Dorfman: Coaching The Pistons: Integrity Need Not Apply
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By Daniel I. Dorfman
CHICAGO (WSCR) Through the magic of modern technology, a microphone has been able to pick up the goings on at the Detroit Pistons front office as they search for a new coach. Let’s take a listen as Pistons President Joe Dumars gives a progress report on the search to new owner Tom Gores.
“Hey Joe, how is the coaching search coming along?”
“I have some people in mind and I am going to interview them. But I hope you don’t mind a few things about their individual backgrounds.”
“Joe, I’m sure none of these people have done anything too bad and they would exemplify class and professionalism. I can’t imagine they have done anything that awful.”
“Well, Tom the first candidate I have in mind does possesses great lineage for our franchise and he is one of the great point guards of all time. I just hope you don’t mind a few tiny, minor things that have occurred. In 1990, he was the subject of a gambling probe by the federal government and the IRS. After his playing career ended, he bought an entire league and soon thereafter it was in bankruptcy, with many of the owners blaming him. He coached the Indiana Pacers and then he went to take over the New York Knicks where at one point they had the league’s highest payroll to go along with the one of the NBA’s worst records. Among his player personnel moves included trading for Eddy Curry that cost the Knicks a chance to select both LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah. Not only did he turn the Knicks into a laughingstock, he was found guilty of sexual harassment that cost the team owners over $11 million. He was finally forced out but persistent rumors continue to pop up that he might be returning to the Knicks. All that being said, I still think Isiah Thomas would be a great candidate.”
“Uh Joe, who else you have in mind?”
“Well, the next guy showed a few flashes of success as a college coach and has been an NBA assistant for the past couple of years. He is a really good guy if you don’t mind that he got Oklahoma in trouble with the NCAA for making over 500 illegal phone calls to recruits. Then he went to Indiana and committed the same violations forcing that school to buy him out and that once dominant program has never recovered. Then there was the minor thing of him stealing away a recruit from Illinois even though that had already made a commitment. Outside of those things, I think Kelvin Sampson has terrific character.”
“Another person I have in mind played center for us and was a key component for our two championships in 1989 and 1990. He would be a great teacher for our young players if you don’t mind seeing them taking every cheap shot possible, throwing in a few sucker punches and flopping every time someone breathed on him. Just because he was the most despised player in the league for years I doubt would cause any problems with people in the league who have long memories. Anyway, here is Bill Laimbeer’s resume.”
“Well Joe that seems like quite a group. Keep me informed. Oh by the way, I know you are busy with the coaching search, but I also asked you to look into the open team accountant position.”
“Well, not much progress there, but I do have this impressive application from North Carolina. A guy by the name of Madoff, but he says he won’t be able to take the job for a while. Is that a problem?”
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Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.