Saturday, April 20, 2013

The sorry state of Detroit sports. Part 1

Let's take a quick look at the four major professional sports teams in Detroit. Actually, only 3, because the Pistons haven't played their home games within the city limits since 1978, and certainly show no signs of moving back any time soon. For that matter, the Detroit Lions took a 28 year leave of absence to play in the Pontiac Silverdome --  and might still be there if the greedy, bumbling politicos in Pontiac at the time hadn't, well, greedily bumbled their way into having a major sports franchise deciding they'd rather spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new stadium of their own elsewhere, rather than tolerate any more of the of the nickel and dime "shakedowns". Did I mention greedy and bumbling?

The Detroit Pistons. Yes, head coach Lawrence Frank just got the axe, and well he should have. Despite the so-called "promise", which was always a mirage anyway, the Pistons weren't getting better. They were getting worse. And GM Joe Dumars needs to get broomed as well. Sure, Joe's a nice guy, pillar of the community, played on a couple of Piston championship teams in days of yore, Hall of Famer, and pulled off a couple of slick deals as a GM about a decade ago that brought yet another championship to the Pistons.

But he's also made some infamously bad decisions on player personnel, and over the course of the last few years the Pistons seem to be a boat that keeps springing more leaks under his guidance. There are those that think Dumars should get a "pass" for now, because of his previous accomplishments. Horse puckey. Be it players, coaches, or front office personnel, professional sports franchises all boil down to the same thing. What have you done for me lately? In Dumars' case, the honest answer would seem to be "not much".

While other teams around the NBA have been rejuvenated into contenders through the draft, trades, free agent signings, etc, the Pistons have kept taking on more water with Joe at the helm. They're much closer to being bottom feeders than contenders. And excuse me, but nice guy and former hero or not, that falls squarely in the lap of Joe Dumars.

Put another way -- relatively new Pistons' owner Tom Gores became a billionaire through shrewd investing. Now what do you think Gores would have done if he discovered one of those investments had become awash in red ink? He'd have dumped it, right?  So why shouldn't he apply the same principle to Joe Dumars? Seen the crowds, or lack thereof, at the Palace lately?

A look at the Detroit Red Wings next time.....

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