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 Flip Saunders fired 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Flip Saunders fired
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freep.com wrote:
Flip Saunders fired

The Pistons announced this morning that they would not bring Pistons coach Flip Saunders back for his final season.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make, especially with the success we have had throughout the last three regular-seasons,” president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said in a statement. “However, at this time, I feel it is necessary to make a change. I thank Flip for his hard work and dedication, but it is time for a new voice to lead our team.”

Saunders coached the team for three seasons, leading them to a record of 176-70 in the regular season. His playoff record was 30-21 with the team losing in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals each of his three seasons.

No successor has been announced, but the front-runner is thought to be assistant coach Michael Curry, a former Piston and high-ranking union official. Others who could draw interest include assistant coach Terry Porter or former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson.

Saunders came to the Pistons in the summer of 2005 after 10 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He inherited a roster that had been to back-to-back NBA Finals, winning one title, under coach Larry Brown.

Saunders signaled a major change in coaching style from Brown, who harped on his players and was thought of as a defensive coach. Saunders was more offensive-minded and was more of a players’ coach who rarely ranted or raved on the sidelines.

The Pistons offense improved dramatically under Saunders and the team maintained its reputation as one of the best defensive teams in the league as well. In his first season, the team set a franchise record with 64 victories.

Saunders also brought with him a can-he-get-it-done-in-the-playoffs question mark. With the Timberwolves, his team exited in the first-round seven seasons in a row before it advanced to the Western Conference finals.

With the Pistons favored to get to the NBA Finals in each of his first two seasons, those questions increased with losses in the East finals to Miami and Cleveland. This season, the Pistons had the second-seed and lost to the Boston Celtics, a 66-victory team with three All-Stars.

Despite his successes in Detroit, Saunders was often scrutinized for his management style and his relationship with the players, especially Rasheed Wallace.

But after the Game 6 loss to the Celtics last Friday, several players, including team captain Chauncey Billups, said the blame for the postseason disappointments shouldn’t rest solely on Saunders.

Saunders was the first coach to last three seasons under Dumars. He had one more year on his contract.

Dumars will hold his traditional end-of-the-season briefing this afternoon in Auburn Hills.

Come back to the Free Press for additional updates.

Contact KRISTA JAHNKE at 313-223-4493 or kjahnke@freepress.com.

Find this article at:
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 3/80603068


Thoughts on who they might bring in to coach? Anyone else going to get chopped???

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June 3rd, 2008, 11:48 am
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No idea... But I hope it isn't Michael Curry... He's a good X's and O's guy, but he's not a disciplinarian, which, IMO, is more of what this team needs!

I wouldn't mind giving Lambeer or Mahorn a shot, as long as Curry is willing to be their assistant. I would rather we find someone with experience though... Too bad LB was run out of town. Really, IMO, he's the perfect guy for the job.


June 3rd, 2008, 1:13 pm
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What about Avery Johnson? Does he fit the mold you're looking for? Honestly, I don't know too much about him or other candidates, just wondering because he seemed to do a decent job in Dallas

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June 3rd, 2008, 1:28 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
What about Avery Johnson? Does he fit the mold you're looking for? Honestly, I don't know too much about him or other candidates, just wondering because he seemed to do a decent job in Dallas



IMO Avery John is more of a players coach than a disciplinarian.


June 3rd, 2008, 1:31 pm
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AJ.. NO thanks! He did well in Dallas but he could not get them to win a Championship.. sound familiar?

I'd be all for Terry Porter, I think he can do well.

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June 3rd, 2008, 1:46 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
What about Avery Johnson? Does he fit the mold you're looking for? Honestly, I don't know too much about him or other candidates, just wondering because he seemed to do a decent job in Dallas


Avery does a nice job on the defensive front (well as good as could be hoped for given the offensive minded players he had in Dallas), but his offense lacks any sort of creativity. Personally, I like Avery and was really impressed on how he used film to coach the players. I wouldn't call him a players coach - in fact more the opposite - and that wears out after a few years typically - especially in the NBA.

