Following Saturday's press conference, Joe Dumars spent several minutes taking additional questions from the media. Inevitably, he was asked about the coaching search, and what qualities he was looking for in prospective candidates.
"Longevity, first and foremost," Dumars said with a laugh. "But secondly, I just want someone that can take the reins and run with it and don't look back. Embrace the position, command the room and lead this team. Those are the traits that any good coach is going to have."
In response to a follow-up question, he detailed some of the challenges coaches face. "You're together all the time," he said. "You're together with your team and teammates and coaches more than you are with your families. So those relationships, man, it's always a delicate balance. You have to be tough, you have to be understanding, you have to be everything. You have to wear a ton of hats. But that's what you do when you step in that seat, that's the criteria."
A couple of reporters asked Dumars how the expected lockout would affect the incoming rookie class, which Dumars politely declined to answer. "Listen, we have some very strict guidelines about this, so I'm a little uncomfortable talking about it," he explained. "The guidelines are strict, so I'll have to skip any questions about that."
That said, Dumars was comfortable talking about another topic that was formerly taboo: the restrictions he faced while operating under Karen Davidson the past two years, and the sense of freedom to go about his job he now enjoys working under Tom Gores.
"Sense of freedom, that's a good term," he said. "Listen, you do these jobs and you have to throw yourself into them completely 100 percent, you can't do these jobs with any level of success if you're 50 percent, 60 percent of what you can and can't do. So to be able to do whatever's necessary now to be good again, yeah, it's a really good feeling. A really good feeling."
Gores joined the rest of the Pistons' front office in the team's draft room this year, and Dumars came away impressed.
"It was really good," he said. "First of all, let me just say this, the guy is real smart, man. Because we've thrown a lot of stuff at him over the past month just about how things work and operate. And by the time he walked into the draft room, he had a great understanding. ... I was impressed that in a month he could grasp it the way he did, and he was very helpful in the draft room.
"Trust me, he was, because some of the stuff that he talked about, 'Do what you need to do and I'm here to do whatever I have to do to support you.' When you're running a team and you have an owner sitting here saying that, you have no idea how much that helps -- especially after the last couple of years."