Why Wasn’t Joe Dumars Fired?
Many sportswriters, sports announcers, and fans were expecting Joe Dumars to be shown the door shortly after his hand-picked head coach, Mo Cheeks, got fired earlier this month. The timing was questionable, however, it does show that owner Tom Gores is controlling the future of the Pistons, since he took credit for this firing.
Why wouldn’t Gores fire Dumars at the same time and just make this season a wash? Why would he wait? Will he ever fire him? These and many other questions have been asked, mumbled under heated breath, and yelled at many a sports bar in Michigan. These are a few ideas of what Gores may be thinking:
The Pistons Bad Boys Reunion
With the Pistons bringing back the Bad Boys for a reunion on March 28, it would make sense that Gores maximize on this situation for his fan’s benefit, as well as for his pocketbook. If the media is stuck asking Dumars about his recent firing instead of remembering the good ‘ol days, the Bad Boys may just decide to stay home to support their teammate. It would at least cast a dark shadow on the event.
You Just Don’t Fire Someone with Their Number in the Rafters
Joe Dumars retired after the 1998-99 season and had his number (4) retired in March of 2000. If you are truly respectful of the Detroit Pistons, you do not simply fire someone who has a long successful career as a player, a main component in making the 2004 Championship team, and has their jersey retired in the rafters. This would disrespect the Detroit Pistons fans.
You Just Don’t Fire Someone who has an NBA Award Named After Them
Joe Dumars was so respected by his peers for his attitude in the NBA that his name was placed on the NBA Sportsmanship Award. It is commonly called the Joe Dumars Trophy now, and is given annually to the player who “exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court – ethical behavior, fair play and integrity”. The player is nominated by their coach, then further narrowed down by a committee, and finally all of the players vote producing a point system and eventual winner. This trophy was created initially with Joe Dumars in mind. He was the first to get it and then later was named after him. That is a big deal! If you fire someone who is known to be a good sport, your name will surely become dirt. This would disrespect the NBA.
Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill (x3), Jason Kidd (x2), are notable recent recipients. What is interesting if that Grant Hill was mentored by Dumars as well as Billups. Jason Kidd and Grant Hill were co-Rookie of the Year recipients back in 1995.
Other awards and honors Dumars earned were: Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2006); NBA champion (1989, 1990); NBA Finals MVP (1989); NBA All-Rookie Team (1986); six-time NBA All-Star; All-NBA Second Team (1993); All NBA Third Team (1990, 1991); All-Defensive First Team (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993); All-Defensive Second Team (1991); World Championship gold medalist (1994); J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1994).
Gores wants it to Become Worse Before it Gets Better
If you put yourself in Gores’ shoes and ask yourself, “how would I purposely tank the season as to keep a top 8 protected draft pick that was pretty much given away?” What would you do? Well, how about fire a coach, promote the assistant coach (who no one knows) to be interim coach, keep your GM until his contract is conveniently expired, but don’t let him do any trades at the trade deadline. This does a few things in addition to tank your season. It puts all blame on the coach, the interim coach, and the GM, while keeping your name crystal clean, meanwhile better days arrive in Detroit in the coming season.
You Keep Another Team From Getting Dumars
It has long been speculative that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert is interested in hiring Joe Dumars as his GM. Why? Cleveland fired their GM the first week of February. Gilbert will be looking for the best GM to do the work. Oh yeah, and Gilbert and Dumars are neighbors! It also is well known that Gores and Gilbert do NOT like each other. Not sure if they are in business competition or if maybe there is a Michigan vs. Ohio fight going on. Maybe Gores just wants to keep Dumars from Cleveland at this time.
None of the Above
Maybe Gores believes Dumars is doing a great job and will renew his contract at the end of the year. One thing you will never hear is any badmouthing from Joe Dumars. This is a key reason to like him as your GM.
We want to hear from you!
What reason do you believe Gores hasn’t fired Dumars?
If you think Gores will fire Dumars, when do you see it happening?
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