Fans of the Detroit Pistons need to face reality when under the ownership of Tom Gores.
In June of 2011, Tom Gores purchased the Detroit Pistons for $325 million. In what was seen as a bargain at the time, the Pistons hold a current valuation of roughly $1.45 billion. In a fiscal sense, Gores has seen success in Detroit. On the court however, the story hasn’t been the same.
Since the 2011-2012 season, the Pistons have had five different coaches and have only achieved one winning season.
A lot of this turmoil can be credited to Detroit’s refusal to commit to a rebuild. While sure, now it seems as if the franchise is at least semi-committed to that direction under Troy Weaver, but it took a considerably long time.
Prioritizing “retooling” over “rebuilding” has been a plague that Detroit hasn’t been able to shake. Over paying players simply because you can and not because you should, and attempting to fight for a playoff spot when in reality you need to completely reset, has long since been an issue.
People will always trace this back to Stan Van Gundy’s tenure when he traded for Blake Griffin in January of 2018. Because of that, people feel as if this perpetual state of purgatory largely falls on his shoulders.
It doesn’t. Not exclusively, at least.
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The common denominator here is Tom Gores. Whether you agree with his methods as owner or not, the reality is pretty simple: He doesn’t want to put a losing product on the floor.
In a sense it’s pretty admirable. Essentially he just wants to have the absolute best product in the arena every single night, so that you’ll feel more compelled to pay for tickets and come see them play.
He’s the ultimate capitalist, and you can’t argue otherwise.
However, when you’re faced with the reality that the teams you think you’re putting together almost never work out, something has to change. It took him years to finally agree to move Andre Drummond.
The NBA is a business, and the Pistons are a product. They need to remain profitable, and we all understand that.
But as fans it almost beings to feel as if your only option is to put all your chips in the middle with players who, while most are serviceable and some have bright futures, aren’t exactly the cast that wins championships.
This is what people have to realize when they say that they want Detroit’s rotation to be topped out in 20 to 25 year olds. That’s just not going to happen. There’s a reason Derrick Rose was brought in, and there’s a reason that Griffin was brought in.
At the end of the day, Gores wants to win and will do whatever he can to make that happen. Attempting to rebuild on the fly has become the new normal with the Pistons, and while it certainly feels like that’s beginning to change, we’ll have to wait and see.