He’s taken some hits over the last decade at the helm in Detroit, and now Pistons GM Joe Dumars appears ready to resign at season’s end after another disappointing season that will end with the Pistons again missing the playoffs. The offseason signings of Brandon Jennings, in a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee, and the free agent acquisition of Josh Smith, did little to squash the losing that’s pervaded in Detroit during the last half-decade, and now Dumars is telling people around the NBA he’s going to resign, perhaps as soon as this week.
Dumars has told multiple sources within the NBA that he plans to resign — possibly as soon as this week — after a busy offseason that included the signings of high-priced free agents Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings and led to an underachieving 2013-14 season. The Pistons, who many experts picked to return to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, are 28-49 and out of playoff contention.
Pistons owner Tom Gores had expected before the season that the team would return to the playoffs.
Gores fired Dumars’ hand-picked coach, Maurice Cheeks, after just 50 games, making it one of the top-five quickest firings in the last 20 years. After Dumars tried to save Cheeks’ job, according to an NBA source. It became clear the two sides, bound together by circumstance, were headed for divorce.
Compared to his contemporaries, Dumars has been reluctant to be front and center with media as Pistons president of basketball operations and has been quieter than usual recently, perhaps another signal that his time with the franchise — 29 years of work as a player and executive — is coming to an end.
A lot of people have thrown Dumars under the bus for drafting Darko Milicic with the second pick in that loaded 2003 Draft (‘Melo, Wade, Bosh, David West were just some of the names that got drafted after Dumars’ pick), but when thinking about his tenure as GM — not to mention his Hall-of-Fame career as the shooting guard for two championship-winning Pistons teams — we prefer to remember the drafting of Tayshuan Prince, taking a chance by signing Chauncey Billups to be the team’s starting point guard, the hiring of Larry Brown as coach and the in-season acquisition of Rasheed Wallace for those tough and deep Pistons teams in the mid-2000s. One of them, that glorious sharing-the-ball squad in 2004, who we still feel is under-appreciated — primarily because not many people watched them, beat a loaded Lakers team to capture Detroit’s only title since Dumars was in uniform.
While he might have made some mistakes on top of the Darko flop— we’re thinking of the Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon signings when he finally got some cap space in the summer of 2009 — Dumars is still a class act, and hopefully Pistons fans can forgive the haze of losing that’s surrounded the team in recent years. Dumars deserves another chance, with a tabula rasa, for another front office in order to prove his detractors wrong. He was far from perfect, but we like Dumars, the player AND GM.
What do you think?
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