Joe Dumars Rumors
Joe Dumars: At the time, Kobe is the only player that had a no-trade in his contract. So Mitch says, Look, as you know, Joe, Kobe has a no-trade, so he has to approve of this. But we’re gonna take this to him and I’m gonna take this to Dr. Buss. He did. Dr. Buss said O.K. They took it to Kobe, and Mitch told me that Kobe said, I need 24 hours or 48 hours or something to discuss this with my family. Like, Look, I need time to discuss it with my family. And I think Dr. Buss was like, No, we need an answer in the next day or whatever. And Kobe didn’t want to be forced into having to make a decision that quick. And so, Mitch said to me, Dr. Buss has given him like a day, and if he doesn’t, Dr. Buss is pulling out and he’s done. And Kobe refused to make a decision. … It was like, I need a couple days to meet my family and think about this. He didn’t make a decision in 24 hours. And Dr. Buss said, That’s it; I’m out. We tried to make a deal. You wouldn’t make a decision. We’re gonna move forward. And the trade was done. And Mitch called me and said, Joe, we’re out. Dr. Buss is saying no. He’s told Kobe, if you’re not gonna make a decision right now, we’re done trying to trade you and we’re gonna go forward. And we hang up.
Did you think you had it? Did you think, Kobe’s gonna sign off; we’ll be good? Were you already thinking ahead to: We’ve got this and now it’s gonna be on to the next thing? Like, we’re gonna start planning for our new team around Kobe. Dumars: I thought it was going to work. But here’s the thing in any trade or transactions that you’re doing: The longer it takes, the more chances it’s not gonna happen. So when it didn’t happen right away, and time started going by, you know, over that 24-hour period or whatever, I realized, O.K, this could go off track. But when we hung up … when you hang up and Mitch says, O.K, we have a deal. I’m like, O.K., we got a deal. And I called Davidson. He calls Dr. Buss and says, Look, we have a deal. Only thing is Kobe’s gotta approve it. You know, at that moment you’re going, O.K., this could happen. You know what I mean?
One of the most decorated but low-key figures in NBA history has reemerged from the shadows to take yet another impactful position. Joe Dumars is a Hall of Fame player, NBA Finals MVP and championship executive — the first Black executive to lead a team to an NBA title — and now he takes up a post in the league office as Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations.
Dumars will oversee the evolution of rules and officiating along with discipline, after three seasons with the Sacramento Kings as Chief Strategy Officer. He’ll report to Byron Spruell, President of League Operations, and this is his first front-facing position since leaving his post as Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations in 2014. “Timing is everything in your life,” Dumars told Yahoo Sports recently. “ As soon as I retired from playing at 36 (in 1999), this probably wasn’t the move for me. I had to live and get more experience. “Once I started talking to Adam (Silver, NBA commissioner) and Mark Tatum (deputy commissioner), just over a period of time, it became very clear that this was like a seamless transition for me. So I’m super happy with the decision to do so. Everything I’ve done up until this point, led me to this particular move right here.”
The flow-stopping “take foul” was next on the menu, and the NBA approved rule changes with that highlighted into this coming season. It was a huge point of emphasis from the coaches and the league, and passed easily this summer. “When the game gets diluted and, and it gets junked up a little bit, I think it’s imperative for the league to step in and make sure the game stays clean,” Dumars said. “Look, the athletes are incredible. These young guys are gonna make incredible plays no matter what. So I just think it’s incumbent upon the league to make sure that it’s a beautiful, clean game.”
Detroit clinched postseason berths three times in that five-year run in teal and maroon, notably worn by Grant Hill, Jerry Stackhouse, Joe Dumars and Ben Wallace. “I think it’s great that people remember some things that we did in that era,” said Stackhouse, whom the Pistons acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers in 1997. “It wasn’t the glory days. It wasn’t the Bad Boys. It wasn’t the ’04 championship team, but in between that, you had Grant Hill, you had myself, you had Lindsey Hunter and Allan Houston. Terry Mills. You had guys that contributed to taking some ingredients from those Bad Boys.”
Jerry Stackhouse: “I was able to be in the locker room with Rick Mahorn and Joe Dumars. Those guys were men. They taught you how to be a professional. Nothing against Philadelphia, but I was with a lot of young guys. When I got here, that was my first sense that I was around some pros, guys that knew how to go about their business. I learned from them and I was able to share that with other young guys that came through the organization. I think some of those ingredients kind of carried through and we were kind of the bridge between those two eras.”