Dates and games that will live in infamy for the Detroit Pistons

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April 16, 2024: Tom Gores goes soft

This was the moment that I, personally, stopped defending Pistons owner Tom Gores. He's a far cry from William Davidson and I've always acknowledged that. But to be fair, the guy does spend his money.

To review, Gores took control of the franchise in 2011 (and became the sole owner in 2015). Since that time, the Michigan State graduate returned the team to the city. There, he presided over the establishment of the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, which is said to be a state of the art practice facility and corporate headquarters.

Admittedly, a lot of the above was no-brainer public relations, but then Gores opened up his rather large pocketbook and brought in Stan Van Gundy. Granted, the Van Gundy Era is not one that will evoke fond memories for most Pistons fans, but it wasn't the dumpster fire we've suffered through since his departure, either. And when he did depart, Gores again spent some coin in his hiring of well-respected head coach Dwane Casey. A couple of years after that, Gores hired Troy Weaver to be his general manager.

But Gores wasn't done! Casey retired from coaching, was welcomed onto the front office gravy train, and at that point Tommy G showed unprecedented financial commitment by throwing a $78 million dollar bag at Monty Williams to replace his outgoing coach.

Each and every one of these aforementioned hires included the acquisitions of respected basketball minds and demonstrated legitimate financial commitment, but now, on the heels of the worst season in Pistons history, during which they had a league-worst record of 14-68, which happened to be the second consecutive season that they finished with the league's worst record, Pistons owner Tom Gores announced that he was going to...hire a babysitter for the failed nucleus of leadership he spent a fortune piecing together. Instead of getting dirty and cleaning house he showed how Charmin soft he really is.

The footnote to the single most disastrous season in Detroit Pistons franchise history is the team owner's announcement that he is going to spend more money on front office brass in order to fix the catastrophe that he has spent 13 years and billions of dollars making. Meanwhile, a broken and battered fanbase cries out, "Make it make sense." And the only way to do that is to acknowledge that you can move the team back to the city, spend an unimaginable sum of money on executives and coaches, design spiffy uniforms that harken back to the glory days of the Bad Boys, and still manage to be responsible for the most embarrassing chapter in the story of a once great franchise.