I wish the rest of that title was for third assistant. Alas, it is not.
A 45-year veteran NBA columnist for the NY Post, Peter Vescey, claims -- while dismissing Isiah Thomas rumors -- that Joe Dumars wanted Mark Jackson as his head coach before Jackson agreed to hand down, man down the Golden State Warriors for the next three years [via I AM A GM, which may or may not be Joe Dumars' personal website]:
Fact is, ESPN’s report is wrong. Dumars had prioritized Mark Jackson and was on the phone with Steve Kauffman the night before the Warriors announced his client had been hired. There was no second choice and that remains the case. But Thomas, and in all probability Laimbeer, will not be considered when a candidate list is shaped.
This makes zero sense. First of all, if this were true, Tom Gores would've tilted his head the other way and fired Dumars on the spot. Not even his Platinum Equity twins would've gone along with this if it were really Dumars' master plan to win over his new boss and leery fans. Second, it makes negative sense that anyone involved with the Pistons would leak to the public and subsequent job candidates that the "top choice", Mark Freaking Jackson -- former average NBA player and sub-par NBA analyst with zero coaching experience -- slipped away to the Warriors; it immediately devalues the position and, thus, makes remaining candidates more "buy value"-ish. Tom Gores don't even tilt his head that way. Not on my watch.
Fact is, Vecsey probably doesn't have his facts straight. Dan Feldman at Piston Powered offers up a plausible explanation for Dumars allegedly being on the phone with Kauffman the night before:
"Interestingly, Kauffman also represents former Knicks assistant Mike Malone who interviewed for the Golden State opening."
Mike Malone is the son of former Piston assistant Brendan Malone. I expected Mike Malone to at least be on the Pistons’ list. Perhaps, that’s why Dumars was speaking with Kauffman – if he was at all.
Look, Dumars has done a lot of stupid things in the past few years (okay, a lot), but I can't believe this "report". Your thoughts. As you were.