in the film. He comes across as truly the guy who tied it all together."

I planned to watch this regardless. Nearly ever 30-for-30 I’ve seen has been excellent, and one on the Pistons certainly piques my interest.

But documentaries like these sometimes bore diehard fans of the subject, which would probably describe a large number of this site’s readers. We’re already so familiar with the topic, and the show is packaged for a wider audience, that no new information is revealed.

But that doesn’t seem like it will be the case here at all.

I’ve gone from intrigued to on the edge of my seat waiting for this to air. It’s great that Pistons will have something to look forward to after the regular season ends April 16.

Pistons’ reliance on terrible Josh Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond lineups confuses me

Me at ProBasketballTalk:

The Pistons use Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond more than 18 minutes per game, a solid chunk of playing time for arguably the team’s top three players.

“We want to get our best players on the floor together, and that’s just the way we do it,” Loyer said.

Makes sense.

Except Detroit has been terrible in the 1,140 minutes the trio has shared the court.

With those three, Detroit’s net rating is -7.5. Of the 43 threesomes to play together so much this season, only one has been worse and just two others are even in the range.

Teams typically don’t stick with something that isn’t working this long – at least when they’re trying to win.

You can read the rest of my thoughts here.

Brandon Jennings says Pistons players don’t hold each other accountable

Me at ProBasketballTalk:

Do the Detroit Pistons hold each other accountable?

“No,” Brandon Jennings said directly.

You can read the rest of the post here.

Andre Drummond, aspiring pick and roll smotherer

As with any Q and A Zach Lowe does, you should go read his entire chat with Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley on Grantland. But if you’re looking for a cool Pistons-related piece, Lowe was talking with Conley about big men who are great at defending pick and rolls, and Andre Drummond’s name came up:

Flip it the other way. When you’re running a pick-and-roll on offense, which defender concerns you more: the point guard covering you, or the big man covering the screener and helping on you?

The bigger concern is the big guy, and then the help-side defense. That’s what I’m reading most of the time. I trust my big guy to get me open with the pick, so I’m more worried about their man and the guys coming to the weak side — so that I know who I might be able to hit with a pass, or if I might have the opportunity to score myself.

Which big man has given you the most trouble in your career?

I always thought Kevin Garnett was the best. He probably still is. Andre Drummond is pretty good at it.

That’s a surprising name to hear.

Oh, he’s long, and he’s so quick with his hands. He’s really agile.

He does get a lot of steals.

Yep. You have to watch for that every time you come off of pick-and-rolls.