Flip Saunders didn't speak to reporters after leaving the Pistons' practice facility Saturday afternoon, but assistant coach Michael Curry did, addressing both the speculation that he might replace Saunders as well as where he's at in regards to interviewing other jobs. From Shannon Shelton in the Detroit Free Press:
Assistant coach Michael Curry talked briefly about his future with the Pistons but said he didn’t speak about the top job with team executives Saturday morning.
"It hasn’t been discussed," Curry said. "We just finished the season. My mind was focused on the opportunity that we had to get to the Finals. My mind wasn’t on nothing else and no other team prior to now."
Curry did confirm that the Chicago Bulls had spoken with his lawyer about their vacancy, but the Chicago Tribune reported last month that the Pistons refused to give the Bulls permission to interview Curry, a sign that they want to keep him.
Curry added that he’d be meeting with his lawyer soon to talk about his future.
"I hear things in the media, and I hear things from (my lawyer) as well," Curry said. "He knew during the season that it wasn’t time to talk about it. We’d discuss it and see what the talk was, and then our focus was how I could continue to help (the Pistons) get better here."
I think the whole "Curry wasn't allowed to interview" thing was overblown. For one, Doug Collins is all but officially Chicago's new head coach, so if Curry is being interviewed now, he's most likely being interviewed for an assistant's job, and it makes no sense that the Pistons would deny him the chance at a promotion but allow a lateral move. If the Bulls were actually denied before (and from the sounds of it, it was his decision not to pursue anything), it had to have been the timing of the playoffs.
So why was Terry Porter allowed to interview with the Suns? Perhaps because Steve Kerr expressed to Joe Dumars that Porter was a very serious candidate. From A. Sherrod Blakely:
Porter, who coached the Milwaukee Bucks for two seasons (2004-2005), has already interviewed once with the Suns and is among a handful that Phoenix GM Steve Kerr will talk with a second time.
"I'm thankful I'm in the second round process," Porter said on Saturday. "Go down there and do the best that I can do, and see how it plays out."
Also, it's not accurate to cite that Chicago Tribune article as confirmation that Curry was denied permission. The exact quote was, "the Pistons continue to give signs they won't allow the Bulls to interview," which as I noted at time time, reeks of a reporter not actually knowing for sure but still drawing his own conclusions.
Validating that claim by referencing it again is the MSM echo chamber at its worst, and it makes me wonder if I made of a mistake of buying into the whole "Michael Curry is being groomed as Flip's heir apparent" in the first place. How do we know this? No one in the organization has put their name to it, but it's been repeated unsourced by the local media for months, which makes me wonder if it simply began as someone's hunch before it was repeated so many times it became accepted as fact.