Monday, April 15, 2013
Tom Gores noncommittal on staff
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons are wrapping up a fourth straight season without a playoff berth, and the future of team president Joe Dumars and coach Lawrence Frank is looking increasingly uncertain.
Owner Tom Gores said as much Monday night at the team's home finale.
"I'd say I expected better results. I met with Joe and Lawrence (on Sunday) and let them know that," Gores said. "They are great guys that know their business, but I'm here assessing everything. My job is to move this franchise forward."
Gores spoke briefly with reporters before Detroit's game against Philadelphia. When asked if Dumars and Frank are safe in their jobs, Gores didn't tip his hand.
"We're assessing that right now," he said. "I think both of them, including ownership, has to be accountable for the year."
Gores bought the team before the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign.
The Pistons are now facing a crucial offseason. They'll have another high draft pick after landing Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond in the lottery the last three years. They also have space under the salary cap after trading veterans Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince in the last year.
"We have a great core of young players, but we have to be accountable," Gores said. "I expected to be in the playoffs, so I'm disappointed by that."
Next year will mark a full decade since the Pistons won the NBA title in 2004. The franchise has fallen on hard times since then, with plunging attendance and little relevance in the playoff race.
Detroit lost its first eight games this season, and although the Pistons appeared to be playing better by early January, they lost Drummond to a back injury and went 1-13 in March.
Asked if Dumars would make the ultimate decision on Frank's future, Gores said ownership would have some say in that.
"It'll be a discussion. I have to be involved because I'm taking care of this franchise," Gores said. "I can tell you Lawrence is a tremendous guy. I've gotten to know him over the last couple years, but I have to really think about this franchise and what the best thing is for the future."