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 11:34 AM ^

I cannot think of another big free agent signing the Pistons have had in 15 years.  And he was coming off many injury plagued season.  

I think that once you get guys here, they'll want to stay.  If Detroit offers one thing that other cities don't is a top notch sports town.  Outside of Grant Hill, I'm having a hard time thinking of another player who left here and it wasn't about money (Cliff Avril) or family (Brad Stuart, family in Cali).

All I know about NBA salary caps is that your original team can usually offer you more than the competition when it comes to max contracts.  Drummond is the only guy right now that would be projected to command that.  If they spend their money right this year and have more success in the draft, this can be a playoff team next year, which will help the winning argument you bring up.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:12 PM ^

I think that was his sixth team in six years when he signed with Detroit and was still only an 11PPG scorer for his career.  That's not a big signing.  That's a good signing that Chauncey turned into a great signing since we finally gave him a chance to play his game.  You can argue that Ben Gordon was more highly regarded when the Pistons signed him than Chauncey was.


May 6th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

I believe you're wrong about Monroe, he is no complimentary piece, the thing he has over Drummond is a mid range. Gores is a douche, he didn't allow Dumars to choose a coach, Dumars didn't want Frank, that was all Gores.


May 6th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

Dumars takes a lot of heat, but when he came in, he turned a bad team into a contender in no time.  Then Bill Davidson forced Larry Brown out, and Dumars was forced to hire the best guy available at the time -- Flip Saunders.  Once it was clear Flip wasn't able to win a title like Brown would've (at least one more time), Dumars made some bad panic moves and ended up stuck with them because of the Karen Davidson freeze.   Then Gores forced him to hire Frank, which was an obvious bad move at the time.

Nearly every single other GM in the NBA would've taken Darko with the 2nd pick in that draft.  There were a couple who would've taken him ahead a Lebron, and a few who would've taken Melo 2nd, but that's it.  Melo will clearly never win a title.  It's not like there was someone else out there who would've taken Bosh or Wade with that pick anyways, so it's just stupid to keep bringing it up.

From having lived in the Detroit area in the past, I think the criticism of Dumars has a lot to do with race.  A lot of white people that live in the Detroit suburbs are basically Kentuckians (I'm white, I can judge free from accusations of racism).  These same people are probably the ones excited about Phil Jackson.  Jackson is an arrogant pseudo-intellectual who would only lead this team deeper into the hole.  Hopefully Gore wises up, stops listening to dumb, hateful suburbanites, and lets Dumars handle the basketball stuff.


May 6th, 2013 at 12:21 PM ^

Yes i watched the Pistons a lot. I like Drummond, Knight ( who isnt the greatest PG), and Monroe. The rest of the team we can get rid of. Stucky has never panned out and lets not get started on Charley V.

Did you watch the pistons? Because if you did i would like to know what talent you saw??


May 6th, 2013 at 11:21 AM ^

The reasoning behind drafting Darko was that we already had Tayshaun.  While Melo has put up great numbers, I don't think he was mature enough to have led us to another title.  I'm pretty sure Melo would've left or complained about leaving just like he did in Denver.

I wouldn't go around throwing that accusation about Dumars/race.  I think the Piston fans that blame Joe got spoiled during the Bad Boys and Bad Boys II eras, don't follow basketball fully, and can't understand that this is not a FA destination.  Joe has always been loved in this area and I believe he has great crossover appeal, not alienating any person with his actions.  Anyone getting a boner about Jackson see the rings and that's it.  

Gores, never liked the guy.  Something feels unauthentic about him, and this is a town that likes those guys who appear to love the area.  There's a reason why Brandon Inge is still loved by so many.  Same reason why people respect Mr. Ilitch.  They want this area to succeed.


May 6th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

Do you understand the kind of future picks or good free agents we could have gotten if we would have traded the NUMBER 2 pick in the draft? I mean, Melo just led his team to a NCAA title.  Second worst draft decision in the history of picks. ( i think we all know what the first is)


May 7th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

I agree that a certain set of the Pistons fans who blame Joe aren't one who follow basketball fully, but I don't think the "not FA destination" thing promoted in the media really carries much weight.  It was just Kobe, and he kinda needs LA.

I'll also clarify that the set of the Pistons fans who blame Joe based on race are blaming him because it's difficult for them to deal with a black person having success in an executive-looking position.  It doesn't fit the stereotypes they rely on to deal with their insecurities through general presumptions that they're better than a certain group of others.  So they respond to that by projecting.  Just like all the other posters who replied to my first post over-dramatically quite obviously really needed to project the feelings that made them uncomfortable onto me in their replies, rather than face who they truly are.

I also agree on Gores.  Really, he just seems like someone who isn't all that intuitive but can't accept it and is getting in the way by trying really hard to compensate (obviously I'm judging solely on his bball decisions).  Still, he'll have my underwavering support if he goes hands off and doesn't care too much about the luxury tax.


May 7th, 2013 at 11:32 AM ^

I do not understand why you are so convinced of this racial connection to criticism of Dumars.  Again, I don't get the sense that black fans are any more supportive of the guy than white fans are.  Moreover, when the Pistons went to six straight Eastern Conference finals, I didn't know anyone who thought he was a bad GM.  At most, some thought he wasn't a great drafter but made up for it with good trades/FA signings.

