On June 3rd, 2008, the Detroit Pistons fired Flip Saunders after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals three seasons in a row. June 10th, 2008, the Detroit Pistons hire Michael Curry after serving only one season as an assistant. June 30, 2009 the Detroit Pistons fire Michael Curry after one season and on July 9th, 2009 the Detroit Pistons hire John Kuester. Where am I going with this? Well do you notice the trends? The Detroit Pistons hired new head coaches within about a week after firing their current head coaches at the time. May I remind Pistons fans that Michael Curry and John Kuester were not good options and their records proved it.
Personally, I am fine waiting this long to find the right guy to steer the ship. Obviously in the past, pulling the trigger too soon on any candidate proved to be the wrong decision. There are too many candidates out there to interview and the Pistons front office is actually reaching out to a vast number of candidates this time. I’m sure you are all familiar with the interviewees but for those who are living under a rock, I can list the known candidates: Mike Budenholzer, Nate Mcmillan, Maurice Cheeks, Adrian Griffin, Lindsey Hunter, and J.B. Bickerstaff.
Joe Dumars in a phone conversation said: “We’ve talked to a lot of people, I’m waiting on you guys to get the names out there but you haven’t gotten them out yet.” This tells us that there are more candidates we haven’t heard about in the media. Unlike other years, the coaching search hasn’t taken this long and there wasn’t an immense number of candidates that were called in for an interview.
An emerging candidate from the Indiana Pacers is getting a lot of buzz lately. I’m sure you all know who I’m talking about; Brian Shaw. Donnie Walsh, the president of basketball operations for the Pacers declined to allow any of his staff interview with teams until the Pacers playoff run is over. The Detroit Pistons let Frank go on April 18, and its been over a month since the team has had a head coach. The fact that the search continues tells me the Pistons are waiting on Shaw. There has been speculation that Joe Dumars really likes Maurice Cheeks and Nate McMillan. Nate McMillan was tabbed as the front runner since the Pistons made it publicly official that they are searching for their new guy. Why hasn’t McMillan been hired? After-all he’s been the leading candidate since late April.
This makes it pretty obvious that Phil Jackson’s voice in the front office is being heavily considered. Brian Shaw was known to be the Zen Master’s successor in LA. It would make perfect sense to assume that Jackson is suggesting Shaw to the Detroit Pistons. There’s one problem; if the Pistons wait for Shaw, this would put them in danger of not being able to fall back on McMillan if Shaw were to reject the offer. If this happens, the Pistons could always fall back on the former Oklahoma City Thunder assistant; Maurice Cheeks.
Could Detroit be in for a reuniting of Phil Jackson and Brian Shaw? Maybe. Speculation around the league suggests that Joe Dumars would not like to be the second man in office, if his voice is trumped again and Shaw is hired, this can potentially lead to Joe Dumars stepping down.
Should the Pistons wait on Shaw, or should they go with the front runner, Nate McMillan and hire him before another team snatches him from our hands? What do you think will happen? Voice your opinions.
*Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News reported the Pistons have a mutual interest with former Atlanta Hawks coach; Larry Drew. However, he was officially hired by the Milwaukee Bucks. (updated 5-31-13)
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