After four seasons of mostly mediocre results John Franklin-Myers Jersey Rams , the Detroit Pistons are moving on without Stan Van Gundy.
He won’t return as president of basketball operations and he isn’t staying on as Detroit’s coach, either.
Van Gundy held both those roles for four years, and at times the Pistons seemed to be making progress. But they made the playoffs only once during his tenure, in 2016, and the team announced his departure Monday. Owner Tom Gores said it was a difficult decision.
”I am grateful to Stan for everything he’s done for the Pistons and for the city of Detroit,” Gores said. ”He rebuilt the culture of our basketball team, re-instilled a winning attitude and work ethic, and took us to the playoffs two years ago. He went all-in from Day One to positively impact this franchise and this community.
”But over the past two seasons our team has not progressed, and we decided that a change is necessary to regain our momentum,” Gores said.
The Pistons went 39-43 this season, missing the playoffs for the third time in four years under Van Gundy. They’ve made the postseason just once in the past nine seasons, and even a blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin wasn’t enough to salvage 2017-18.
The Pistons went 152-176 over the past four seasons under Van Gundy, and his personnel decisions have come under more criticism than his coaching. Detroit hasn’t been able to make the most of its draft position, spending first-round picks on Stanley Johnson, Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard.
This past season Kendall Wright Jersey Elite , Kennard shot over 40 percent from 3-point range, but he was taken one spot ahead of Donovan Mitchell in last year’s draft. Mitchell has blossomed into a Rookie of the Year candidate for Utah.
The trade for Griffin was a bold one for the Pistons and left them with limited flexibility. Not only did the team take on Griffin’s big contract, but Detroit also sent a protected first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in the deal.
Gores indicated last month that changes would be coming, but it wasn’t clear if that might mean a front office shake-up or a coaching change. Now the Pistons are embarking on both.
The team’s news release Monday didn’t shed much light on the decision-making process of these past few weeks. It did say that Van Gundy wanted to return.
”Stan is a competitor and he wanted to finish the job,” Gores said. ”He retooled a roster that we think can be very competitive in the East. I know he’s disappointed, and that he cares deeply about his players, his staff, this organization and this city. He’s also a professional who will make sure this is a seamless transition, and someone I hope will be a friend and adviser to me long after this transition is completed.”
Van Gundy declined comment via text message Monday.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was unaware and stunned to learn of Van Gundy’s dismissal. Lue played for Van Gundy on Orlando’s Eastern Conference title team in 2009.
”It’s just crazy to see that you let a great guy like Stan go,” Lue said before the Cavs hosted Toronto in Game 4. ”I know he’s emotional because he’s into the game, he loves the game that much. But as far as X’s and O’s, understanding different teams, different schemes, his players, he’s one of the best as far as knowing the basketball game and what it takes.”
When Van Gundy was hired http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-daryl-worley-jersey , he talked about how there would be a good connection between the front office and the coaching staff – that much was obvious, since he was going to be part of both. Setups like that aren’t unheard of in the NBA – Tom Thibodeau is Minnesota’s coach and president of basketball operations – but it’s not that easy to make it work.
Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer had the title of president of basketball operations, but he gave up that position last year. Now he’s no longer coaching the Hawks either .
Doc Rivers had dual roles with the Clippers, but last offseason, Lawrence Frank took over responsibility for basketball operations while Rivers remained the coach. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich also has the title of president, but he has help from general manager R.C. Buford, a two-time NBA Executive of the Year.
A decade ago, the Pistons were one of the game’s most respected organizations after reaching the Eastern Conference finals six straight years and winning the NBA title in 2004. They sank quickly into irrelevance after that.
Detroit missed the playoffs the final five seasons of Joe Dumars’ tenure as team president, and Gores – who took over as owner in 2011 – eventually brought Van Gundy in.
The Pistons made the playoffs in Van Gundy’s second season, but they couldn’t build on that breakthrough. This past season was particularly disappointing because it may have been the most productive of center Andre Drummond’s career.
With Drummond leading the way, Detroit started 19-14 and won on the road against the likes of Golden State, Oklahoma City and Boston. Then an ankle injury to point guard Reggie Jackson derailed the season, and not even the trade for Griffin in late January was enough to push the Pistons to the playoffs in their first season at downtown Detroit’s new Little Caesars Arena.
”Would like to take a min to wish Stan the best and thank you for everything you’ve put into our team the last four years,” Drummond said Monday in a message on his Twitter account.
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.
Clay Matthews is learning new playbook terminology this spring under a new defensive coordinator, though his overall goals haven't changed.
It's more important than ever for the Green Bay Packers' long-haired linebacker to get to the quarterback.
The Packers didn't add a potential game-changing edge rusher in free agency or via the draft. They focused on another defensive priority and replenished the cornerback position with veteran Tramon Williams and draft picks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson.
That leaves Matthews and Nick Perry as leaders of a pass rush that had trouble getting consistent pressure last year.
"Well Bradley Zimmer Cleveland Indians Jersey , I wasn't surprised with the first two picks. ... But obviously, you look at the depth at the outside linebacker position, and it's not that great," Matthews said. "That's not a slight to the guys who are behind Nick and myself, but you look around the league, a lot of times they're rotating in pass rushers."
The Packers had veteran Julius Peppers in the mix on the edge a couple seasons ago, but he returned to Carolina in 2017. Second-year player Kyler Fackrell and veteran Ahmad Brooks, who combined for 4 陆 sacks, were the primary backups outside.
Matthews and Perry each missed time last season with injuries. With a lack of production from the bench, getting fresh blood seemed to make sense.
Matthews said he understands that signings don't always go as planned for the front office. There are only so many draft picks to make. The salary cap limits spending.
"I'm happy with the picks they made, and at the same time it does show ... their confidence in Nick and myself, as well as the guys we have," Matthews said. "At some time I'm sure it will be addressed, but for the time being the guys we have here are the guys who have to hold up their end of the bargain."
It would help if Fackrell and second-year player Vince Biegel became more productive. Biegel missed the first seven games last season because of a foot injury.
"The biggest gains we've always made have been from our returning players, particularly the second Authentic J'Mon Moore Jersey , third year players," coach Mike McCarthy said after the draft about outside linebacker depth.
The pass rush could get more productive if other areas of the defense also improve.
Tighter pass coverage could give edge rushers more time to get to the quarterback. Green Bay also hopes to get more push up front from free agent signee Muhammad Wilkerson, who has 44 1/2 career sacks.
He joins Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry on the line, which should be the strength of new coordinator Mike Pettine's defense. Pettine was the New York Jets' defensive coordinator in Wilkerson's first two years in the league in 2011-12.
"Everybody's learning, some of the wording is a little different from back years ago when I was with Pettine," Wilkerson said. "We're all getting through it."
Matthews knows that Pettine wants to be aggressive, though there is plenty of time to figure out exactly what role he'll play this fall. It's quite possible that it doesn't change much after Matthews showed the flexibility to play both outside and inside the last few years.
Pettine replaced Dom Capers, who was fired after the 7-9 season. Capers had been Matthews' only defensive coordinator since the linebacker entered the league in 2009.
"Like I said, someone needed to fall on the knife. I think it's all done to get better results, and that's exactly what we're here for," Matthews said. "In the new defense we're getting ready to hit this season strong and, like I said, hold up our end of the bargain."