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Pistons Bounce Joe Dumars From President Position


Joe Dumars, one of the stars of the Detroit Pistons’ “Bad Boy” championship days of the 1980s and the executive who led the team to the 2004 NBA championship, is out as the team’s popular president of basketball operations.

Dumars will remain with the team as an adviser, according to The Associated Press.

It was reported last week that Dumars would resign his position before July 1, when his contract expires. But the reality is that Dumars knew then that he would not be retained.

Dumars was named the 2003 executive of the year, and the Pistons won the title the following season, adding the 2004 crown to the two they won when Dumars was one of the top shooting guards in the league.

But Detroit hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009, and the retooling of the Pistons engineered by Dumpers failed. Young big man Andre Drummond is one of the franchise’s few bright spots at the moment.

Owner Tom Gores must now hire a new general manager, and in the meantime, ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth are expected to supervise preparations for the draft and free agency.

Detroit signed Josh Smith and traded for Brandon Jennings last offseason in what seemed like a return to relevance, but the new-look roster lacked cohesion at times. Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired in February, and the Pistons are 29-52 with one game remaining.

Dumars began running the Pistons in 2000, and he made one shrewd move after another at first, acquiring Ben Wallace for Grant Hill in a sign-and-trade and sending Jerry Stackhouse to Washington for Richard Hamilton.

He brought Rasheed Wallace to Detroit in another trade and signed Chauncy Billups  as a free agent. Even a draft day blunder in 2003 — picking Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with the  No. 2 pick — seemed like an aberration when the Pistons won the title of the Los Angeles Lakers the next season.

That title, however, is well in the past. The Pistons have played in front of sparse crowds in recent years, struggling to stay relevant in Detroit while the Tigers have drawn fans in droves to their downtown ballpark.

It did not help Dumars that in 2008 he traded Billups for a past-his-prime Allen Iverson. Dumars also failed to land the right coach. When Cheeks was hired before this season, he became Detroit’s ninth coach since 1999-2000. Immediately before Cheeks, Lawrence Frank and John Kuester lasted two seasons each, with little success.

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