As much as scouting plays a factor in drafting and signing players of your franchise’s future, following the installed vision of the franchise is what ultimately leads to success.
No matter how hard it is to do, there are many ways to win.
Stan Van Gundy has made it clear in his first month in office that his vision includes a mentality that Pistons fans are familiar with. Fans now know that the front office is looking to build a team, and not assemble talent. A team that plays hard-nosed basketball. A throwback to the championship years in Detroit.
Van Gundy and new General Manager Jeff Bower have done a great job at selling what they believe are the winning building blocks for the future.
The next step is getting Pistons players and future talent to buy in.
So far, it seems like the core of the franchise is. Andre Drummond will be the focal point, but Van Gundy the executive has laid down the groundwork on retaining fellow big man Greg Monroe. Van Gundy the coach has been vocal on how he believes that Josh Smith could be a major part of the Pistons success next season.
He’s hired a General Manager in Jeff Bower who has bought in fully to the Van Gundy road to success.
The Pistons are building unity and a plan of attack.
Now comes the part where they use their plan to evaluate and find the talent needed to put their team over the top.
Pistons GM Jeff Bower recently spoke with 1130 WDFN-AM’s Matt Shepard. He broke down what he is looking for in players that he and his team are looking to bring in either via free agency or through the 2014 NBA Draft.
“In today’s world there’s concepts that people have about themselves which is often different than what they think people feel they should be,” said Bower on WDFN’s Shep in the Morning program earlier this week. “When people are placed in the most stressful scenarios they always revert back to who they really are — not acting like who people think they are. You have to get through that first part to really understand if a player, or any person for that matter, really has instinctive leadership abilities.
“Being able to evaluate and observe a player in different types of settings and talking to the people he comes in contact with when it doesn’t matter, really gives you an outlook on who a person really is. You get a lot from talking with people that may be perceived as not as important as other people. How a guy treats his trainer and academic adviser in college and how he interacts on campus really gives you a true indication of who a guy is and what he’s all about.”
Van Gundy and Bower both understand how important leadership is to success.
Van Gundy witnessed it in Miami, after Head Coach/President Pat Riley selecting Dwayne Wade in the 2003 NBA draft. It was Wade’s tenacity on and off the court that led the Heat to prominence. Wade’s approach to the game changed the locker room. It enticed Shaquille O’Neal to buy into another championship run — this time as the sheriff’s deputy . It was D-Wade’s leadership that sold current teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team with him despite being superstars that could command their own championship locker rooms.
Bower saw it in the point guard he drafted out of Wake Forest fourth overall in 2005. Chris Paul immediately took over the locker room in New Orleans and helped lead a down franchise to respectability. He did it with a keen sense on how to be a floor general on the hardwood and in the locker room. He demands excellence from his teammates and is beloved for it. Now, CP3 is widely considered the best point guard in the league.
He has changed the culture of a Clippers franchise that never understood the intricacies of winning.
Whether it’s through the draft, free agency on their current roster, that has to be the next step for the Pistons.
The front office and coaching staff is in place to return to winning ways. The Pistons have an owner who supports the revival of a team with a past full of winning.
The next move is to find a franchise leader on the court that is willing to lead this team back to it’s previous standard of prominence.