With the draft quickly approaching, many were beginning to ask why the Detroit Pistons were waiting so long to make important off-the-court decisions. Since the end of the season, Detroit have been searching for a new general manager to replace the outgoing Joe Dumars, as well as a new head coach to replace the departing John Loyer. With Pistons owner Tom Gores having enlisted the help of executive search firm Korn Ferry in the hiring of the men who will fill these roles, fans were expecting high-profile appointments. Now, with rumors swirling about talks with Stan van Gundy, they may just get their wish.
First reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Van Gundy, who was said to be deep in negotiations with the Golden State Warriors, has now reportedly turned his attention to the Detroit Pistons. The reason for his change of mind is surely the prospect of full control over all basketball decisions, as rumors suggest that Van Gundy would be both head coach and president of basketball operations, if he was to sign on in Detroit.
There are obvious reasons why that would appeal to Van Gundy. In his previous two terms as a head coach in the NBA, Van Gundy had the experience of effectively being pushed out of his job by those around him. He stepped down midway through what would become a championship winning season in Miami, as it became clear Pat Riley wanted to return to the bench, while in Orlando, he was fired at the request of Dwight Howard. The opportunity to make decisions without anyone else’s shadow looming over him, makes Detroit an attractive proposition.
The 54-year-old Van Gundy is undoubtedly a great coach, ranking seventh in win percentage (.641) among men who’ve coached more than 500 games in the NBA, but does that automatically make him a great fit in Detroit?
Let’s take a look at Van Gundy’s philosophies and how they can be incorporated into this Pistons group.