Posted on: January 13, 2012 6:15 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 6:19 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
Instead of spending his money this offseason to amnesty forward Charlie Villanueva and move on to a brighter tomorrow, new Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores plunked down a major chunk of change on a luxury locker room renovation.
That's right, Gores, who purchased the team from the Davidson family last year, took a play out of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's playbook, upgrading the facilities to make sure that everything is top-of-the-line. Cuban has said that he felt upgrading his arena's amenities helped make Dallas a more desireable destination for high-demand free agents.
Gores essentially started from scratch, effecting a total re-design. What did he add?
According to this Pistons.com video, the team's new digs are 1,920 square feet, more than double in size of the previous setup. Included in that space is a a new player's lounge with a giant video setup, an exercise room, and hot and cold tubs. There's custom lighting throughout and an entryway that includes giant murals depicting past Pistons greats. The locker room itself has high-end office chairs and large, wood-paneled lockers.
"The players' lounge is awesome. I've never had one. I've been on Milwaukee, on Toronto and never seen something like it," Villanueva said. "Tom Gores is doing an unbelievable job.
Gores' next task: upgrade to a luxury roster.
Take a look at the new Pistons locker room.
Hat tip: DIMEMag.com.
Posted on: September 22, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 5:01 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
When the ongoing NBA lockout is framed as a battle between billionaire owners and millionaire players, it's often not an exaggeration.
Forbes.com released its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans this week, and more than a dozen NBA owners and minority owners appeared on the list, among the new school technology geniuses and old money investment titans.
The NBA's richest individual owner, according to Forbes, is Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, the overall richest No. 1 ranked person on the list. Allen's net worth is reported as $13.2 billion and he ranks No. 23 overall on the list. He recently decided to sell one of his private islands.
Somewhat incredibly, Allen is more than twice as rich as the next individual NBA team majority owner. In second place is Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, owner of the Orlando Magic, who is ranked No. 60 with a net worth pegged at $5 billion.
Rounding out the top five richest individual NBA owners are Miami Heat owner Micky Arison (No. 75, $4.2 billion, Carnival Cruises), Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke (No. 107, $3.2 billion, Walmart) and new Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores (No. 159, $2.5 billion private equity). The Nuggets are operated by Kroenke's son, Josh.
The other seven NBA majority owners on the list are: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (No. 171, $2.3 billion), Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor (No. 242, $1.8 billion), Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon (No. 273, $1.6 billion), Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert (No. 293, $1.5 billion), Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley (No. 293, $1.5 billion) Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (No. 293, $1.5 billion) and new Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris (No. 309, $1.45 billion).
Los Angeles Lakers minority owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who recently purchased the ownership stake previously held by Lakers legend Magic Johnson, ranked No. 39 with a net worth of $7 billion.
Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 7:38 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Rebuilding an NBA franchise takes creativity in all facets of the operation, and that's doubly true for a rebuilding team that is under new ownership like the Detroit Pistons. Owner Tom Gores must be creative in implementing new policies, procedures and personnel while building a rapport with the incumbent staff. Management must be creative in retooling a depleted, mish-mashed roster stocked with malcontents. New coach Lawrence France will need to be creative in developing younger players like Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe. And, of course, the organization as a whole will need to get super creative in finding new ways to get fans to show up to games.
That last issue -- ticket sales -- is particularly important in Detroit, a city ravaged by the economic downtown. The Pistons averaged more than 16,600 fans per home game last year, just below league average, but they played to just 75.5 percent capacity, third worst in the NBA. That's a lot of empty seats, and those empty seats reflect an opportunity for new ideas to increase revenue.
To that end, Gores announced on Tuesday that the Pistons have appointed long-time sports executive Dennis Mannion as the team's new president.
Mannion, 52, will oversee all Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment business operations, including sales, marketing, finance and administration. Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars will continue to oversee all basketball operations.If you're a Pistons fan, you haven't had much to cheer for in recent years. There was a player-led refusal to show up to practice, verbal sparring matches between veterans and former coach John Kuester, and two trips in a row to the NBA Draft lottery, with a third trip likely next season.
