Owner Tom Gores said he still has faith in Van Gundy, who signed a five-year deal in 2014. "Do I believe in Stan? Absolutely," Gores said Wednesday during a news conference prior to the season-opening 102-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena.
"Do I feel good about the model? I feel good about the model," Gores said. "Stan has a lot of support around him, whether it's (general manager) Jeff Bower, and then he has support that probably (media) don't even know about. He has a lot of support. So, I believe in the model. We're seeing this through, absolutely."
Gores said his goal for the team is to be competitive and return to the playoffs. "My consultants told me not to say we have any expectations, but truth is we do," Gores said. "We have to be competitive. That's what Stan wants. Of course, we want to get into the playoffs. If there's a moment I sit up here and tell you we're not, I think you should fire me."
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.”
As assistant general manager Justin Zanik is preparing the franchise for the NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to reach out to potential general manager candidates and plan to begin formal interviews on Monday, league sources told The Vertical. The Bucks were granted permission to speak with several more GM candidates late this week, including Portland Trail Blazers assistant GM Bill Branch, Miami Heat assistant GM Adam Simon and Detroit Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity, league sources told The Vertical.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Milwaukee has received permission to talk to two more GM candidates: Miami's Adam Simon and Detroit's Pat Garrity.
Marc Stein: NBA Draft scuttle: Hearing Detroit is open to discussing trades for its No. 12 overall pick in hopes of acquiring more of a win-now veteran.
But Van Gundy reiterated that it won’t hinder the Pistons’ other potential plans in free agency, as they are nearly fully committed in their current roster. “It doesn’t really slow us down a lot because it’s not like we have a lot of cap space,” Van Gundy said. “More than likely, the guys we could pursue in most cases — as the situation stands now, unless something changes before then — would be guys that would be later in the (process) anyway.”
“It was a disappointment: I think we’d be lying if we said anything else,” Van Gundy said Friday, joined by general manager Jeff Bower at his season-ending press conference at The Palace. “But I don’t think it’s the end of our process or final verdict on our team. I think we’re still moving forward.”
The Pistons announced their 100,000-square-foot facility in partnership with Henry Ford Health System last month and released artist’s sketches, but many of the details of what will go into the future home of the team – offices for basketball operations and the business side will move to the Detroit campus as well as the team’s practice headquarters – are still in development. “We’re still in the design phase,” general manager Jeff Bower said. “We’re still adding and researching different components. Things will change, but not substantially.”
One feature of the new practice facility will be two regulation-size NBA courts side by side. Their current practice facility on the grounds of The Palace has only one court with baskets at each end and an additional basket on either side of the half-court line extended. “We’ve got four baskets when we shoot (in drill work),” Van Gundy said. “You’ve got to make sure all four baskets are working on the right side so you’re not bumping into each other. Now you’ve got a lot more room to do things. And we’ve also done a lot of after-practice playing on days we’re light. Eight of the lower-minute guys are playing full court while other guys have to wait if they want to shoot. Now they wouldn’t have to, so there’s actually a lot of benefit to it.”
On Saturday, Gores had a three-hour meeting with Van Gundy. The owner and coach both emerged with excitement about the Pistons' future despite that poor six-week stretch since early December. "We've got a bump in the road, and that's what success is about -- you have to work through it. It's all about having rough times and your ability to work through," Gores told reporters. "I never worry about Stan, because he wants to win. He's the hardest worker I've ever seen in my life. I believe in him as a man and I believe in him as a strong person."
Gores said Sunday he believes the Pistons "are going to make a run" this season. "[Gores'] thing was not to overreact to six weeks out of what has been a 2½-year process,'' Van Gundy said. "It was good to sit down and talk through things and get his perspective on things.''
Detroit averaged just 87 points per game at Staples Center during the drought, losing by 32 to the Clippers back in November, with Gores present. "For Tom, it was long overdue," Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson said. "We haven't gotten a win this building yet, and 'Dre, KCP, they haven't necessarily got one since they've been here. I haven't gotten once since I'e been in the Pistons organization. We owed it to him to get him a win." Gores sat court side with his wife and Platinum Equity business associates as the Pistons fell behind by double digits early.
