Before posting Friday about Joe Dumars’ seemingly conflicting statements on the Pistons’ trade possibilities, I listened to each audio clip several times, trying to consider another way he could have meant what he said. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fine one, and I posted some regrettable things, notably questioning Dumars’ trustworthiness.
I’ve been wrong with other things here, but this is my biggest foot-in-the-mouth moment.
I still think there’s a good chance Dumars misrepresented the state of negotiations in order to appease fans, but I don’t know that. Because of I don’t know his intent, I went way, way too far in my criticism.
I still think listening to the audio of both interviews, the tone was extremely different.
When Matt Dery asked whether a deal was close, Dumars brought up negotiations with two teams and, I inferred they were promising because the GM said he’d take the offer to his owner and coach. Justin Rogers had a similar interpretation, saying Dumars’ comments “gave fans a reason to remain hopeful.”
When Keith Langlois asked Dumars whether there is anything, Dumars quickly and succinctly said no. Unfortunately, the audio on Pistons.com has been taken down, but I invite anyone who heard the audio on before it was taken down to comment with their interpretation.
I think hearing the quotes makes my point stronger, and I said as much immediately after posting.
But that doesn’t make my main point, that Dumars had deliberately misled fans to appease them, OK. There are too many variables – what Dumars meant in his statement to Dery, what Langlois meant with with his final question, how Dumars interpreted Langlois’ final question – for me to know for certain.
I think we can all agree Dumars meant no trade is imminent, and that’s disappointing. But anything other than that, I’ll leave to your own interpretation.
I’m sorry, Joe.