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The Detroit Pistons announced today that Joe Dumars will step aside as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately. The team has launched a search for a new head of basketball operations.

“Joe Dumars is a great champion who has meant so much to this franchise and this community,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “We are turning the page with great respect for what he has accomplished not only as a player and a front office executive, but as a person who has represented this team and the NBA with extraordinary dignity.”

During the transition, Director of Basketball Operations Ken Catanella and Assistant General Manager George David will continue preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency signing period, reporting to ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth. Mr. Norment said the organization has developed a preliminary list of candidates that includes “the best executives in the business,” but he declined to place a specific timetable on selecting a replacement.

Mr. Dumars will continue his relationship with the franchise as an advisor to the organization and its ownership team.

“It’s time to turn the page on a wonderful chapter and begin writing a new one,” Dumars said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people throughout the last 29 years as both a player and executive, and I’m proud of our accomplishments. Tom Gores and ownership is committed to winning and they will continue to move the franchise forward.”

Drafted with the 18th selection in the first round of the 1985 NBA Draft, Dumars has spent 29 years with the Detroit Pistons organization, 14 years as a player (1985-1999) and 15 years as a member of the front office (1999-2014). Throughout that time, the franchise won three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five Eastern Conference titles (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005), nine Central Division titles and reached the Eastern Conference Finals 11 times.

Over the last 14 years as the club’s top basketball executive, Dumars guided the organization to a 595-536 (.527) regular-season record, 73 playoff wins, six Eastern Conference Finals appearances (2003-08), six Central Division titles, two Eastern Conference Championships (2004, 2005), two NBA Finals appearances and the 2004 NBA Championship.

During an eight-year period from 2001-2009, the club won an NBA Championship (2004), compiled 423 regular-season victories, 73 playoff wins and made six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals (2003-2008), the most since the Los Angeles Lakers went to six straight from 1984 to 1989. In 2007-08, the club won 50-plus games for a franchise-record seventh consecutive season and won its sixth Central Division title in seven years. In 2005-06, Detroit recorded its best regular-season record in franchise history (64-18), and, in 2004-05, the club won its second consecutive Eastern Conference Championship and reached the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1989 and 1990. Dumars’ efforts did not go unnoticed as he was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2003 and NBA Executive of the Decade in 2009 by The Sporting News.

Dumars’ Detroit beginning coincided with one of the most successful eras in Pistons basketball history. Following a 46-36 rookie campaign in 1985-86, Dumars’ teams won 50-plus games each of the next five seasons and two NBA Championships (1989, 1990). He won the first of many NBA honors following the team’s 63-19 record in 1988-89, being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. The six-time NBA All-Star was named Most Valuable Player of the 1989 NBA Finals, the first of the club’s back-to-back NBA Championships. Dumars was named first team NBA All-Rookie in 1985-86 and first team NBA All-Defense four times (1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 and 1992-93). He was named All-NBA Third Team in 1989-90 and 1990-91 and All-NBA Second Team in 1992-93 when he averaged a career-best 23.5 points per game. He went on to play 1,018 regular season games for Detroit in 14 seasons, making him the most tenured player in franchise history. He retired as the team’s all-time leading three-point shooter with 990 made and its second all-time leading scorer with 16,401 points.

Dumars, who became the seventh Pistons player to have their jersey retired, was the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 1996. The NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, which recognizes the NBA player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, is presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy each year. His basketball career was recognized with the highest of all honors when he was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2006.

Brandon Jennings

Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules for the second time this season.

The incident occurred with 3:01 remaining in the fourth quarter of Detroit’s 116-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, March 31 at Palace of Auburn Hills.

To view the play, click on this link.

Video: Bad Boy Pistons reunion

Friday night in Detroit, the Bad Boy Pistons had a reunion. Video footage:

Friday in Detroit, the Heat beat the Pistons 110-78. LeBron James had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in the win. Here are some LeBron video highlights:

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting:

The Detroit Pistons are getting an NBA Development League affiliate in Grand Rapids, and they won’t have to share it with any other NBA teams, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The person told the Free Press that the move to get a D-League team in Michigan and be solely affiliated with the Pistons was pushed for by Pistons owner Tom Gores.

The Grand Rapids franchise, which is expected to debut next season, will relocate from Springfield, Mass., where it is nicknamed the Armor. There was no immediate word about what the Grand Rapids team’s nickname will be.

Andre Drummond neck injury not serious

Here’s the Detroit News with some good news about young, talented Pistons center Andre Drummond:

Andre Drummond was in sweats at Pistons practice, chatting and laughing with members of the front office as practice concluded Monday.

It was a welcome sight after his scary neck injury Saturday, one that will keep him out of Wednesday’s game against the Denver Nuggets, the first of a four-game Western swing. He’s listed as questionable for Friday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.

He collided with Pacers center Roy Hibbert and forward Paul George midway through the first quarter while attempting to retrieve a loose ball.

