Joe Dumars Rumors
In 1988, the Pistons moved even further north — 31 miles north of Detroit on Interstate 75 — to Auburn Hills, where auto-affiliated companies like BorgWarner, the parts manufacturer, and Autoliv, which makes seatbelts, airbags and other safety products, have their corporate headquarters. “It certainly went from being a blue-collar crowd at the Silverdome to a white-collar crowd,” said Joe Dumars, who played 13 seasons in Detroit after being drafted by the Pistons in 1986. “We used to always acknowledge that. The Silverdome crowd were the assembly workers who built the cars, and the Palace crowd was the executives of the auto companies.” But the move to Auburn Hills was nonetheless a financial boon for the franchise.
But league sources pointed out Tuesday that the people whose names were on the press release may not be the ones making the decision. Former Pistons executive Joe Dumars, a Louisiana native, has been providing input with the team and has a close relationship with Loomis and owner Tom Benson.
The announcement of Williams’ firing was made via press release in which executive vice president Mickey Loomis and GM Dell Demps expressed nothing but praise for Williams, who’d become not only popular in the locker room but also influential in the league as a member of the competition committee and, like Thibodeau, an assistant with Team USA. But league sources pointed out Tuesday that the people whose names were on the press release may not be the ones making the decision. Former Pistons executive Joe Dumars, a Louisiana native, has been providing input with the team and has a close relationship with Loomis and owner Tom Benson.
Marc Stein: Pelicans have issued repeated public denials in last week to shoot down notion that Joe Dumars will soon be hired to oversee front office. And today team source insists to ESPN that Pels GM Dell Demps will lead team’s coaching search for successor to ousted Monty Williams
Bensel, however, didn’t address Demps’ status. Demps has not been made available to media since the Pelicans were swept in four games by the Golden State Warriors.
”With so many questions surrounding the end of the successful Pelicans season and now Joe Dumars in particular, no job offer or position has been discussed with Joe regarding the Pelicans,” Pelicans spokesman Greg Bensel said in a statement released by the team. ”He is very close to our organization and our ownership and he has our utmost respect.”
An NBA source said New Orleans Pelicans front-office officials, including vice president/basketball operations Mickey Loomis, met former Detroit Pistons player and executive Joe Dumars at several Saints road games during the 2014 season. The meetings were held to gauge Dumars’ opinion of the Pelicans. Dumars, a Louisiana native, has close ties to Pelicans officials and is a longtime friend of Loomis and Saints coach Sean Payton.
Meanwhile, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps is a lame duck. His contract expires this summer and the team has an option for next season. The Pelicans have not indicated if they are going to offer a new deal. While Pelicans coach Monty Williams held his season-ending news conference last week, Demps has not been made available to media for a while. He has not made any public comments since April 16 when he denied a report that he and Williams were given a ”playoffs or else” mandate during the preseason by management.
The Pelicans could be looking to hire Dumars to run the team’s basketball operations department, according to a WDSU report Wednesday. NBA sources, however, confirmed that while Dumars could join the Pelicans, nothing is imminent.
It feels like these guys should rank higher, given Anthony Davis’s potential free agency a year from now, questions about the surrounding parts, and new rumors that Joe Dumars could still arrive in some supervisory big-picture role above GM Dell Demps — rumors that don’t appear to be heading anywhere for now.
KC Johnson: Former Bull and Hawks’ Kyle Korver wins Joe Dumars Sportsmanship award voted on by players. Bulls’ Pau Gasol was Central Division nominee.
“Joe is a class guy who did a great job and had a ton of success,” Van Gundy said. “Anytime you get good people in the league it is good for the league so yeah absolutely. Joe has a good track record. Hopefully if that is what he wants to do he will get another opportunity.”
Forward Greg Monroe believes Dumars deserves a second chance. “I mean, yeah,” Monroe said. “He put together a championship team. Obviously he knows what it takes to get it done. For a stretch he had one of the most successful teams in the league. Obviously he is good at that job. I don’t see how that would be a problem to get back.”
Some peers of former Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars contend he could be back on the job this summer. One potential destination for Dumars, some NBA execs say, is New Orleans, which is on the outside looking in for a playoff spot.
