"Probably around ’09 is when I started to see it,’’ Dumars said. "You started seeing us slow down, and we knew we’ve got to rebuild the foundation and start getting a younger base of guys because those teams had a tremendous run.
"Once you see the run starting to fray and lose its legs, then you have to face the reality. We went to six straight conference finals, and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that, and I was fine with acknowledging that.
"The people in the trenches probably know before anybody else knows. Just little things that start happening. Toward the end of our run [in the 1990s] we weren’t as good in back-to-backs. I saw that in ’08 and ’09 as well.
"You start seeing little things like that but you know you are not as good. It’s the reality of facing that it’s coming to an end and, how do we want to deal with this?
"And my thing is, you’ve got to rebuild the foundation. That’s what we’re doing now. And we’ll keep adding pieces until we get it back.’’