It’s been tough sledding for Detroit Pistons fans for quite a while, and apparently it’s been a rough ride for Pistons owner Tom Gores, too.
Gores was all smiles when he introduced his new coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy, to the public at the Palace last Thursday.
Gores admitted that his NBA learning curve was something that took a little longer to grasp than he originally thought, but feels that with Van Gundy at the helm now, better days are ahead.
Gores also kept stressing how important it is for the floor (the coach) and the front office to be on the same page, which certainly hasn’t been the case the past several seasons, when there were major communication breakdowns between the two.
With Coach Van Gundy now answering to president Van Gundy, that problem has obviously been alleviated.
For what seems like an eternity, the Pistons were a somewhat secretive organization. It was difficult to know what their game plan for success was, with the only given being that a new coach would likely be on the way soon.
And because of that revolving-door policy for the coaching position, it was impossible for the Pistons to move forward. There just wasn’t any continuity.
In order for the Pistons to get a top-notch coach, they had to give him full control. Their track record of being a coaching graveyard would have made it unwise for any eminent coach to come to Detroit as just the coach.
So they gave their basketball reigns to Van Gundy, an affable guy who can’t resist a microphone. He’ll be front and center, and you’ll always know where he’s coming from. Coupled with his coaching ability, the Pistons might finally push their way up the NBA standings.
As long as Van Gundy realizes his front-office limitations and hires a competent staff to support him, he’ll be able to build the roster his way. Even more important, he’ll be coaching with nobody looking over his shoulder.
Another positive factor in putting Van Gundy in charge is that it sends a message to the players: The days of insurrection are over. They’ll be held accountable to Van Gundy and Van Gundy only. No longer will they be able to run to their security blanket, former Pistons boss Joe Dumars.
For whatever reasons, Dumars often went underground, which caused the franchise to sink into obscurity. But even though his dismissal was justified, it was still a sad ending for the loyal Dumars.
Still, the Pistons needed to do something. They needed to change their stale philosophy — which bordered on chaotic — and to make "Dee-troit Basketball" fun to watch and relevant again.