Nobody wants to hear the P-word.

I'm not talking about playoffs.

It's patience.

It's a word that understandably leaves a nasty taste in the mouths of many whose opinions of how the Detroit Pistons are run have graduated from disappointed to disgusted after what will become a fourth straight playoff-less spring. Owner Tom Gores' patience is no doubt wearing thin.

He made it clear in his impromptu state-of-the-Pistons comments before the regular-season home finale Monday that he expected a playoff season this year, that he isn't happy the Pistons again fell woefully short, and that he will demand accountability.

Sounds like he's ready to take a big broom through the entire organization, doesn't it?

Don't hold your breath.

You want Joe Dumars fired?

That's justified.

But who replaces him?

"Anybody" isn't a viable candidate. It isn't even a reasonable argument for demanding change, especially when you consider the people heading such a search still are trying to figure out how to run a basketball operation. The prudent move for Gores is giving Dumars one last summer to rectify the mistakes that were partly his own miscalculations, partly ownership instability and partly a former NBA economic structure that too easily encouraged reckless spending.