Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Detroit Pistons are set to hire former New Jersey Nets head coach and Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank. Frank was seemingly running neck and neck with Mike Woodson for the head coaching vacancy.
But one nagging issue is whether this indicates a fissure in the just beginning relationship between new owner Tom Gores and longtime GM Joe Dumars. ESPN’s Marc Stein has previously reported that while Dumars favored Woodson, who he was familiar with from the 2004 championship team, Gores and recently hired adviser Dave Checketts were leaning toward Frank.
Does the hiring of Frank signal any discord in Auburn Hills? Stein seems to imply as much with his article on the Pistons hiring Frank. The report is rife with instances of pointing out the “growing influence” of Cheketts. Wojnarowski, meanwhile, doesn’t bother to mention Checketts at all. He does, however, say:
“Frank has benefited from the recommendations ofPhiladelphia 76ers president Rod Thorn – his old boss with the New Jersey Nets – and Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Pistons general manager Joe Dumars holds both Thorn and Rivers in high regard.”
This would indicate that it was Dumars who gave the final blessing and not a sign of Checketts exerting power on the team. I’m not sure we’ll ever get a real answer to this question until and unless there is an official changing of the guard and Dumars is shown the door.