OT: Phil Jackson and the Pistons

Submitted by MGoVoldemort on May 6th, 2013 at 10:11 AM

It was already posted that Phil Jackson is going to help the Pistons in their coaching search. But, what I think this does, is likely set up Phil as the next President of Basketball operations for the Pistons. The Pistons, by all estimations, are 2 years away at best from competing. Dumars, who is reportedly on the hot seat, likely doesn't have even one more season without a playoff birth before he is let go. Writing on the wall?

It just seems to me like this job is being set up for Phil to eventually take over. He'll hire his own coach this spring, and next summer, after the Pistons miss the playoffs again, Joe will be fired ad Phil will be hired. This seems like a job Phil would be interested in, even if Gores and he didn't have a close friendship. Drummond looks like a dominant big man, and is headed for superstar status, and Knight and Monroe are great complimentray pieces. Add to that another lottery pick and a substantial amount of money to spend, and this seems like a ready made spot for Phil to take over. I have no idea how Phil Jackson would perform as the President of basketball operations, but I'd pay a great deal of money to find out. Being a life long Pistons fan, I have an uncomfortable feeling with one of our biggest foes leading us; but those issues are quickly swept away by his track record.




May 6th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

Could he do this job from Montana and LA? Because it's hard to see him moving to Detroit, a place that he has no connection with and that is a long way away from his longterm girlfriend, at this point in his life.

I think it's far more likely that this is a one-off consulting thing and is being hyped by the Pistons to generate fan excitement. 


May 6th, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

You're forgetting Phil Jackson's ego, which landed in Detroit 3 hours before his flight did. This is an attractive job, for not only the reasons I stated (which you likely didn't read), but also for the money Gores would likely pay, and their close relationship.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:24 AM ^

You kid about being an attractive job right? Phil wants a team ready for rings now. This core is not going to beat the likes of SA. OKC, or the Heat anytime soon. Phil Jackson will not be the coach of the Pistons. Hell I would bet he would have turned it down even coming out of our last championship. It's not a fit.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:33 AM ^

There is only one dominant team in this league, and that's Miami. This is a watered down, run of the mill league right now. Every team can be beat, and every team has glaring weaknesses (Save Miami).  That's why over the past 8 years, you've seen so many upsets in the playoffs, and teams like Dallas winning the championship. The NBA sucks right now, and if you draft correctly and develop guys like Drummond, you're right there.


May 6th, 2013 at 11:07 AM ^

If you look at the NBA you could say its been  a watered down league for sometime. When the Bulls had thier second 3peat there was only the Jazz. The league hasnt been stacked since the late 80.s early 90.s.

OKC is a pretty good team it just so happened that one of thier star players got injured


May 6th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

I did read them. I just don't agree that they constitute proof that he's going to take on a bigger role with the Pistons, particularly one involving day-to-day stuff.

1. The attractiveness of the job. The Piston's pieces are pretty good and they've got some picks and cap room to work with. They don't have a superstar, though, and they're not getting one unless they luck out in the lottery, as the Pistons have never been successful in attracting free agents. The Pistons' promise is not so exceptional, in short, to outweigh the costs of the job, mainly relocating to Detroit from the places where he and his longterm girlfriend live (and where he enjoys being). Add in his reported request to skip road trips when he was negotiating with the Lakers this year, recent hip and knee replacements, and I don't get the sense that he's wanting to try to do a semi-transcontinental commuting thing that the job would likely entail. A fulltime gig in Detroit is just not that attractive for a guy at his point in life.

2. His ego. Phil's ego may be large (and for good reason), but he can essentially choose his job (other than the Lakers, apparently, due to Jimmy/Jenny issues) if he wants to get back into the NBA.

3. The money. Don't see this as exceptional in Detroit versus what he can get elsewhere if he wants this type of job.

4. Relationship with the Gores. This is likely why he's doing this limited consulting thing in the first place.




May 6th, 2013 at 5:41 PM ^

I suppose anything's possible, but his offensive game is really rough for anyone who might be considered a franchise player. And his game is not reflective of the way in which NBA basketball is developing.

For 50 years from Mikan to the end of Kareem's career, almost every championship team had an elite offensive center. Since then, there have been two, Hakeem and Shaq, and Shaq had hall of fame wings on his championship teams.  I guess you could argue Dwight Howard in his pre-back surgery iteration had the potential, he got the Magic close, but that's a stretch. 

Point is that Drummond could develop into a franchise center, but that's become much more of a defensive position (Tyson Chandler, Hibbert) than someone you throw the ball to in order to get points. The Pistons will still have to find an elite wing to get beyond the 6-8 seed range. 

Which they might get. You can get lucky and find those guys mid-way through the lottery, particularly, maybe, next year with all the talent that draft will supposedly have. And their core of Knight-Drummond-Monroe will still be young enough that, if they can keep them together, they can provide a good supporting cast. But the Pistons are still going to need to find someone who's an elite scorer and perimeter defender to compete for championships rather than the playoffs.

This is actually a good place to be, there are a ton of teams far worse off. Look at the Nets, they're trapped in cap hell for the foreseeable future and just lost to a team missing its two best players and with the third best hobbled.


May 6th, 2013 at 8:15 PM ^

But then there were actually teams before Kareem that didn't have it, like the Celtics with Parrish. But if you're talking low post threat, it basically helps to have Jordan or LeBron, or be the Pistons. Because those other champs had Duncan, or Garnett, or Gasol. Even Dirk.

But I basically agree that while the kid is a steal, I'm not sure I see a Hall of Famer there. His ceiling is probably more Tyson Chandler than any if those guys.