Criticism of Dumars is far more widespread today than it was 5-6 years ago.  This is correlated with the Pistons being terrible on the court over that time.  That isn't shocking.  In this business, people who don't perform take a lot of flack.  I haven't totally thrown in the towel on the guy, but I can understand why others might.



May 7th, 2013 at 9:55 AM ^

...You got real amped up enough about a message board post to post a reply that takes things out of context and adds something extra corny like, "you sir, are a tool."  Also, generalizations in my statements probably aren't worth an over-dramatic, sorority girl "wow" response.  "OMG! He just threw sorority girls under the bus too!"

I've lived a number of places, and nothing compares to the level of racism I encountered dealing with Detroit suburbanites.  They'd always just say these "those people" type of comments to me like I was automatically on board with it because I was white.  I remember I used to sometimes even get that occassionally at Michigan, and I'd always be like "wtf, I thought smarter people were supposed to go here."  And it would always turn out those students were from the Detroit suburbs.



May 6th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^


I think the criticism of Dumars has a lot to do with race. A lot of white people that live in the Detroit suburbs are basically Kentuckians (I'm white, I can judge free from accusations of racism).   These same people are probably the ones excited about Phil Jackson.


Whoa. I'm not even that critical of Dumars, but I think this is patently unfair.  The Pistons have been terrible for a few years now.  It's not unreasonable for people to wonder if Joe D is the right guy for the job.  Besides, I'm not sure he's that popular among black fans, either.

Also, your analysis of the origins of the white population isn't very accurate.  Downriver, maybe.  But I grew up in the northern suburbs and didn't know anyone whose family was from the South.  I'm pretty sure most of the white population of the Detroit area is descended from early 20th-century immigrants.  All the paczki-eating folks are not transplanted Southerners.

And why would it be "racist" to support Jackson, a guy who's won 11 NBA championships?  How many titles does he have to win before people conclude that he's a good coach?  It's worth noting that Jordan, Pippen, Shaq and Kobe have won a combined total of one championship when not coached by Jackson.


snarling wolverine

May 6th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

From having lived in the Detroit area in the past, I think the criticism of Dumars has a lot to do with race.

Dude, when did you leave the metro area - 40 years ago?  

If you think support/opposition to Dumars falls along racial lines, you're badly misinformed. Just  go to the Detroit News website and look at the comments below the articles on him - you can see the Facebook profile pictures of the people commenting.



May 7th, 2013 at 11:40 AM ^

To accuse someone of racism in this day and age is like calling someone a Communist during the 1950s.  It's practically the harshest thing you can say about someone nowadays.  Once someone gets labeled "racist," it's really hard for them to shed that label.  So you should be careful tossing it around cavalierly.

It sounds like you no longer live in the area, so perhaps you aren't as tuned in as you believe.  We're talking about a franchise that hasn't posted a winning season in five years, and hasn't made the playoffs in four.  Criticism of team management should not be unwarranted. 




May 6th, 2013 at 11:09 AM ^

The Dumars era is old and stale. He had some good years, but he should have been gone this year to help speed up the eventual change process that is coming.

El Bandito

May 6th, 2013 at 12:23 PM ^

The only knock I have towards Dumars was the firing of Frank. They pretty much drained the roster of any serious, playoff talent off the bench setting up for tons of cap space this year and then fired the coach. Frank was working with a team that needed Charlie V kin the roster, a guy who got beat out by a <19 year old for the Dominican Olympic team.


May 6th, 2013 at 12:47 PM ^

For reference in this discussion, here is an article from NBA.com which contains portions of the Pistons' formal press release on the subject of hiring Phil Jackson as an advisor - LINK

"“Phil’s role is to advise Joe, Tom and the ownership team, not to assume a formal position inside the Pistons organization,” Barnhill said."

That quote would seem to fit with Jackson's plan to re-insert himself into the NBA, at least to date. There's also been some discussion about Jackson at least listening to the Toronto Raptors about their Basketball Operations position here - LINK

"Jackson, 67, is not actively seeking a return to the NBA as a coach, but rather would covet a leading role in shaping a franchise from the coaching staff to personnel decisions. According to the person familiar with Jackson's plans, he is keeping his options open but seems to prefer a role similar to Jerry West's advisory role with the Golden State Warriors over a team presidency in the Pat Riley mold."

Nobody really seems to know. There is some vauge speculation that teams as diverse as Charlotte and Minnesota have at least inquired, or tried to do so. Phil Jackson mentioned in a San Fransisco Chronicle article that he has been approached by a few teams to be their operational head. 

The Geek

May 6th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

Phil is going to make a couple of phone calls on behalf of Mr. Gores. He'll get a few rejections, and tell Tom that he did the best he could. End of chapter.


May 6th, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

How old is Phil? Plus, his last days with the Lakers were plagued with health problems and his first sweep he'd ever suffered (to Dallas) 

I don't know if he'd help as a coach. I read the other day the Pistons were looking at a Spurs assistant. Sure, they've hired assistants before, and retreads, but I think they should hire another assistant and give him a chance. 

Pistons have fallen a long way from that team I grew up watching though, with Chauncey and Rip and Tay and Sheed. Those were the good days.