Pistons firing coaches isn’t their problem

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

The Pistons fire too many coaches like doctors remove too many tumors.

The extraction isn’t the problem.

Of course, doctors don’t hire tumors, so the analogy is as imperfect as a Maurice Cheeks playing rotation. But the Pistons’ issue isn’t firing coaches too frequently.

It’s too frequently getting to the position where firing a coach makes sense.

Detroit has fired eight coaches since Joe Dumars became general manager in 2000 — more than any other NBA team in that span. It’s easy to point to that number and say the Pistons are too impatient, too unforgiving.

But in the moment of those firings, the Pistons usually have been right.

There are two lessons here, one from the first half of Dumars’ tenure and one from the second half.

As the second half shows, hiring a good coach is imperative. If you don’t have one of those, you’re just biding time until you figure out what you do have.

But as the first half shows, that’s not enough. Even good coaches need front-office support, a general manager who’s committed to helping them reach both the players and owners.

Lately, the Pistons haven’t supported their bad coaches. It’s an awful combination doomed to failure.

The only thing the Pistons have done consistently right with their coaches is fire them.

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Tags: Bill Davidson Flip Saunders George Irvine Joe Dumars John Kuester Larry Brown Lawrence Frank Maurice Cheeks Michael Curry Rick Carlisle Tom Gores

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