Not too long ago, Joe Dumars was widely considered one of the NBA's better personnel guys. As President of the Detroit Pistons, Dumars was given arguably too much credit for helping build the franchise into perennial contenders in the middle part of last decade.
But to say that Dumars has had his fair share of missteps as the architect of the Pistons franchise is more than fair. There was the whole Darko Milicic disaster, the decision to give Rip Hamilton a mega-extension for reasons that remain unclear, and boatloads of money invested in marginal talents like Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
Mistakes are part of the job. Nobody is a perfect evaluator of talent, and front office executives have only so much control over on-court performance, effort, chemistry, etc. But based on the on-court disappointment of Detroit the last two seasons combined with just how dysfunctional the team seems to be, and Dumars has to be held at least partially accountable for the Pistons' rapid fall from grace.
On Monday, with the NBA season winding down and Detroit eliminated from playoff contention, Dumars joined WXYT in Detroit to talk about the disappointing 2010-2011 season, how the change in ownership in Motown is a welcomed relief, and how everybody in the organization from top to bottom is responsible for the Pistons' failures.
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."
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."