The NBA's Draft Combine starts today in Chicago, and while most of the attention will be on the prospects, it's also a reminder of how the Detroit Pistons refuse to put John Kuester out of his misery. From Vince Ellis of the Free Press:
Most of the Detroit Pistons' front office is in Chicago for this week's predraft camp, but not coach John Kuester.
And there are no indications he will be here Thursday, when drills and testing for NBA draft prospects begin. The team is interviewing players today.
Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars hasn’t announced a decision on whether Kuester will return for the final season of the three-year contract he agreed to in the summer of 2009.
Most people following the Pistons have long since taken for granted that Kuester will be replaced, but when? Isn't Dumars shooting himself in the foot by refusing to make the decision official, giving every other team with a coaching vacancy a head start on picking through the top candidates?
I don't know this, but I suspect that Dumars couldn't fire Kuester if he wanted to, at least not yet. It's taken longer than anticipated for the NBA's Board of Governors to officially ratify the sale of the team from Karen Davidson, and until that's written in stone, there's a good chance that Dumars is operating with the same handcuffs he's been wearing the last couple of seasons.
And maybe that's not a bad thing -- especially if Gores hasn't officially decided he wants to retain Dumars in the first place. In an interview with Tom Walsh of the Free Press, Karen Davidson avoided the question of Dumars' future altogether:
Will former Pistons star Joe Dumars remain team president?
[...] "I have no idea," Davidson said, when I asked about Dumars. That will be up to Gores and the crack management pros from his Platinum Equity investment group, which also will have a stake in the Pistons.
"They are very success oriented," Davidson said. "It's not as if they're a bunch of amateurs with a lot of money."
You have to hope that a new owner won't be content with Detroit's slide into irrelevance, and it's not out of line to think that he might hold Dumars accountable. So until Gores decides who he trusts to run the team, I suspect all other decisions will be delayed.