The key with Avery was the point guard position (where he played in the NBA) - and he never trusted Devin Harris to run the club. He might have trusted Jason Kidd, but didn't have the time to fully integrate him into the team. If Billups is around Avery might trust him, but with Stucky it would probably be a problem.

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June 3rd, 2008, 2:42 pm
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http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3423956


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Source: Curry to succeed Saunders as Pistons seek new voice

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- In the morning, the Detroit Pistons fired Flip Saunders. By the afternoon, the players were put on notice.

"I'm not going to sit here and make Flip the scapegoat," president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said Tuesday. "Everybody is in play."

Dumars publicly put his entire lineup on the trading block, less than a week after the Pistons lost in the Eastern Conference finals for the third straight year.

Among those available: four players who have been together since winning the 2004 NBA title together, plus another starter who just finished his fourth season with the team.

"There are no sacred cows here," Dumars said. "You lose that sacred-cow status when you lose three straight years."

Saunders signed a four-year contract worth up to $26 million three years ago. His deal came less than a day after Detroit finalized terms of Larry Brown's $7 million severance package after he helped the Pistons win a title and almost repeat in his two seasons.

Pistons assistant Michael Curry will be named Saunders' successor, a source close to the Pistons told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. Curry is a former Pistons player and official in the players' union.

Other candidates mentioned include fired Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson and Terry Porter, another assistant last season in Detroit and a former Milwaukee Bucks coach.

"I'm going to talk to a few people this week," Dumars said. "As we normally do, we'll act quickly. This will not be a long, drawn-out process."

The Pistons averaged nearly 59 victories in three regular seasons under Saunders, who trailed only Dallas' Johnson by two wins and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich by a victory during the span.

Saunders was 30-21 in the playoffs for the Pistons, losing in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals each year. He has coached 24 conference finals games, the most by an NBA coach since 1971 without reaching the NBA Finals, according to STATS.

No Title in Motown

The numbers don't lie -- Flip Saunders may have had the best winning percentage among the renowned coaches below, but he didn't deliver in the end.

Under Saunders, Detroit became the second team in league history to lose in the round before the NBA Finals three years in a row, joining the Celtics from 1953 to '55, according to STATS.

Saunders extended Detroit's Eastern Conference finals appearance streak to six years, making the Pistons the first franchise to accomplish that feat since the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, after Rick Carlisle started it in his two seasons as coach.

Three starters -- Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince -- played for all three coaches, Rasheed Wallace was acquired in 2004 and Antonio McDyess signed in 2005.

"There are 25, 26 teams that would love to be where we are, but good has not been good enough," Dumars said. "I appreciate everything that Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown and Flip Saunders have done, but I also know they were handed some great teams.

"It's not like they had to take bad teams and make them good. The next coach is going to inherit a good team."

Dumars decided a year ago to bring back his key players as well as Saunders, while infusing energy with rookies and young reserves.

But after watching the Pistons blow a 10-point lead with 10-plus minutes left in Game 6 of the conference finals against the Boston Celtics, Dumars said he had seen enough from this group.

"We didn't get it done," Dumars said. "As I walked out of the Palace, I had a real sense of calm."

Dumars was at ease because he knew exactly what he wanted to do.

First, fire Saunders. Then, trade at least one of his starters in a move or two he doesn't expect to happen before the NBA draft on June 26.

Wallace seems to be the player most likely to be dealt because of his one-year contract, inconsistent play and powerful personality that lifts his teammates or drags them down depending on his mood.

"I view him the same way that I do all the other guys," Dumars insisted. "Make no mistake, everybody is in play right now."

Before coming to Detroit, Saunders was 411-326 with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He led Minnesota to eight straight postseason appearances, including seven first-round exits and an appearance in the 2004 conference finals. After winning a franchise-record 58 games, he was fired with a 25-26 mark during the 2004-05 season.

Celtics guard Sam Cassell expects Saunders, one of his former coaches, to be back in the league.

"He'll get a job real soon -- maybe even today or tomorrow," Cassell said.

Boston coach Doc Rivers said he was surprised by the firing even though he heard speculation that the move was coming.

"I don't understand it," Rivers said. "It makes coaching not fun."

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June 4th, 2008, 9:40 am
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I think Joe D just jumped the shark.

