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    Default Article full of news from around the NBA

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...p-268562c.html



    Who needs Larry?

    Dumars will keep Pistons a power
    - with or without Brown




    Joe Dumars

    AUBURN HILLS - Larry Brown wants everybody to believe that Detroit is the last stop in his Hall of Fame coaching career. Maybe it is. Then again, this is Larry Brown talking, so who really knows because his stories change on almost a daily basis. But no matter what Brown does at season's end, the Pistons are going to continue to be a force because team president Joe Dumars isn't going anywhere.

    Dumars, the architect of the defending champs, is in the last season of his contract. He and owner Bill Davidson are expected to work out a new deal, if one hasn't been reached already. For all of the distractions Brown causes by flirting with other teams, Dumars is the key here. He's assembled a good enough team where the next coach could also win a title.


    The other day, Chuck Daly talked about his former guard and considered whether these Pistons are approaching his back-to-back championship teams of 15 years ago.


    "Absolutely," he said. "I'm a little prejudiced to my teams, of course. But this is an incredible team. Very, very professional. It's like déjà vu for me, because these two teams have the same style. Here's how I see it: If you're an outstanding defensive rebounding team, you will win. If you don't allow the other team to get second shots in the fourth quarter, basically, you can't lose. It's not a hard formula to follow, but nobody seems to get it."


    Dumars gets it, while having to put up with Brown's nonsense during another title run.


    Last week Jim O'Brien got axed in Philadelphia and, in the immediate fallout, Brown admitted that he knew it was coming and that he has had numerous conversations with Sixers chairman Ed Snider and team president Billy King. With Brown's protégé, Maurice Cheeks, getting the job, the perception was that Brown was right in the middle of his former team's business. Then word leaked that he is interested in becoming the Cavaliers' president. As one Detroit official put it, "We don't need this stuff, at this point."


    But it's what you get with Brown. As soon as the season ends, he is going to address serious medical concerns that involve a season-long bladder problem. If he can't return to Detroit because of health reasons, Dumars has to get another coach. If he picks his next one as well as he's picked his players, Detroit won't miss a beat.


    By today's standards - Boston just re-signed its executive director of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, for $10 million over three years - the argument can be made that Dumars is underpaid. He will pocket around $3 million this season if the Pistons win their second straight title. According to a league exec with knowledge of his contract, he makes $1.65 million in base salary, gets the use of a suite at the Palace of Auburn Hills, worth around $100,000, and has incentives that will make him around $1.2 million.


    While the league keeps adjusting the rules to try to outlaw hard-nosed defense and encourage Suns-style basketball that has nothing to do with winning titles, Dumars has stayed ahead of the curve.


    "We're different than my Piston teams, when I played," he said. "Back then, it was more of a physical, bump-and-grind, in-your-face type of game. So you had to build your teams like that. Now, the way the rules are, you have to build your team differently. You just can't have bruisers playing below the rim. You've got to get agile, long, athletic guys who can play above the rim."


    The Pistons don't pay any attention to how Phoenix ran and shot its way to the best record. A few of their vets privately laugh at how poorly the Suns compete at the defensive end. As one player noted, Phoenix "isn't real NBA basketball, anyway," even if what they're doing is all the rage. Except with Dumars.


    "Now when you hear other teams talk about making a 'run,' it's always an offensive run," he said. "They say, "we scored 14 straight points.' But for us, we make defensive runs. That's the similarity between this team and those Detroit teams I played for. We'll shut you down for five minutes, where you'll go one-for-10. That's our style."


    And it will be, no matter what Brown ultimately does.


    P.J. pursuit


    Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and VP Kevin McHale were scheduled to fly to San Antonio this weekend to meet with Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo about the Minnesota coaching job. Minnesota sources say that Taylor was expected to offer him the job.


    Last week, Taylor and McHale were rebuffed by Michigan State's Tom Izzo. Even if Carlesimo doesn't end up taking the job, Latrell Sprewell is out. While McHale wants Sprewell back, Taylor is calling the shots and is done with Spree.


    New Cleveland Browns


    If Larry Brown ends up in Cleveland to run the Cavs, look for him to pick Pacers' assistant Mike Brown to become LeBron James' next head coach. One of Mike Brown's previous stops was in San Antonio, where he worked under Larry Brown's good buddy, VP-coach Gregg Popovich …

    Flip Saunders thought he had the Orlando coaching job locked up but then GM John Weisbrod lost a power struggle. In addition to coaching, Saunders would have been No. 2 to Weisbrod in terms of personnel decisions. But then Magic owner Rich DeVos vetoed the move, opting to give personnel director Dave Twardzik more power and bring back Brian Hill as coach …

    Sonics have yet to make an offer to GM Rick Sund, whose contract is up and who would love to re-sign for the kind of money that Nets GM Eddie Stefanski just got in his new deal. Stefanski's deal averages around $1.5 million per. But Sund's owner, Howard Schultz, hasn't made an offer. …

    Milwaukee expects to take Utah C Andrew Bogut with No. 1 pick overall, while Atlanta should take North Carolina frosh Marvin Williams at No. 2. Before falling two spots to No. 5, Charlotte wanted Wake Forest PG Chris Paul. Now the Bobcats may need to make a deal with the Blazers, sitting at No. 3 and with no interest in Paul, since they have Sebastian Telfair.


    The Hornets suffered the biggest drop on lottery day, going from potential No. 2 pick and chance for Williams to No. 4. But if they get Illinois G Deron Williams, he's not a bad consolation prize …

    Our favorite moment from David Stern's appearance before Congress came when one congressman complained that he couldn't stay up through playoff games. Instead of probing steroids in pro basketball, they should hold congressional hearings on the ridiculous starting times. ...

    Memphis is actively trying to dump PG Jason Williams and its No. 1 pick (19th overall). That's just the start of Jerry West's to-do list ...

    The Sonics believe if their playoff games vs. Spurs had been officiated by international refs, they would have gotten by Tim Duncan, no sweat.

    Originally published on May 28, 2005

  2. #2
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article full of news from around the NBA

    I agree 100% with Dumars here. That is why I have never been a believer in the theory that the Pacers need a wide body in the middle.

    ____
    "We're different than my Piston teams, when I played," he said. "Back then, it was more of a physical, bump-and-grind, in-your-face type of game. So you had to build your teams like that. Now, the way the rules are, you have to build your team differently. You just can't have bruisers playing below the rim. You've got to get agile, long, athletic guys who can play above the rim."
    _____

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