Phil Jackson's newfound alliance with the Pistons has sure moved the needle on a franchise that has been absent from the national scene for quite some time. ESPN discussed what could result of this unpaid partnership, as Jackson's California ties with Pistons owner Tom Gores led to him volunteering his services. It could be something substantial or merely something to put the Pistons back on the radar. But wins — and not Hollywood hookups — will put the Pistons back on the path to national relevance. Gores, knowingly or unknowingly, has opened up Pandora's box of questions he's likely unable to answer at the moment. There's no doubt, at least from this seat, about Gores' desire to win. That doesn't mean his moves aren't above reproach, especially considering this dalliance with Jackson is not only undefined but also difficult to navigate from Pistons president Joe Dumars' seat. Dumars, by all accounts, is running the coaching search, and, for the first time since selecting Michael Curry in 2008, is in position to choose a coach without certain constraints from ownership. Not only that, there's the draft coming up, which Dumars has excelled at in recent years, as well as free agency, where Dumars deftly created cap space by ridding the Pistons of bad contracts. Those two facts seemed to have fallen by the wayside with Pistons fans who suffer from selective memory. They're all too eager to hand the reins over to Jackson, an amnesia one would think Gores is too smart to also suffer from. Does this mean Jackson will have a real voice in the coaching search? What if he chooses Kurt Rambis or Brian Shaw, and one turns out to be a disaster? Does that fall on Dumars, too? Many have tagged the failures of John Kuester and Lawrence Frank upon him, even though they weren't. Or is this Jackson thing merely a short-term show, a ploy for some attention on the Pistons' end, and for Jackson a chance to tiptoe into the spotlight without having to fully immerse himself in the day-to-day grind? If it is a show, then the Pistons are at the "teal" stage, where the shrubbery was more important than the substance.
Owner Tom Gores must show faith in Joe Dumars' ability to turn Pistons around
Detroit News | May 5