The Detroit Pistons have become irrelevant. That is the worse crime that a sports team can make. The entire Detroit sports fan base doesn’t seem to care about that team anymore. We see that in the empty seats at the Palace every time the Pistons play a home game and I can prove it by this one simple fact- this is a Detroit Sports website and we do not have a Detroit Pistons tab on our home page. That is because nobody cares. This is a bad team that has made numerous questionable decisions and new owner Tom Gores is taking a page out of the Detroit Lions play book…it can’t be Joe Dumars’ fault. No way!…not Joey D!…stay the course! Well friends, we saw how an attitude like that worked out for our Lions.
Sure for people my age Joe Dumars is a legend. #4, the guy who locked down Michael Jordan and helped lead the Bad Boy Pistons to back-to-back world championships. He is a former executive of the year and his stewardship of the Pistons has netted another NBA title. However, in the world of sports, the question always is…”What have you done for me lately?” The last Pistons championship was 9 years ago. Think about how long a time span that is. Since the last time the Pistons won an NBA title, I have had a complete failed marriage, raised a seven year old kid, and built a writing career. That entire time I have mostly ignored the Detroit Pistons because they just weren’t relevant. And no, my seven year has not been to a single Pistons game. He’s been to many Tigers games and many more Toledo Mud Hens games but not the Pistons…see the point?
Now a desperate team looking to make some headlines hires Phil Jackson to help with the coaching search. Which means Gores does not trust Dumars to do it himself, and why should he? Since stepping into the Pistons front office prior to the 2000-01 season, Dumars has hired seven head coaches. None of them lasted much more than two seasons (save Flip Saunders). We can cut Dumars a break since it was the former Pistons owner who stepped in and fired Larry Brown but Dumars has consistently shown that he is unable to find the right guy to coach this team. So in desperation, the Pistons hire Jackson to get a few headlines. We complain for a day and the sad sack Pistons return to the land of the forgotten tomorrow.
If Gores wants to build a legit contender, if he wants his team to be relevant again, it is time for Dumars to go. That is hard to say. Dumars is a legit Detroit legend and one of my favorite players from the Bad Boys era but he has simply made too many poor decisions over the last five years to justify his continued employment. Sure Dumars was handcuffed by his former ownership after Bill Davidson died. Sure Tom Wilson left the organization to work for the rival Illitch organization but in the end, those are all excuses. It was Dumars who drafted Darko. It was Dumars who went crazy a few summers ago and signed a number of really awful contracts.
The simple fact here is it is time for Dumars to go and for this team to be rebuilt by somebody else.