Fixing the Detroit Pistons: Leadership, Ownership, and Management

Gary PikulaContributor IMarch 7, 2011

Allen Iverson was disinterested in the Pistons from day one
Allen Iverson was disinterested in the Pistons from day oneGregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons are a mess.

Everyone knows this. It doesn't take an NBA scout to tell you that this team has serious issues on and off the court. Just like any business or organization it goes from the top down starting with ownership.

Ever since former Pistons owner Bill Davidson passed away in 2009 his wife Karen Davidson assumed control of the team, which she had no interest in. By the end of the 2009-10 season she had put a for sale sign on the team and hoped to have a deal done by the beginning of the current season. 

Two 30-day exclusive negotiating and another 15-day negotiating period later and the Pistons still don't have a new owner. Mike Illitch felt the numbers presented to him were inflated, and Tom Gores hasn't been able to agree on a deal either. In Davidson's defense, it's not an easy sell right now given the local economy. 

Once a new owner is in place, hopefully by the end of this season, they have some major decisions to make. The first being the fate of Joe Dumars, the general manager of the team. 

Dumars was hired before the 2000-01 season. He rebuilt the team into a contender, and then won a championship in 2004 over the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers. Since then he has made many questionable decisions that has lead some in the Detroit area to call for his firing.

The first questionable decision came in the 2003 draft. Even though Darko Milicic was on the 2004 championship team he was considered to be the "Human victory cigar." Darko only saw the court if the game was well out of reach.

He has since gone on to bounce around from team to team and see virtually no success in the NBA. He was drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade. 

The next questionable decision was the Chauncey Billups trade. It sent Billups and Aaron Afflalo to the Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson, who was on the last year of his deal. Iverson didn't gel with the team, couldn't handle coming off the bench, and he left after just that one season.

However, it did leave Dumars with a lot of cap space, which he then spent on overpaying Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Following those questionable signings was the hiring of head coach John Kuester, and this was after the hiring and firing of Michael Curry after just one season. 

Now under coach Kuester the team stinks, and the only thing keeping them from last place in the division is an even worse Cleveland Cavaliers team. He's lost the team and some of the players even skipped a practice in protest of him.

His poor management of playing time for players and overall lack of game planning has helped lead to the once proud franchise being an embarrassment.

Whether it ends up being Tom Gores or Mike Illitch as the next owner of the team, one thing is certain: John Kuester cannot be apart of the team moving forward. Nor can about half of the current roster, and Joe Dumars should be one more questionable decision or bad coaching hire away from being fired too. 

The NBA is a what have you done for me now lately type league, and the Pistons haven't done anything lately, largely because of Kuester and Dumars.