Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie continues his series ranking the best of the last decade, and couple more Pistons were honored.
The top 10 NBA general managers of the last decade
The Spurs’ R.C. Buford was No. 1 on the list, and I think that’s a good call. And No. 2 is also pretty obvious.
2. Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
Bum moves, Joe’s made a few. But he’s been in the front office since 2000 and running things on his own since 2001, and the sheer amount of moves he’s made has still left the Pistons in the playoffs for every season he’s run things singularly. He’s also presided over a title-holder, built solely around his trades and pick-ups.
Dumars started by playing it smart, working with teams in cap hell, leaving things flexible, sometimes acting as if Bird Rights didn’t matter and he had an NFL-styled hard cap to work with. The Pistons were in the Eastern Conference finals every year between 2003 and 2008, and it was only the players’ fault they didn’t win more titles.
He’s also screwed up a fair amount. Let the Larry Brown situation linger, let his players walk all over Flip Saunders, drafted Rodney White, drafted Darko Milicic(notes), picked up lower-rung free agents that just didn’t work, hired Michael Curry and seemed all too willing to quickly cash in his 2009 cap space forBen Gordon(notes) and Charlie Villanueva(notes) — two nice players who might not even start for Detroit for spells next season.
Could it have been better? Yes, Detroit’s run could have been much, much better. Spurs-like, better. But overall, it was still pretty damn good.
The 10 best point guards of the last decade
Jason Kidd and Steve Nash top this list, and I also think they’re the right choices. It’s hard to argue with Billups at No. 3, either. Gilbert Arenas was hurt too much, and Chris Paul started too late into the decade.
Here’s a resume. Six teams, one of them twice, one he never played for. So … six teams?
One ring, four All-Star teams, and the man didn’t even start more than 60 games for the second time until his sixth season. This is a long way of telling you that, six years ago, any thought of any impending inclusion of Chauncey Billups on a list of the decade’s best point men would be met with confusion and/or derision. And yet, here he is. And some will argue for his presence at the top spot, and I’d have a tough time shouting them down.
Sturdy D, standout offensive efficiency on slow-down teams, lots and lots of wins. He leads, he executes, and sorry for resorting to a cliché, but Chauncey Billups is proof that persistence often pays off.