Considering those factors it's clear that Mannion will be tasked with giving fans something to get excited about, at the games.
“Dennis is very well qualified and will bring a fresh perspective to the organization,” said Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment owner Tom Gores. “He is an innovative guy and he shares our vision of creating the best possible experience for our fans. He also shares our core values of hard work and commitment to the community. Dennis knows what it takes to succeed at a high level and we are excited to have him on board.”Improving the game experience has been a mantra for a number of new owners, including the Golden State Warriors, who recently pledged to make adjustments to the lighting and music at their games with an eye towards keeping fans engaged and happy.
It's a totally logical move, especially for those teams with issues at the gate. There is no easier way to increase revenue and improve a team's bottom line than by selling more tickets. Sometimes the on-court product alone isn't enough to get that done. Exploring every other possibility is the mark of a forward-thinking, outside-the-box management team.
If you're a fan, you not only want an executive that is catering to your needs but you want your team's ownership to seek out executives with experience and success doing just that. It seems like the Gores' Pistons have done that with this hire. Which is important, because you can't put lipstick on Charlie Villanueva's terrible contract.
Posted on: June 5, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 6:34 am
Posted by Royce Young
It was expected, but John Kuester was relieved of his head coaching position in Detroit, the team announced today.
“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” said general manager Joe Dumars in a statement. “I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years, however, at this time we have decided to make a change.”
Kuester became Detroit's head coach in July of 2009, replacing Michael Curry. In two seasons on the bench, Kuester led Detroit to just a record of 57-107. As an assistant on Larry Brown's staff, he helped lead the Pistons to their 2004 championship.
It was a pretty rocky season in Detroit for Kuester and not just because the team stunk. At one point late in the year, the team arranged a bit of a protest against him as players were upset with him. It appeared Kuester had lost control of his team as veterans such as Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Charlie Villanueva publicly voiced dissenting opinions.
Kuester butted heads with both Prince and Hamilton over playing time, sitting both for extended periods including a deactivation of Hamilton for nearly a month. Late in March, the team had even privately nicknamed Kuester "Sean Penn" because of the Penn movie "Dead Man Walking."
This firing was entirely expected, but the Pistons wanted to wait until the ownership transfer with Tom Gores' group was finished up. After David Stern announced before Game 1 of the NBA Finals that the sale was complete, it was only a matter of time. As is protocol, the new ownership group first met with Kuester and Dumars to decide any future plans. Once that meeting happened, Kuester was out.
Kuester was an assistant to new Laker head coach Mike Brown in Cleveland and is expected to join Brown's staff in Los Angeles. As for who the Pistons are looking at, reportedly former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson is an early leading candidate along with the usual list we've come to know -- Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey, Mark Jackson, Mike Budenholzer.
Woodson though was an assistant under Larry Brown in Detroit and with a pretty solid tenure in Atlanta, would likely be a good fit for the Pistons.
Posted on: April 15, 2011 2:10 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Pistons sale has seemed to drag on for forever. Last week, local businessman Tom Gores bought the team -- or at least his private equity firm did -- and at today's Board of Governors meeting, there was word on when it might finally go final.
Per SI's Chris Mannix, David Stern interviewed Gores yesterday and closed the schedule on the sale for no later than June 30 but assured that the deal will be done by the end of May.
Ken Berger noted yesterday that the longer the sale is held up, the longer the Pistons will wait to decide the future of coach John Kuester and after that, general manager Joe Dumars. Dumars is likely safe, but Kuester has a black sack over his head and is being walked to the gallows. But the Pistons aren't going anything under the sale goes through.
Also noted by Ken was this interesting nugget about the new CBA: "Also, prospective owners, such as Gores and Burkle, want economic rules fixed as a stipulation for their buys, sources say." Just a fun little something to add in there.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 2:28 pm
Posted by Royce Young
It was the NBA ownership story that wouldn't die. For months, the Detroit Pistons sale dragged on with finally a resolution coming last week. Local rich guy Tom Gores was assuming control of the franchise.
