The Detroit Pistons are now also looking for a new head coach. Flip Saunders was relieved of his post yesterday by Pistons GM Joe Dumars after his team bowed out in the Eastern Conference Finals at the weekend. Flip won 176 games with the Pistons during his three seasons in the big seat on the bench. However, from the outside this team never really stopped being Larry Brown's team. In an article on ESPN.com, Chad Ford writes that Saunders never had the respect of the team after taking over from Brown three years ago.
In spite of the winning, at a 7.15 clip, Saunders is done because his teams seemed to consistently underperform in their biggest moments. They lost in the Conference Finals in each of the last three seasons, to the Heat, Cavs and Celtics respectively. i can't say I'm too surprised at his sacking. Flip has always seemed ill-suited for this team. Starting with his handle. Flip? That doesn't work with a team this gritty. Flip is the name of the bad-guy from the 1980s high school movie who his hair slicked (check) and weight-lifting gloves to class (unknown) and not the guy who coaches the team with five equal partners.
When announcing the usurpation of his head coach Pistons GM Joe Dumars sent a warning shot across the bow of all his players announcing that the only thing safe at The Palace at Auburn Hills is the numbers in the rafters. And, it's to one of those numbers that my mind inevitably turns. I can only hope that the player who used to don the No. 11 for the Motown team heard the news of the job opening and smiled. I can only hope that in spite of all the platitudes he issued when signing on with the Knicks that coaching the Detroit Pistons is really Isiah Thomas's dream job. I can only hope that he heard the news of Saunders' dismissal and thought about calling up his old running mate, Dumars. I can only hope that he was giddy with excitement as the possibilities twirled in his head like Chris Paul slicing through the paint.
I hope he wants this job more than anything. And that he is forced to realize that there is zero chance that he can get it. I hope that he finally has to confront the monstrosity of his failure with the Knicks. Perhaps realizing that he squandered a chance to coach his Pistons because of what he did to my Knicks will force him to once face the consequences of his actions. Perhaps.
Teams Looking For A Coach:
Coaches Looking For a Team: