The days of the Detroit Pistons winning nearly 60 games in the regular season and competing for an NBA Championship again seem like a long way away. There’s no Chauncey Billups to stabilize the roster and things are crumbling in Detroit. The Pistons entered this season with expectations of getting back to the playoffs, but instead they finished with their second straight disappointing season and will miss out on the playoffs again.
There was in-fighting in the locker room, players that didn’t want to play for the coach, and guys in the locker room that acted completely unprofessional at times. Now that their dysfunctional season is winding down, the Pistons have to answer some major questions in the offseason. With new ownership led by Tom Gores, Detroit has to figure out whether or not John Kuester will be back and after pushing nearly all the right buttons early in his career, the seat underneath Joe Dumars is getting awfully warm as well.
Joe Dumars joined WXYT in Detroit with Matt Dery to talk about how happy he is the new ownership group in Detroit, whether or not he expects to be back with Detroit in 2011, how disappointed he is with the outcome of the season, who is most to blame for the season, and whether or not John Kuester will be retained.
How happy he is the new ownership deal finally got worked out:
“I think we’re all happy to have this stage of the deal done. There’s more work to be done. We’re limited in how much we can come out publicly and say about this, but I can say that everyone here is happy that this has gotten to this point now and close to bringing closure to this situation.”
What the future holds for him in Detroit:
“Tom (Gores) and I will sit down and discuss it. We will figure out what we will do going forward. I won’t get into a whole lot of public speculation about my situation other than to say we will sit down, discuss it, and we will figure it out.”
Whether or not he would characterize this season as a disappointment:
“You just said it when you said disappointed. We felt like we should’ve been a playoff team this year. We had a lot of dysfunction this year, things that we weren’t pleased with and things we’re not used to seeing in Detroit. Our mission is to get these things straight and get back to what we had become used to and what people had become used to. That’s our whole focus right now is to get back on track. These last couple of years was tough for everybody because of a lot of situations and our focus right now is to just get back on track.”
Who is most to blame for the terrible season:
“Whenever you have success everybody should take part and celebrate that success and whenever you have failure everybody has to take part in it. To sit here and absolve anyone, myself or anyone, from our disappointment this year would be wrong. I can’t absolve anyone. We all take a share of blame into the season unfolding the way it did. I will be the first person to raise my hand and say let me take whatever blame that needs to be taken, let me be the first person to step up and take some of that blame as to us not making the playoffs this year.”
On the future of John Kuester:
“It’s inappropriate with two more games left. You know how it is. You sit down and you talk after the season, you evaluate things and that’s what we will do. Kue and I will sit down and I will sit down with the new owners. You have to go through that whole process so it would be inappropriate to even sit here and try and speculate right now.”
How disappointed he is with Rodney Stuckey:
“I’m disappointed with a lot of guys and their actions this year. I will stop short of just singling out Stuckey. There’s a lot of guys that I was disappointed in this year. That situation that you just mentioned was one of them. I don’t want to just single him out because there have been some other things that have gone on this year that were un-Piston like and we were all disappointed in.”