Chauncey Billups out after knee surgery

Chauncey Billups out after knee surgery

The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Chauncey Billups underwent a successful arthroscopic surgical procedure on his left knee. The procedure, performed by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Lemos at DMC Surgical Hospital in Madison Heights, was completed to smooth irregularities in the meniscus and alleviate pain and inflammation.

Billups will begin rehabilitation immediately and will be re-evaluated again following a two-to-three week period.

Here’s Michigan Live on the Detroit Pistons, who this past weekend said goodbye to head coach Maurice Cheeks:

John Loyer isn’t going to recreate the Detroit Pistons in time for tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.

He’ll settle for players just giving him the respect he believes he has earned from them in two-plus seasons as a Pistons assistant.

“Players figure things out,” Loyer said today after shootaround at the practice facility. “They know, whether you’re a head coach or an assistant coach, one, whether you know your stuff; two, whether you’re in it for the right things; three, can you make them better; and four, are you a good leader. Guys figure that out and I’ll take my chances with what they’ve figured out over the last few years.”

Loyer, an assistant the last two years under Lawrence Frank, and this year under Maurice Cheeks, was promoted to interim head coach when Cheeks was fired Sunday.

Loyer is expected to serve out the remainder of this season as interim coach and said he is “ready for the challenge” and that Detroit “is where I want to be.”

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for this evening between the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena has been postponed due to severe weather conditions in the Atlanta area.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Detroit Pistons struggling badly at home

NBA teams, even the bad ones, generally play fairly well in their own arena. But here’s Michigan Live on the Detroit Pistons’ home struggles:

Here’s how absurd this Detroit Pistons season has become: Andre Drummond finally got his first 20-20 game, the Pistons went on a 30-4 scoring run, and the New Orleans Pelicans were playing short in the backcourt and without four of their top six scorers.

And the Pistons still lost.

Eric Gordon’s driving basket with 1.9 seconds left for a 103-101 Pelicans win wrapped another blown fourth-quarter lead for the Pistons, who were up by 10 with less than six minutes remaining.

As the game ended, with Maurice Cheeks bellowing for a timeout his team never called, the head coach was left to stare into the crowd at a fan who lobbed a vile curse at him for having rookie guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — arguably the Pistons’ best guard defender — on Gordon for the game-winning isolation play.

“I don’t even know what he said,” Cheeks said. “I was focused in on the play itself.”

Cheeks said he stared into the crowd out of sheer dismay after the Pistons (17-26) slipped to 7-15 at home and lost at The Palace of Auburn Hills for the eighth time in their last nine home games.

detroit pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has recalled rookie guard Peyton Siva and rookie forward Tony Mitchell from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Siva averaged 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.6 steals in five games (four starts) with Fort Wayne. He recorded 27 points, three rebounds, eight assists and eight steals vs. Iowa (1/3) after having 24 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals vs. Rio Grande Valley Vipers (12/28). Siva has appeared in 13 games this season with the Pistons averaging 0.3 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 5.8 minutes per game. The 56th selection in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Siva won an NCAA Championship and was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team as a senior at Louisville last year.

In six games (five starts) with the Mad Ants, Mitchell averaged 6.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in 22.1 minutes per game. Mitchell turned in his best performance of the stint vs. the Iowa Energy (1/3) when he recorded 14 points, nine rebounds, one assist and four blocks. The 37th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft from North Texas University, Mitchell has appeared in 10 games this season with the Pistons averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per game.

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has assigned rookie forward Tony Mitchell and rookie guard Peyton Siva to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Mitchell has appeared in 10 games this season with the Pistons averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per game. He was drafted 37th overall out of North Texas where he led the Sun Belt Conference in blocks at 2.7 per game.

Siva has appeared in 13 games this season with the Pistons averaging 0.3 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 5.8 minutes per game. Siva, the 56th selection in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, won an NCAA Championship and was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team as a senior at Louisville last year.

Here’s Michigan Live on the Detroit Pistons using Josh Smith the way everyone knows they should:

Pistons trying to move Josh Smith closer to the basket

The Detroit Pistons might have found the perfect formula for Josh Smith.

Take fewer outside shots and instead look for more opportunities near the basket.

Pistons’ fans have been clamoring for that all season and the new approach has worked so far as Smith topped the 30-point barrier in back-to-back games against the top two teams in the NBA.

He scored 31 in Sunday’s overtime loss to Portland at The Palace before bagging 30 Monday in a 101-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers, who brought the NBA’s best record into the game and were unbeaten in their first 11 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse running into the Pistons.

Here’s the Detroit News on a big, fun Pistons development:

andre drummond

This looks to be a week of discovery of sorts for Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks.

On Sunday, Cheeks revealed that when he accepted the Pistons job this past June, he didn’t know Andre Drummond would be this good.

“I didn’t,” Cheeks said after the Pistons’ 115-100 win over the 76ers. “Joe (Dumars) told me he was on an upswing, but I didn’t know. I (only) watched him a few times, but I didn’t know he would be as good as now. Trust me, he reminds me about his double-doubles every day.”

