For roughly 29 years, Joe Dumars has been a part of the Detroit Pistons' organization. He was selected by the team with the 18th pick in the 1985 NBA Draft and then enjoyed a Hall of Fame career with the Pistons for 14 seasons. Shortly after retiring in 1999, he took a front office position with the organization to help shape their direction off the court in a comparable way to how he shaped their wins and losses on the court.
He's been the president of basketball operations for the Pistons since 2000, but it looks like his reign over the team's front office is coming to an end. Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News is reporting Dumars is set to resign from his position with the team, possibly as early as this week after a very unsuccessful season after two big free agent acquisitions this past summer that were supposed to turn around their fortunes.
As the Pistons prepare to ride out the last two weeks of the regular season, the sun might be setting on Pistons president Joe Dumars' reign with the only franchise he's known.
Dumars has told multiple sources within the NBA that he plans to resign — possibly as soon as this week — after a busy offseason that included the signings of high-priced free agents Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings and led to an underachieving 2013-14 season. The Pistons, who many experts picked to return to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, are 28-49 and out of playoff contention.
Compared to his contemporaries, Dumars has been reluctant to be front and center with media as Pistons president of basketball operations and has been quieter than usual recently, perhaps another signal that his time with the franchise — 29 years of work as a player and executive — is coming to an end.
It seems like Dumars' resignation from the team would likely be the most amicable way of going in another direction, considering Dumars' history with the team. And while he could resign at the end of this season, his contract with the team expires after the 2013-14 campaign is over so they could just simply let him walk off into the sunset in that manner as well.
Shortly after Dumars took over as Pistons' president in 2000, he turned them into one of the top teams in the NBA. He built a team around Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Ben Wallace. He earned the 2002-03 Executive of the Year award. During the next season, he pulled off a trade for Rasheed Wallace that instantly turned them into a title contender. They won the 2004 NBA championship and returned to the Finals the next season in 2005.
From 2003-2008, the Pistons made it to six straight Eastern Conference finals. But it was after their impressive run of consecutive conference finals appearances in which Dumars seemed to lose his touch. He made a bad trade for Allen Iverson that broke up the core led by Chauncey Billups. Once he had cap space to make free agent moves, Dumars signed free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to big contracts, which helped destroy the momentum of the organization and turned them into one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.
The team hasn't made the playoffs since the 2008-09 season. After signing Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to big contracts this offseason, the Pistons still failed to show any semblance of progress or a return to the postseason. In Dumars' 14 years running the team, they've had nine coaches, including current interim coach John Loyer.
Under Dumars' reign over the team, their record is 594-533. However, they've gone just 139-250 since the last time they made the playoffs in 2008-09.