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.