With the Timberwolves canning Kurt Rambis, there are now two current NBA head coaching positions open, the other being the Pistons. Their search has dragged quite a bit, mainly because it took a little while for the team to fire John Kuester. Reason for that being that the team was in the process of being sold and the new owner Tom Gores wanted to be involved in the process.
Now, there's a new process and it's also taking a while. But maybe the Pistons are honing in on their top choices. According to ESPN.com, the team is looking at two candidates.
Of the five known candidates for job, sources say that former Pistons assistant Mike Woodson is still the closest thing to a favorite, thanks largely to Woodson’s good working relationship with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and the fact that Detroit would know exactly what it’s getting after Woodson’s work under Larry Brown during the Pistons’ 2004 title run.Other top candidates included Kelvin Sampson, Bill Laimbeer and Patrick Ewing. All three interviewed but Sampson is headed to become Kevin McHale's top assistant in Houston and according to the report, the Pistons are looking for a coach with former head man experience anyway. The last two hires the team had -- Kuester and Michael Curry -- were first-time head coaches and neither worked out, obviously.
Yet sources say that one reason Detroit’s search has dragged out so long is the strong impression that Lawrence Frank made on new Pistons owner Tom Gores and his advisers, among them former New York Knicks executive Dave Checketts.
Detroit’s choice, then, appears to be a tossup between the unattached Woodson and Frank, who remains part of Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston.
Woodson has to be the favorite because of his relationship with Dumars and the team, but Frank has a good profile and is a proven winner. His last season in New Jersey was a disaster, but that was hardly all on him.
The Pistons aren't in a huge rush, nor do they need to be. Because of, you know, the lockout and all.