Keith Langlois: I do think the Pistons are probably at a point where Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower wouldn’t be quite as opposed to trades that represent at least a slight risk to the future. Key word: “slight.” I don’t think you’re going to see them dangling a No. 1 pick for a rental if they’re scrapping for a playoff berth. One example that comes to mind: the Milwaukee Bucks, at 26-25, sent a 19-year-old Tobias Harris (and Beno Udrih) to Orlando at the 2013 trade deadline for free-agent-to-be J.J. Redick. The Bucks finished 38-44 and got swept in four double-digit losses to Miami in the first round and then saw Redick leave as a free agent. (They then drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo, so I guess it all worked out OK.) That’s the type of trade I wouldn’t see them making.
Keith Langlois: The picture likely will be much clearer for them and help dictate their course. But I’d put the odds of Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower dealing a No. 1 pick as somewhere between “remote” and “snowball’s chance in hell.”
A reshuffling is underway among the leadership group at Palace Sports & Entertainment, the organizational entity over the Detroit Pistons. Vice chairman Arn Tellem and Bob Wentworth, a key figure of the ownership group, will now oversee business operations, while PS&E president and CEO Dennis Mannion will move into a new role, a person with firsthand knowledge of the process told the Free Press on Saturday. Pistons vice president of public relations Kevin Grigg confirmed the news but declined further comment.
When rumors of the Pistons moving have bubbled to the surface in the past, Platinum Equity spokesman Mark Barnhill has said three criteria must be met to even consider such a move: The Pistons must be an equal partner in the new arena, not just a tenant. The Pistons want to get a return on the substantial improvements made to the Palace of Auburn Hills since Gores bought the team. The Pistons have to ensure that the move doesn’t negatively impact season-ticket holders and sponsors.
The Detroit Pistons announced today several promotions and four new additions to the basketball operations staff. Pat Garrity (associate general manager), Adam Glessner (director, player personnel) and J.R. Holden (director, international scouting) have been promoted to senior leadership positions within the department. “We are pleased to complete our basketball operations staff for the upcoming season and look forward to the contributions of those who have been promoted and those who join our organization,” said General Manager Jeff Bower. “Pat Garrity, Adam Glessner and J.R. Holden have been a major part of our staff over the last three seasons and their promotion to senior leadership positions is a natural progression. Their effectiveness and unique skill sets will allow our basketball operations staff to evolve seamlessly moving forward.”
Team president-coach Stan Van Gundy has completely overturned the roster (only Drummond and Caldwell-Pope remain from May 2014). Did you expect the quick turnaround? Gores: “He’s done a great job. First of all, he’s brought the organization together. He hired (general manager) Jeff Bower. A lot of people questioned Stan coming, in terms of could he really be a president and a coach. And I’ve seen him be a president and a coach, but also a leader and an executive that really understands how to run a business. He’s running the business of basketball. He’s done an excellent job. During the season, it’s a very hard job, but his partner, Jeff Bower, really keeps him informed. He knows what Stan wants. He doesn’t have to call Stan and figure out what he wants so they’re very in sync.
Detroit Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy announced today promotions and restructuring within the basketball operations staff. Pat Garrity has been promoted to assistant general manager, Andrew Loomis to chief of staff and Bob Beyer to associate head coach. Otis Smith joins the Pistons’ staff as director of player development/assistant coach while assistant coach Brendan Malone will transition to a special assignment scout, residing in New York. Quentin Richardson is leaving the organization for personal reasons.
Detroit Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy announced today that the team has signed general manager Jeff Bower to a contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the job Jeff has done for our organization,” said Van Gundy. “He’s been at the forefront of all the moves we’ve made over the last two seasons and has implemented much of the strategy and structure throughout our basketball operations department. The confidence I have in his ability allows me to go out and coach during the season knowing that he’s always looking to make our team better.”
