Tom Gores Rumors
Just as Van Gundy had the word of Pistons owner Tom Gores that it was OK to wade into luxury tax territory to retain Caldwell-Pope, he expects the same marching orders next summer to keep Bradley. “In the right situation for the right people, Tom’s more than willing to pay the tax,” Van Gundy said. “I think about half the league’s going to be paying the tax this year. Tom’s not opposed to that.”
It’s also not a fait accompli that the Pistons will need to cross that threshold to retain Bradley. Van Gundy, general manager Jeff Bower and associate GM Pat Garrity, the organization’s point man on cap issues, have game planned for multiple scenarios with regard to the cap and roster for next summer. “We’ve got other strategies,” Van Gundy said. “The finances will not inhibit our ability to re-sign Avery at whatever it takes. If we’re in a situation where we want Avery back and Avery wants to be here, we’ll be able to bring him back.”
Tom Gores built a private equity empire that made him rich enough to buy professional basketball’s Detroit Pistons and become a civic leader in Michigan. Now the billionaire’s firm has struck a deal to buy Securus Technologies Inc., a company that provides telephone services to Michigan prison inmates at rates of up to $22.56 for a 15-minute call. Critics say the lucrative venture could tarnish the image of the team owner who has won plaudits for returning the National Basketball Association Pistons to downtown Detroit and for helping to raise $10 million to help Flint, Michigan, his boyhood home poisoned by lead in tap water.
The NBA may not approve the Pistons’ move to Detroit if all legal and financing matters are not settled before its board meets next month, according to an affidavit by the team’s chief financial officer. In a sworn affidavit filed late Friday, Palace Sports & Entertainment and Detroit Pistons CFO Greg Campbell said the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court June 1 by activist Robert Davis and City Clerk candidate D. Etta Wilcoxon, might hamper the team’s plans to play their first preseason game on Oct. 4 in Detroit, nearly 40 years after former owner Bill Davidson took the team to Oakland County.
Campbell said receiving the public dollars was a “condition” of the team’s agreement with the Detroit Downtown Development Authority, the public entity that owns the Little Caesars Arena which is also a new home to the Detroit Red Wings. The estimated cost of the project has increased from $450 million to $862 million and the project is anticipated to be 62% privately funded and 38% publicly funded. A new DDA proposal that council is to vote on Tuesday would issue an additional $34.5 million in bonds to support the Pistons’ relocation.
Tom Gores’ FlintNOW initiative and the National Basketball Players Association are giving $300,000 worth of gift certificates for healthy food to Flint families through a partnership with the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. Gores, the owner of the Detroit Pistons and Flint-area native, founded FlintNOW to provide private sector support for short-term relief efforts tied to the Flint water crisis and for long-term programs focused on economic development, nutrition and health care here.