In 2010, the NBA fined Dumars $500,000 for leaking multiple confidential league memos to Wojnarowski, according to multiple sources. This matches the third largest publicly known fine the league has ever handed down. The NBA decided that too many memos were making it into the media, so they conducted a sting operation over several months. They would change a few words or numbers in different team’s copies of otherwise identical memos, so that when the memos leaked they could spot the small differences and trace them back to the leaker. This approach caught Dumars red-handed, as well as an executive from another team who was fined $12,500 for leaking to a draft-focused website.
He wanted to make clear he’s fully embraced the city and its fans, details that often get caught in the crossfire of a player looking for a new situation. “I can’t speak for everybody but in my case, when talking about leaving Detroit, it was the team specifically,” Monroe said. “I have no problem with the city, or the fans or the people. I don’t have a problem with anyone here. I’ve been received with open arms. People have always shown me love. Fans, they’ve stuck with us through tough times.”
When Van Gundy replaced Joe Dumars as the top name on the basketball operations masthead, it was yet another change in a career full of them, but short on victories. Although the Pistons offered him a sizable contract, slightly larger than Smith’s deal, Monroe turned down the security, preferring to take a one-year deal to have his freedom next July. “It’s no disrespect to the people working here but it was just tough for me to agree to another four years with new people,” Monroe said. “Honestly, if you were to ask the average person would they do that in the arena they’re in, they’d say no.”
Martin Lawrence? OK, Lawrence wasn’t technically a member of the Pistons 2004 title team but he did receive honorary status and has a championship ring to prove it. How did that happen? In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live that coincided with the beginning of the NBA Finals last week, the comedian explained it. “Joe Dumars wanted to recruit Chris Webber back in the day for the Detroit Pistons,” Lawrence told Kimmel. “So he called me and asked if I would put together a comedy tape that would recruit him and get him to come to the Pistons. “And I put together a comedy tape and he didn’t come. So I guess it didn’t work.”
But Dumars, who eventually did land Webber near the end of his career, apparently appreciated Lawrence’s effort. “And when they won the championship, they sent me an honorary ring,” Lawrence said.
But Demps and Monty Williams haven’t always seen eye to eye, according to several league sources, and ownership is more committed at this point to Williams as a long-term organizational pillar. Two names to watch if the Pellies eventually part ways with Demps: Joe Dumars and Bobby Marks, the Nets’ assistant GM. Dumars is from Louisiana and tight with higher-ups from the New Orleans Saints, a relationship that dates to well before any real possibility Tom Benson would ever own an NBA team. Marks is well respected and could become a candidate for the New Orleans job.
The Detroit Pistons plan to conduct a comprehensive search to replace Joe Dumars in the front office, a job that is coveted around the league. Several names are on the Pistons’ radar, a person familiar with details told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The latest names to surface are: Cleveland Cavaliers acting general manager David Griffin, Boston Celtics assistant GM and team counsel Mike Zarren and NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.
Dumars stepped down as Detroit’s president of basketball operations Monday, a day after the Pistons lost their home finale and fell to 29-52 with one game remaining in the season. Detroit will miss the postseason for a fifth consecutive year. ”It’s time to turn the page on a wonderful chapter and begin writing a new one,” Dumars said in a statement. ”I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people throughout the last 29 years as both a player and executive, and I’m proud of our accomplishments. Tom Gores and ownership is committed to winning and they will continue to move the franchise forward.”
During the transition, Director of Basketball Operations Ken Catanella and Assistant General Manager George David will continue preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency signing period, reporting to ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth. Mr. Norment said the organization has developed a preliminary list of candidates that includes “the best executives in the business,” but he declined to place a specific timetable on selecting a replacement. Mr. Dumars will continue his relationship with the franchise as an advisor to the organization and its ownership team. “It’s time to turn the page on a wonderful chapter and begin writing a new one,” Dumars said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people throughout the last 29 years as both a player and executive, and I’m proud of our accomplishments. Tom Gores and ownership is committed to winning and they will continue to move the franchise forward.”
The Detroit Pistons announced today that Joe Dumars will step aside as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately. The team has launched a search for a new head of basketball operations. “Joe Dumars is a great champion who has meant so much to this franchise and this community,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “We are turning the page with great respect for what he has accomplished not only as a player and a front office executive, but as a person who has represented this team and the NBA with extraordinary dignity.”