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Report: Joe Dumars to resign as Pistons general manager

Apr 8, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Joe Dumars Introduces Josh Smith Joe Dumars Introduces Josh Smith

Joe Dumars is the NBA’s longest-tenured general manager.

He’s one of just six active general managers – along with Pat Riley, Donnie Nelson, Mitch Kupchak, Danny Ainge and R.C. Buford – who’ve won an NBA championship in that role.

And he’s soon to be out work.

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

Dumars has told multiple sources within the NBA that he plans to resign — possibly as soon as this week

Dumars became the Pistons’ president of basketball operations in 2000, tasked primarily with re-signing Grant Hill.

It didn’t work.

Hill spurned Detroit for the Magic, leaving Dumars to pick up the pieces just months into the job. Dumars settled for a free agent role player named Ben Wallace, ultimately acquiring him in a joint sign-and-trade for Hill.

Next, Dumars ridded the roster of its hefty contracts, creating flexibility. But the moves cost the Pistons on the court, and they lost 50 games in his first season.

Then, Dumars’ reputation rose meteorically as he took the Pistons to new heights.

Dumars acquired overlooked assets, forming a hard-working team that won 50 games under Rick Carlisle’s leadership and defensive system. The Pistons won a playoff series for the first time since the Bad Boys, when Dumars still played.

He took chances, turning over the roster from scrappy to talented. In came Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace. Larry Brown, already a Hall of Famer, became head coach. Considering the Pistons had just surpassed any expectations, the talent influx was daring.

One of Dumars’ most-conventional moves in this period was drafting Darko Milicic No. 2 overall in 2003. Nearly every NBA team would have drafted Darko in that situation, but obviously it remains one of the biggest blemishes on Dumars’ record.

Detroit won the 2004 championship, reached Game 7 of the NBA Finals the next season and reached six straight conference finals in all. It was a historically great run.

Then, almost as suddenly, Dumars deconstructed everything he had going.

He traded Billups for Allen Iverson, practically gave away Arron Afflalo and Amir Johnson, signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to big contracts, traded a potentially valuable first rounder to dump Gordon a year early and then used the money on Josh Smith. His latest coaching hires – Maurice Cheeks, Lawrence Frank, John Kuester and Michael Curry – all flopped. The Pistons haven’t won a playoff game in six years.

Along the way, Dumars drafted Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, giving the Pistons real hope to rebuild – hope that still exists. But under new owner Tom Gores, rebuilding was never the goal. Gores wanted to reach the postseason, and Dumars failed to deliver.

That’s why he’s on his way out, whether it’s this week or when the regular season ends next week. Dumars’ contract expires after the season, and ever since Gores stepped over Dumars to fire Cheeks mid-season, it’s been apparent this would be Dumars’ final year with the Pistons.

Whether it’s framed as a resignation, mutual parting or ownership-mandated change doesn’t really matter. Change is happening.

Dumars’ championship and remarkable run as an executive should have gotten him a long leash, and it did. His glory days as a Pistons player probably gave him even more leeway, which is not a courtesy that needed to be extended.

But time has, justifiably, run out. Few general managers would have survived the mistakes Dumars has made the last few years, and now he won’t.

Now, it’s just a matter of it becoming official.

  1. tigers182 - Apr 8, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Sucks the way it ended, but he needed to go.

    • butlers91 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Agreed – still love Joe, but he needs to go.

  2. sportsfan18 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Uh Joe, the door will hit you in your arse on the way out in 10 days… now if you should resign on your own beforehand, it would be so much better for all concerned…

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      I take it all you folks think he would NOT be fired if he didn’t resign then?

      I have news for you, he was finished with the Pistons either way after this season. If he didn’t resign, he would have been terminated.

      • bougin89 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        He wasn’t all bad you know. He did create the roster than was really competitive for years and even won a championship. Was it time for a change? Absolutely but take it easy. How many people can say they were a HOF player that won multiple titles and delivered a championship as a coach or front office executive for the same team?

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        He has nothing to hang his head about. He had a great playing career, won a title, transitioned into the front office and had success there too and another title… but he has been on a long down slide and it’s been time for him to have been let go.

        Any and all of these pro sports positions, head coaches in the NFL and NBA plus the G.M. positions are the old you’re hired to be fired…

        There are exceptions here and there but for the most part there is a lot of turnover.

        In the grand scheme of things, Mr. Dumars has been very successful in both his playing and front office career.

        But, it is time for him to move on.

  3. bougin89 - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    He should still be celebrated in Detroit but it was definitely time for him to go.

  4. asimonetti88 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Dumars has the strangest resume. For every great free agent signing he had like Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups (the first time) and Antonio McDyess, he had a Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva or Josh Smith blunder. For every great draft pick like Andre Drummond or Greg Monroe, he had a Darko Milicic or Brandon Knight bust. For every great trade he made like Rasheed Wallace or Rip Hamilton, he made a boneheaded trade for guys like Allen Iverson or giving up Afflalo for Vernon Macklin. For eight years of making the playoffs, six years in at least the ECF, one NBA championship and another Eastern Conference Championship, he led six high lottery teams. Half of his resume looks like a Hall of Fame exec, half of it looks like a Hall of Shame exec.

    • bougin89 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      He had a really good 2002. Drafted Tayshaun Prince(23rd overall), signed Chauncey Billups, and traded what amounted to Jerry Stackhouse for Rip Hamilton.

  5. jimthebuilder27 - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    About time he leaves! They should have fired him when he was firing coach after coach even when they were winning!

  6. bballhistorian - Apr 8, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Based on the way you described Dumars run, reminds me how his bad boy Pistons were developed during the 80s with a star in isiah thomas and a bunch of scrappy players who made their way to the top…only to suddenly fall off the pedalstool to the point of no return in the 90s. Same thing seemed to happen during Dumars reign as GM.

    Just imagine how much longer Detroit wouldve been great if they picked up Melo,Bosh, dWade or even Heinrich in the 03 draft. Thats still Dumars biggest error…even bigger than the AI for Billups trade and putting his hopes on Rodney Stuckey for yrs…essentially ending that run to put him where he is today.

  7. sparty0n - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Personally, I hope they give Bill Laimbeer a shot at the GM job. He really did an excent job with the WNBA franchise in Detroit. But no one is giving him a chance with the NBA side. I think he could do the job well.

  8. mvp43 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Here comes Isiah!!!!!

  9. truninerfan49 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Joe wanted Bo Outlaw in the Grant Hill sign and trade, not Ben Wallace. If Orlando dosen’t make that mistake, Joe wins no titles. He has been a a bad GM

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