Reports: John Beilein Interviewed For Pistons Job Comment Count

Ace June 1st, 2018 at 4:11 PM

A Wojbomb has struck Ann Arbor:

Wojnarowski's report was corroborated by the Freep's Pistons beat writer, Vincent Ellis, who added some detail:

Woj mentioned a couple other candidates in a quick article posted shortly after the news broke:

Sources told ESPN that Beilein and former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey met Thursday in Michigan with Pistons officials -- a contingent that included new senior adviser Ed Stefanski and coaching search consultants Bernie Bickerstaff and Jim Lynam.

Detroit also is planning to meet with Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard this weekend.

I won't lie: this isn't the news I wanted to hear, especially since The Athletic's Brendan Quinn tweeted that "a number of people extremely close to Beilein" were not aware this meeting occurred. Beilein, notably, acts as his own agent. The Pistons are owned by Tom Gores, noted Spartan who's done a not-so-great job of running the franchise since buying it from the family of noted Wolverine William Davidson.

[After THE JUMP: nonnonono]

That said, there's plenty of reason to believe this will end in a nice raise from Michigan for Beilein—and quite possibly his entire staff—when the dust settles. The Pistons are looking at a number of candidates, including one with NBA head coaching experience in Dwane Casey, and a few other names (like TNT's Kenny Smith) have popped up without anything seeming to come of it.

Meanwhile, Beilein has three years left on a deal that pays him $3.37MM annually, second in the Big Ten only to Tom Izzo—but the gap to MSU's coach, who makes $4.4MM a year, is sizable. An extension is being discussed, and athletic director Warde Manuel has made it clear he wants Beilein around for a long time. Beilein is in a strong negotiating position; he's coming off his second national title appearance in six years, the men's basketball program has been easily the most consistently good of the major sports during his tenure, and the money for his assistants doesn't stack up to M's Big Ten competition:

Manuel passed his first major test at Michigan with flying colors when he hired Mel Pearson to replace Red Berenson, a move that's brought an immediate turnaround for hockey. This may be the one he's ultimately judged on, however.

For everyone's sake, let's hope this moves quickly and results in Michigan firing the money cannon.


snarling wolverine

June 1st, 2018 at 4:15 PM ^

Of course a terrible owner like Gores would do this.  Not many college coaches have made the transition successfully (without previously being an NBA assistant).  Is Gores trying to pull a Steinbrenner?


June 1st, 2018 at 4:37 PM ^

Beilein is a teacher.  That aspect of coaching is nearly as important in the NBA as college. Him as a tactician in the NBA would be fantastic, of course.

But the one question mark would be his ability to manage the egos of NBA players that make more money and have more power within the organization than he does.  That's often the most important thing for an NBA coach.


June 1st, 2018 at 9:52 PM ^

that most comments were about how Beilein might do in the NBA. What about the Pistons strikes anyone that it is a well-run organization? No way I'd do this if I were Beilein. There are better NBA orgs\owners to land with if this is what he wants.

As far coach goes, I think he could be successful in the right place. With GS being the model, he could definitely run a similar system that would work well and attract talent. I just can't see it being Detroit with the current ownership.


June 1st, 2018 at 5:05 PM ^

Maybe Coach B is looking to escape to the pros ala Pete Carroll because he knows the NCAA is catching up to him and the dirty program he is running. Bag men, payoffs, fake classes, I hear he is the mastermind of the Adidas scandle, that Ricky Pitino takes orders from Beiline.

Edit: I am being sarcastic for those of you who do not get jokes.


June 2nd, 2018 at 11:46 AM ^

His players think he's a genius and have said so which is why he has the hype. And I think he's excellent as well.

But let's wait a few years before we anoint him as "The One."

He had the better team in the ECF with home court and didn't win. I get the LeBron factor, but regardless he didn't win.


June 1st, 2018 at 4:21 PM ^

can we finish that last sentence more specifically, please?


For everyone's sake, let's hope this moves quickly and results in Michigan firing the money cannon at our current coach & staff (not as part of a scramble for a new hire).


June 1st, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

Yeah, as Ace said, this is probably just to light a fire under Warde's feet for a contract extension and bumping up the assistants pay (especially Yaklich). 

I'm not a Pistons fan, but I do think Beilein could be a success story at the NBA level. He's more like Stevens in terms of his actual ability being the driver for wins and losses instead of having a talent disparity thanks to recruiting (see: Pitino, Calipari). But, there's only so much you can do in the NBA when you don't have a Durant, Curry, LeBron, etc. 

Also, I can't imagine him being okay with a Blake/Drummond front court. 


June 1st, 2018 at 4:25 PM ^

This is somewhat of a shock.... Can't see him relating to NBA players the same way he does college players, and doesn't seem like a good fit to bring a coach into the NBA for the first time at age 65.  I wouldn't underestimate him, just seems odd.  Hopefully his interview went something along the lines of "Give Juwan Howard the job" in an effort to pull his nephew to Ann Arbor and/or this was a ploy to get a contract extension for him and his assistants.  

Wolverine In Iowa 68

June 1st, 2018 at 4:31 PM ^

this was just a misunderstanding.  Like, John was in line to get a sub and bumped into the guys from the Pistons front office and that had a conversation about their grandkids and the media is blowing it out of proportion.

Or more likely, they approached him, and he is such a polite guy, he couldn't refuse to talk to them because he didn't want to come across as rude.

We must have nice things.....for once, when it's going our way and the stars are starting to align everywhere in a positive direction, we MUST have nice things!