In context, Cheeks likely was referring to Drummond’s monster game — he put up 31 points and added 19 rebounds with six steals and two blocks on Sunday — along with Drummond’s seemingly rapid ascension, a track that could land him in the conversation of the best bigs in the game before too long.

Cheeks, however, cautions that despite his own expectations for Drummond, the center is just 20 years old, and not yet a seasoned, consistent veteran.

Here’s the Detroit News reporting on Pistons center Andre Drummond, who just unleashed another flash of potential greatness. The young center has a bright future ahead of him:

Andre Drummond drops monster game on Sixers

If Andre Drummond keeps progressing at the rate he’s going, then Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown—a first-year coach at his wit’s end — won’t be the only one to employ the “Hack-a-Dre” strategy…and Drummond will have to make them pay for it.

What Drummond poignantly called a “slap in the face” turns to 10 seconds of torture and uncertainty for Pistons fans and teammates, the time Drummond has to step to the free-throw line and conquer what appears to be his greatest weakness.

Assistant coach Rasheed Wallace yells “take your time” and his teammates say “10 seconds” but Drummond is on that line, all alone, with the world watching.

He shook off the insult to put together his best game as a pro, helping the Pistons to a 115-100 win over the 76ers at the Palace Sunday, with 31 points, 19 rebounds, six steals and two blocks. Thaddeus Young scored 24 and Evan Turner 20 for the 76ers (6-12), who entered Sunday a half-game behind the Pistons.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press on guard Brandon Jennings:

Brandon Jennings still developing as a point guard

It’s too early, said the former point guard — too early to decide whether Brandon Jennings will eventually figure out how to play the most demanding of NBA positions.

“It takes a certain amount of time for a guy to do that,” said Jennings’ coach, Mo Cheeks. “He’s still young, still figuring out the position.”

The Pistons point guard is 24, which, by today’s NBA standards, isn’t terribly young. What Cheeks is talking about, however, is that Jennings hasn’t been asked to play point guard before in any traditional manner. Cheeks was raised that way. Jennings was not.

Cheeks knew where everyone on the floor was supposed to be — or supposed to be going. When they weren’t, he told them. Jennings is trying to learn that now, after a life of seeking out space to shoot.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog on the parting of ways between the Hawks and forward Josh Smith this past offseason:

Josh Smith

At least they said hello.

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has previously said the team did not make Josh Smith a contract offer once he became an unrestricted free agent this summer. Smith gave some more detail into the Hawks’ lack of interest this summer in a radio interview with 92.9 FM Monday.

“No, there wasn’t,” Smith said when asked if there was a contract offer. “During free agency, during that period, there were a lot of guys out in L.A. that were meeting with various teams. I was one of those guys. That’s where I work out in the summertime as well. The only time I saw the Hawks during free agency was when they came to one of my workouts just to say hello. I think they were meeting with Dwight Howard that day. They never came in or sat down with me during the free agency period to offer me anything.”

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on some Twitter fun:

JR Smith

J.R. Smith’s latest Twitter fiasco – an apparent threat to harm Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings – had Knicks coach Mike Woodson contemplating a team policy about using social media Thursday and the organization wondering whether the reigning Sixth Man of the Year might be looking at a disciplinary action from the league.

Smith made what appeared to be a threat against Jennings on Wednesday night shortly after the Knicks’ win in Atlanta, where he started instead of coming off the bench. Jennings posted a dispatch on Twitter in which he questioned why Knick Chris Smith – J.R.’s brother – belongs on an NBA roster.

Smith first came to his brother’s defense and then, according to Deadspin.com, posted a tweet that read, “might call some of my Number street homies an put #Detroit on smash for a min! #DeadSerious.”

Asked before Thursday night’s game whether he intended to threaten with that message, Smith said, “No. There’s a way to threaten somebody and that’s not the way to publicly threaten somebody.”

The Detroit Pistons are lucky to have a talent like Greg Monroe. He’s good. But can be better. Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting:

greg monroe

Add Detroit Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks to the chorus.

For power forward Greg Monroe to take the next step in his development, he must become proficient at knocking down midrange jumpers.

That has been known for some time, but Cheeks said he mentioned it again to Monroe during Wednesday’s practice.

“I just told him today that if I was him, I’d practice that jump shot right at that left and right elbow,” Cheeks said.

Here’s Michigan Live on what the Pistons frontcourt brings to the table:

andre drummond

With Andre Drummond at center, Greg Monroe shifting from center to power forward, and [Josh] Smith at small forward, the Pistons have a powerhouse front line.

Their hope is that gains in rebounding and defensive rim protection counteract any issues in offensive spacing caused by playing Smith at small forward.

To the Pistons’ benefit, Smith and Monroe are willing passers who can operate as post hubs, while Drummond is content to rebound and run pick-and-rolls. They all seem capable of playing with any group of teammates.

That was proven to some extent in preseason, when Will Bynum was the only veteran playmaking guard who regularly participated in games. Billups took most of preseason off to preserve his 37-year-old body, Jennings missed most of it after surgery for an impacted wisdom tooth and hairline jaw fracture, and Rodney Stuckey missed most of it after surgery for a broken thumb.

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