Gores reportedly had signed an agreement to purchase the Detroit Pistons and the team's building for $420 million, pending league approval, of course.
Except there's an interesting snag to this whole thing. Gores isn't actually going to own the team. Forbes has the goods:
Hey, it's better than the NBA buying you, right? Right?
So it's not as it seems with Gores purchase. It's not Local Guy Saves Franchise as we thought. Gores just bought the team to essentially flip it. It's a real shame if this is the case because it seemed to be a big hurdle that Gores won the bid to buy the team. It appeared back in early December that local owner of the Red Wings and Tigers Mike Ilitch was in line to buy the team. Then of course that fell through. That left Karen Davidson looking for a new prospective owner and we all thought Gores was a great fit.
I suppose this doesn't necessarily mean bad things are coming to the Pistons franchise. But it's definitely not as it seemed. Gores isn't an owner invested in the team out of love of admiration of it. He's in it strictly for the money. That's probably the case for a good amount of the owners (hence the looming lockout) but no one has ever actually said it. With Gores, it's become obvious.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2011 2:25 pm
The Detroit Pistons have reportedly been sold to investor Tom Gores pending league approval. Posted by Ben Golliver.
The months of waiting are apparently over.
Back in early February, we noted that investor Tom Gores had a deal in place to purchase the Detroit Pistons from Karen Davidson. Throughout All-Star Weekend, the sale seemed imminent, however it failed to materialize. Last week, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that the negotiations were "far enough along to expect the matter to come to a vote by the Board of Governors April 14-15 in New York."
On Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports that Gores has signed an agreement to purchase the Detroit Pistons and the team's building for $420 million, pending league approval, of course.
Gores, a Los Angeles-based financier who grew up in the Flint area, has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the team and other Palace Sports & Entertainment properties. It still must be approved by the NBA.
“I am very proud to have this opportunity to be part of such a tremendous organization,” Gores said in a released statement. “I know it’s been a long process, and I appreciate the patience and support of the Detroit community. I have been impressed with the Davidson family and the way it has protected and built such a storied franchise. I grew up here, I am glad to be back, and I am very excited about all the possibilities looking forward.”
In a statement obtained by the Free Press, Pistons owner Karen Davidson said today: "We are pleased to welcome Tom Gores as the new owner of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment.The Pistons have been a disaster on and off the court all season, with a player mutiny against coach John Kuester highlighting all sorts of minor squabbles. President Joe Dumars was unable to make any roster moves, apparently because of the ownership uncertainty, and the team just accepted its fate, heading back to the NBA Draft Lottery for the second straight season.
Will Kuester be retained? Will the roster be overhauled? Those are questions for another day. Right now, it's time to party for Pistons fans, who wasted a year of their life watching their team spins its wheels in ugly fashion.
Posted on: March 31, 2011 12:57 pm
Pistons ownership remains in flux. Posted by Matt Moore
The Pistons are officially that beat-up Camaro at the end of the street that's been on the block for two months. The "For Sale' sign has faded with dust and things are starting to grow around the wheels. Despite Tom Gores having been the sole negotiating party with Karen Davidson's ownership group for months, the team has still not changed hands. From the Detroit News:
Nearly 15 months after Bill Davidson's widow began talking about selling the Pistons, Gores and her agent, Citi Private Bank, still are negotiating.via Frustration grows as talks drag on between Pistons, Tom Gores | detnews.com | The Detroit News.
The Pistons need this thing to end from about a billion angles. It's a PR nightmare, it's bad for business, it looks bad to the fans. It also handcuffs Joe Dumars from being able to make basketball decisions as ownership needs as stable an environment as possible for the move to go through. You have to wonder how all the strife in the Pistons would have gone down this season had the ownership situation been different.
Meanwhile, the NBA continues to remain involved in the process, complicating the process.
Why is it that the league has so much involvement in a situation like the Pistons', and so little involvement in situations like the sale of the Sonics to Clay Bennett, the continuing antics of Donald Sterling, ore the ongoing negotiations between Anaheim and the Kings despite the Kings still owing Sacramento over $70million?
Just a question.