John Loyer Rumors
Phil Norment also said that interim coach John Loyer has been promised to be “part of the process” in the pursuit of a permanent head coach, and the same for assistant general manager George David and director of basketball operations Ken Catanella in the general manager pursuit. Realistically, their best hopes probably are to be retained in something less than the head coach or GM roles. Meantime, Loyer toils in his office, David and Catanella prepare for the draft, and everyone waits.
One of Loyer’s bigger challenges internally was keeping point guard Brandon Jennings engaged after Cheeks was fired. Jennings regarded Cheeks as a father figure and as he failed to adapt after the change, Loyer found himself turning more to backup Will Bynum, one of several Pistons who later ended the season injured.
Loyer said he ultimately went to Jennings to encourage the guard to rediscover joy in the game. He said he appreciated how Jennings responded. “Any time you have a coaching change, any time you have a management change, it’s going to affect different guys in different ways,” Loyer said. “It’s your job as a coach to kind of figure out who it’s affecting, either adversely, or whether it’s someone you need to help a little bit to get back on path. “There are some guys who are affected by both things (the Cheeks firing and, earlier this week, the reassignment of former team president Joe Dumars), so you try to get them back on path. I thought Brandon, the path he has taken is a winning-type path, and I’ve really enjoyed coaching him.”
John Loyer, the Pistons’ interim coach, generally had protected and praised his players, even as this 26-46 season has crumbled away. The Pistons are 5-17 since Loyer took over for the fired Maurice Cheeks. This time, there was no half-full glass to ponder. “Not to come out with any energy and play the way we’re capable of in the second half is mind-boggling to me, because we haven’t done that,” Loyer said. “I told our guys, for whatever games I’ve coached, 20-plus games, I though every single night — other than a stretch here or there, but every team has a stretch here or there — we’ve laid it on the line. Tonight, we didn’t lay it on the line. And to me, that’s embarrassing.”
The Pistons are headed for major changes after this season and it could start with team president Joe Dumars, who is expected to resign. Dumars staked his reputation on the Maurice Cheeks coaching hire, which did not work out, and owner Tom Gores is expected to start fresh by hiring a new general manager and then potentially a coach to replace interim coach John Loyer. The Pistons don’t have hopes of a first-round pick if they finish with anything worse than the eighth overall selection thanks to the regrettable deal that sent Ben Gordon to the Bobcats along with a conditional first-round pick for Corey Maggette. Maggette had an expiring contract, which enabled the Pistons to save $12 million on the additional year of Gordon’s contract, but it may cost them a high pick in a fruitful draft. The Bobcats also have the option of taking Detroit’s pick in 2015 (top 1 protected) or 2016 (unprotected)
The timing of the Mavs’ lone visit of the season to Detroit was fortuitous for two old friends. Former Mavs assistant coach Scott Roth, who forged a close bond with Nowitzki during Dirk’s early seasons as a member of Don Nelson’s first coaching staff with the Mavs, was just hired by Detroit this week to hop onto the bench beside Pistons interim coach John Loyer … and serve as Nowitzki’s welcoming committee at The Palace.