Pistons shouldn’t limit themselves to coaching candidates like Nate McMillan

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Me at the Detroit Free Press:

[The Pistons] hired Michael Curry, who had been an assistant coach only one year. When he failed, they were panned for hiring someone with so little experience.

Then they hired John Kuester, who had been an assistant many years. When he failed, they were panned for hiring someone with no NBA head coaching experience.

Then they hired Lawrence Frank, who had been an NBA head coach. When he failed, they were panned for hiring someone with a losing career record.

So where do they go from here? To an experienced NBA coach with a winning record, of course.

That leaves [Nate] McMillan, [Avery] Johnson, [Scott] Skiles and [Stan] Van Gundy. If McMillan — who surely will have other suitors — doesn’t work out, look for the Pistons to turn their attention to those other three.

The Pistons are looking for a coach to take over a team with a losing record, turn it into a winner and eventually guide it to a playoff-series victory. Just three Pistons coaches have done that since the franchise moved to Detroit: Rick Carlisle, Chuck Daly and Dick McGuire.

Carlisle was a Pacers assistant when the Pistons hired him.

Daly was a Philadelphia 76ers broadcaster with a career 9-32 head coaching record.

McGuire was still a Pistons player.

The lesson isn’t that a safe coaching hire is mistake. It’s that an expanded, imaginative search is important.

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Tags: Avery Johnson Chuck Daly Dick McGuire John Kuester Lawrence Frank Michael Curry Nate Mcmillan Rick Carlisle Scott Skiles Stan Van Gundy

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