Pistons owner Gores wants to win now
by Vince Ellis, USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores spoke with Detroit Free Press sports writer Vince Ellis on a number of topics, including Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson’s brief involvement with the coaching search, his impressions of new coach Maurice Cheeks, his win-now philosophy, the future with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars, the draft and free agency. This is Part 1 of a two-part conversation:
Question: Since the last time you spoke publicly, maybe the biggest news from a headline perspective was the decision to bring in Phil Jackson as a consultant. What was your thought process there and were you surprised about the criticism?
Answer: To me, to not take advice from probably the best coach ever in the NBA — I don’t think anybody in the league would not take advice from a guy like that. I felt like that we had to be open-minded and Phil’s a real smart guy. I felt that us as ownership, our front office, we should always be open to listening to smart people. To me it was kind of a no-brainer. I appreciated the fact that Phil was willing to do it. A lot of people in our league would have loved to be in position to get advice from one of the best ever. I thought we were just fortunate just to have a dialogue. I didn’t follow any of the negative stuff so you can give me a little color on that. Was there some negative stuff there?
Q: Some took the stance that it looked like you were undermining Dumars and maybe you didn’t have enough confidence in him to pick a coach.
A: We didn’t even think about it that way. Joe didn’t think about it that way. It’s really all about just getting better. Again, you’re talking to Phil Jackson, right? If he wanted to call anyone about basketball to offer advice, we have to listen.
Q: Did he give you any feedback on Maurice Cheeks?
A: Phil gave us feedback in what he thought it would take to help us get a winning team and the franchise back on track. … [For more on Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores wants to win now, click here.]