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June 4th, 2008, 4:37 pm
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TruckinMack wrote:
I think Joe D just jumped the shark.

How ya figure? I think he's doing exactly the right thing. Before he came here, Saunders had the reputation of a good coach he didn't seem to be able to get his team to the championship level. I would say that is exactly what has transpired here. He did a good job, but not great. Likewise with the team, they have played great at times, but overall the results have been good, but not good enough. Making it to the conference championship 6 years in a row is nice, but not making past that point is not good enough. Something needs to change. If he can trade Sheed or another of the players for either a good package of players or draft picks, it's a move that needs to be made. Doing the same thing over and over is not going to generate different results.


June 4th, 2008, 4:42 pm
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It's a good decision, as long as Curry can put his "buddy buddy" days of playing with these guys behind him and assertive himself as a disciplinarian. I would have preferred someone like Lambeer to come in and play "Mr. Hardnose" with Curry being the actual brains of the operation, and promoting Curry to the HC job after the players he played with have departed, and he learns a little more...

That said, Curry may not have been willing to do that, and he may have had other HC opportunitties... If that is the case then Joe definitely did the right thing...


June 4th, 2008, 5:55 pm
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Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TruckinMack wrote:
I think Joe D just jumped the shark.

How ya figure?

The Pistons seemed one player away from a championship. Now they are one player and a coach away.

Since Joe D has said that a major retooling is underway, if not a major rebuild, it looks like the Pistons will be several players away from a championship.

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01/21/14:Blueskies may emote like a 14 year old girl, but he had the stones to take a bet no other Lionbacker would take. For that he has my total admiration.

Blueskies is my hero. I worship the ground he walks on.


June 4th, 2008, 7:17 pm
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TruckinMack wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TruckinMack wrote:
I think Joe D just jumped the shark.

How ya figure?

The Pistons seemed one player away from a championship. Now they are one player and a coach away.

Since Joe D has said that a major retooling is underway, if not a major rebuild, it looks like the Pistons will be several players away from a championship.

I think you're nuts if you think they're only 1 player away. They've got as much talent as anyone else. The problem IMHO is that the team became too much like Rasheed. Dominating when they wanted to be, but they lose focus too often and don't take advantage of opportunities. Regardless, when you've had basically the same roster for several years and it's not working, it's time to make some changes.


June 5th, 2008, 12:34 pm
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Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TruckinMack wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TruckinMack wrote:
I think Joe D just jumped the shark.

How ya figure?

The Pistons seemed one player away from a championship. Now they are one player and a coach away.

Since Joe D has said that a major retooling is underway, if not a major rebuild, it looks like the Pistons will be several players away from a championship.

I think you're nuts if you think they're only 1 player away.

You have my permission to think I'm nuts.

But it is a moot point. The rebuilding has begun.

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01/21/14:Blueskies may emote like a 14 year old girl, but he had the stones to take a bet no other Lionbacker would take. For that he has my total admiration.

Blueskies is my hero. I worship the ground he walks on.


June 5th, 2008, 3:36 pm
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the one thing Joe D said is, we will not trade our players for nothing..also saying KG and Gasol was traded for nothing..he wants starters as good as the ones that we trade away..now, there are only a few guys better then Billups, but we have Stuckey..we will get quality players for Billups if traded and quality players for Sheed and any other. I really don't think we will be in rebuilding stage. Heck, we could keep the guys we have and with a coach like Curry, I can see us going deep in the playoffs again next year..if we don't make the playoffs, then it would be considered a rebuilding year.


June 12th, 2008, 4:46 pm
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This whole thing looks like Joe is doing everything he can to get the most out of Sheed... I don't think he's going anywhere...

If you don't trade Sheed then who do you trade? IMO there isn't anyone you can trade... You don't get rid of an All Star PG... RIP is your most reliable shooter... Prince is too valuable defensively... Stuckey is part of your future...

What this team needs is a big guy that is willing to do the dirty work, play defense, block some shots, rebound and able to get a few points for you down low... They have no post game since Sheed doesn't seem to like to do it...

I'd give Alonzo Mourning a call and see if he wants another shot at a ring...


June 15th, 2008, 12:50 am
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