Of the five known candidates for job, sources say that former Pistons assistant Mike Woodson is still the closest thing to a favorite, thanks largely to Woodson’s good working relationship with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and the fact that Detroit would know exactly what it’s getting after Woodson’s work under Larry Brown during the Pistons’ 2004 title run.
Yet sources say that one reason Detroit’s search has dragged out so long is the strong impression that Lawrence Frank made on new Pistons owner Tom Gores and his advisers, among them former New York Knicks executive Dave Checketts.
Detroit’s choice, then, appears to be a tossup between the unattached Woodson and Frank, who remains part of Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston.
It should come as no surprise that Woodson and Frank are the favorites for the job, because they’re the only two known candidates with head-coaching experience. But whichever of the two gets hired could go a long way in showing us who runs the Pistons’ basketball operations.
I definitely favored Frank before this report, but now I have doubts. He’d be successful in Detroit only with Dumars’ strong backing, which would help keep the players in line. Without that, I’m not convinced Frank would command enough respect in the locker room.