Over the weekend, those who aren’t fans of what Joe Dumars currently contributes to the Detroit Pistons had to be slightely unnerved by the news coming from New York regarding the possible future of the team’s front office.
Isiah Thomas, another former Pistons’ legend from the days of the Bad Boys, is rumored to be a top choice of the team to take over for Dumars, his old teammate, in Detroit’s general manager chair at season’s end. Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News reported the new developments that makes it look as if Dumars is living on more borrowed time than once previously thought.
Thomas, of course, has had his share of problems in the league since concluding his playing career. He ran the show for the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, walking out in Toronto and helping run the Knicks iinto the ground in the process. Thomas also failed as a coach with the Indiana Pacers and Knicks, and was embroiled in notable controversy with the team as well before finally being broomed out by James Dolan to the delight of the Big Apple fans. For their part, the Pistons did deny the report on Sunday.
The bigger story, though, is how another Pistons’ legend is resurfacing in the media with regards to the team once again. Fans have long clamored for Bill Laimbeer to coach the team, and remain transfixed by their favorite basketball legends from a bygone era. There will never be another team constructed quite like the Bad Boys were. As the years progress, the game begins to pass each of them by a bit more, meaning none should be counted on to coach, be general managers or lead the team in any tangible way.
Once upon a time, the appointment of Dumars, a keen businessman, to the front office made sense for a team in the midst of an identity crisis. The teal Pistons were an embarassment, and somehow, the franchise had to make a return to their roots and find stability. Dumars was the right guy at the right time. At this point, the franchise needs to take a divergent course. They should continue to honor the contributions of the Bad Boys, but not count on any of them to lead the franchise to the next level. It’s time for a fresh start and new direction.
Thomas, Laimbeer and Dumars should now be allowed to ride off into the sunset. Their contributions to the franchise won’t be forgotten, but they shouldn’t be viewed as the only people capable of working with the team simply because of their past success in Auburn Hills. Laimbeer isn’t cut out to be coach in the NBA, or he would have already gotten looks at a job. Thomas hasn’t resurfaced since embarrassing himself in New York, and Dumars’ next opportunity might only come as a result of personal relationships. Clearly, Detroit values this troika more than the rest of the basketball community.
It’s time for the fans of Detroit and the Pistons organization to simply move on. It’s been 24 years since the Bad Boys won anything together on the court, 10 years since one of their members constructed a championship team (Dumars with the Pistons in 2004) and seven years since one won a title of any kind (Laimbeer in 2008 in the WNBA). That’s not grounds for a new gig.
Do the Pistons need to quit recycling the names of their former stars as coaching and general manager candidates, or should the team continue to lean on these stars for guidance and leadership?
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