Probalem is with that deep draft next year, if their pick isn't top 8 they lose it, because Joe traded it away to fix his Ben Gordon mistake.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

You're forgetting Phil Jackson's ego, which landed in Detroit 3 hours before his flight did. This is an attractive job, for not only the reasons I stated (which you likely didn't read), but also for the money Gores would likely pay, and their close relationship.

Piston Blue

May 6th, 2013 at 10:30 AM ^

He orchestrated the 04 team and has gotten us monroe, knight and drummond with the 7,8, and 9 picks. To me, he's one of the better GMs in the league


May 6th, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

There are lots of arguments against Dumars, but the Darko one is not the best.  He was considered the best European prospect ever, and the clear-cut #2 guy after LeBron.  Dumars's drafting of Darko was similar to his drafting of Knight, Monroe and Drummond - he took the guy everyone expected him to take.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

only made a minimal impact.  They weren't going to win another title with that core, so they were destined to make another early playoff exit, which they did that year.  When you look at what Chauncey, Rip and the other older guys the past few years, you could understand Joe making the decision to trade or not resign those guys.

And while people want to hate the Gordon, Charlie V signings, who else were they going to sign?  Bosh, D-Wade and LeBron were not coming here the following summer.  Auburn HIlls/Detroit is not a free agent destination.  Look at the other Midwest towns and see how they're doing.  

- Minnesota drafted Rubio (who didn't want to come at first) and Kevin Love and they can't crack the tough West.
- Cleveland has a pulse because they sucked and got Kyrie Irving #1.
- Milwaukee got Brandon Jennings in the draft, traded for Monta Ellis and can do no better than an 8 seed in the East with a losing record.
- Indiana is the only good team and they built that team through a couple high draft picks, trades (George Hill), and a FA signing of David West, who was coming off a torn ACL.

Blame Joe for the coaching hires, but you can't blame him if top FA's don't want to come here and the teams have not been historically bad enough to get a top 5 draft pick.


May 6th, 2013 at 12:29 PM ^

If you don't have a shot at the finals then it's okay to trade your star players who consistently get your team into the playoffs for a lazy washed up whiny piece of garbage?  That's an okay move in your opinion?

Business Time

May 6th, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

People still think we traded for Iverson as a player? The main point of that trade was for cap space. Iverson's (huge) contract expired after that year, so either the one-year trial of Iverson proves successful and we can resign him, or we let him walk and get tons of cap space. The trade itself was a good move, allowing us to keep most of our core while creating lots of cap space to position us well for the future. Unfortunately, Dumars completely screwed it up by signing Gordon and Villanueva with the cap space.


May 6th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

If you have no chance at signing anyone good with it? Signing bad players just gives you no flexibility and you're still bad. Better not to spend it to facilitate trades or wait for someone better.

And defending Dumars by pointing out other teams got better through the draft is kind of a strange take since Dumars insists they win games at the end of the season and everyone else is tanking, thus killing their chances of getting high lottery picks year after year.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

I honestly don't think they are as far from the playoffs as you think.  I almost expect them to make it as the 7 or 8 seed next season.  Add a lottery pick to the current roster, and a healthy Drummond, and they have a good chance to win enough games to get in.


May 6th, 2013 at 8:45 PM ^

Well, it's important to have at least a decent season next year because the draft pick we gave up to the Bobcats to get rid of Gordon loses a bit of draft protection with each year. So I'd rather get rid of it next year as it's only top 8 protected IIRC, after being lottery protected this year. #1 protected in 2015. 

But other than that, I agree. My worst fear is becoming the Hawks or the Nuggets. Decent teams every year, but no chance to go anywhere beyond the second round (though Denver made Conf Finals a couple years ago). 


May 6th, 2013 at 8:53 PM ^

They win the lottery next year, then give up a pick in the twenties the following year.

But Joe would have to nix these "win six of the last nine game" streaks the Pistons go on every year.

(Yes, a top 2 or 3 pick would do...but they need to find a franchise player in it)

gustave ferbert

May 6th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

It's about the ownership, with the aging (and passing) of Davidson the organization seemed to crumble.  I like what Gores is doing in that he may be accepting his limitations in not knowing anything about basketball operations and could bring in a big name irregardless of experience.  

But it definitely isn't consistent with Phil Jackson's M.O.  He's not noted for being a builder.  . .


May 6th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

1.  Why couldn't Jackson GM from LA.........Gores ownes from LA.  Millen also was a GM from PA..........oops

2.  Dumars needs to go.  YOu can make the argument that he has developed a foundation the last three drafts but what happens when as soon you are on the cusp of making the turnaround and they start leaving one by one.  They don't have long term deals with rookies.  They will get 4 years.  He is a restricted FA after next year.

When you are not a destination team without an IT factor you are in trouble.  Detroit has fallen off the basketball map since our last run and doesn't offer much that would be attractive to someone right now.


May 6th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

...does not suddenly make this a FA destination.  In fact, you're making an argument to keep him when you mention the foundation developed the last three drafts.

Do you see where Indiana is now?  Do you know where they spent four years straight from 06-07 to 09-10?  Those four years they were outside of the playoffs.  In 2010-11, they got in as an 8 seed with a losing record.  They built that team through the draft, a great trade and a free agent signing of a player coming off an ACL injury.  And none of these players are max contract guys.  And this team was built by Donnie Walsh, considered one of the best GMs in the game.

Joe is following the same blueprint to succeed even if not intentionally.  And with over $25 mil in cap space and another top pick this year, he is in position to set this team up for another run of years in the conference finals and NBA finals.


May 6th, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

I was not insinuating that Joe D being canned would make the Pistons a FA destination.  If anything I would think the opposite is true.

My argument is that the only thing that made Detroit a FA destination was winning.  We have fallen way back in that area.

My second point is that the young foundation that those are claiming he is building will be eroding from underneath us.  They are four year contracts.  First one is up next year.

The inability to lure quality FA pieces have killed us.