Pistons Owner Tom Gores praised Bower’s work shaping the roster and contributing to a cohesive leadership team. "Jeff has been a key link for Stan and me and the whole organization to accomplish many things in a very short period of time,” said Gores. “His ingenuity, along with having a deep understanding of Stan’s basketball vision, has very quickly helped us toward our goal of long term sustained success. He deserves a lot of the credit for getting us to the playoffs and assembling a cohesive, young team that will continue to grow."
Vincent Ellis: To confirm earlier @WojVerticalNBA report, #Pistons GM Jeff Bower gets 1-year extension. Under contract until June 30, 2018.
Detroit Pistons general manager Jeff Bower has reached agreement on a multiyear contract extension, league sources told The Vertical. Bower, who works under president and coach Stan Van Gundy, was entering the final season of his original three-year deal, league sources said. Van Gundy signed a five-year, $35 million contract in 2014.
September 26, 2021 | 12:48 pm EDT Update
Where do you feel you rank among the top point guards in the game? Ja Morant: Top 5. If you’re Top 5, who else is there with you? Ja Morant: Morant: Steph (Curry). I’m a big Chris Paul fan. I’d say Dame (Lillard) and (Russell) Westbrook. It’s tough. The point guard position is so loaded. Some guys have to get left out.
Your teammate, Jaren Jackson Jr., was the No. 2 breakout player, according to a poll of 15 NBA executives I did for HoopsHype. What do you expect from a healthy Jaren this season? Ja Morant: To me, personally, I think he’s No. 1 if he’s healthy. He’s been battling some injuries that set him back. A healthy Jaren is definitely the number one breakout player this season. He’s just a special talent that’s gifted. He’s 7-foot-1, can shoot the three, can put it on the floor, and can play inside. He does so much on the floor. As long as he stays healthy, which we need him to be, he’s definitely number one.
What do you think of Dillon Brooks as a defender and as a player overall for this team? Ja Morant: Dillon is an important piece to this team offensively and defensively. I’ve been saying a lot now that I feel like he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his defense, especially against some of the top guys. Some of them probably won’t admit it, but I feel like most of the games when they struggled, Dillon was guarding them. Soon, that’ll come that he gets his respect for that. Offensively, how he’s able to score the ball from all three levels is big-time for us.
Speaking of locker rooms, what are the expectations in the locker room for the Grizzlies this season? Where do you guys think you can compete on what type of level? Ja Morant: I feel like we can compete with the top teams in this league. We all have that mindset, and this chip on our shoulder we go out and play with each and every night. Now, it’s continuing to buy in and keep gelling as a team and getting better with chemistry. Having more guys step up and talk who’ve been in the game for a while to help the young guys come along. Our goal this year is to continue to be better in all areas and better than we were last year.
Granted, all of that stuff is a lot easier to say in the offseason than it is to actually feel when a player is on the outside looking in. But while it could just be a bunch of PR-friendly cliches being spewed, this team also really could be that committed to winning. Ellington certainly thinks so, and during a recent appearance on BallIsLife’s “Noble and Roosh Show,” he also outlined a few other reasons he thinks guys will be all right with not playing as much as they have in the past: “I think we have one of the older rosters, so I think guys are able to be mature about that. We understand that everybody’s not going to be able to play 30 minutes a game, so there’s going to be sacrifice. There’s going to be sacrifices that need to be made, and I think that’s part of the understanding. “But also, understanding that with the older roster, guys aren’t going to be able to play. Guys aren’t going to play every single game. I think you’re going to see sometimes guys get rested and that’s where the ‘Next Man Up’ mentality comes into play.”
It’s why he also likes that the team made sure to add a few younger players as well: “I think it’s a great combination, man, of basketball IQ, championship experience, hunger with the guys wanting more. You got a mix of guys that haven’t won championships who are hungry for championships. You got some young guys in Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, THT, you got some young guys that are dogs. I think it’s a great mix of veterans and some mid guys and some young guys. I think the roster was constructed beautifully.”
Jonathan Isaac: Misrepresentation only allows for others to attack straw men, and not reason with the true ideas and heart of their fellow man. It helps no one! True journalism is dying! I believe it is your God given right to decide if taking the vaccine is right for you! Period! More to follow
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”