The wrong man got the extention...
Dumars deserves contract extension more than Millen
By Rob Parker / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- The wrong guy got a contract extension the other day.
Somehow, the Lions rewarded president Matt Millen with a five-year contract extension.
It was premature, at best, and totally undeserved, at worst.
Thankfully, the man who deserves to be rewarded for a great job will be -- sooner rather than later. Pistons president Joe Dumars is in line to get an extension.
In five years, Dumars has turned the Pistons into more than just a championship-caliber team in the NBA. They are an elite franchise in professional sports.
The Pistons, who were 32-50 in Dumars' first season (2000-01), won an NBA title in 2004 and lost to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the Finals this season.
He did not return calls Thursday.
Dumars has succeeded with smart personnel moves, not simply by spending a lot of owner Bill Davidson's money on star players who didn't buy into what the goal is here: Do whatever it takes to win as a team.
By the way, the Pistons had the 18th-highest payroll last season at $51,700,000, according to Insidehoops.com.
Best of all, Dumars seems always to be a step ahead. He has made tough decisions that have worked out, including firing coach Rick Carlisle to hire Larry Brown, who helped the Pistons win a championship.
Not wanting to have all the drama he experienced with him last season, Dumars severed ties with Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, this offseason and hired Flip Saunders.
But he still expects the Pistons to contend for a title again this season.
That's saying something. It wasn't long ago that sports-talk radio shows in this town couldn't give away Pistons tickets as prizes. Now, they're the hottest tickets in town.
Millen, on the other hand, has had a less-than-impressive four years at the helm of the Lions. They are 16-48 since he arrived without any front-office experience, including a league-record 24 straight road losses.
If owner William Clay Ford wanted to re-up with Millen, it should have been after this season. The Lions should have had to make the playoffs for Millen to remain in control.
Franchises such as the Pistons reward people who produce.
Franchises such as the Lions reward people regardless.