Tom Gores: Win now and win later

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Pistons owner talks at length about his high expectations for this offseason and his team going forward, Phil Jackson's time in Detroit and selecting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over Trey Burke.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press was able to snag a one-on-one interview with Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. It's an interesting read where he talks at length about bringing in Phil Jackson (he was unaware of the negative publicity that came out of it), wanting to win now and building for the future.

I'll pull out a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite but go read the whole thing for yourself. It is worth it. Ellis promises a part two on Tuesday.

On what he liked about Maurice Cheeks:

A: I got the feeling he could really connect with the players. He spent the last four seasons with a couple of players by the name of (Russell) Westbrook and (Kevin) Durant. He spoke of all the time he spent with them helping them develop. That was important given that we have a really young team. Mo's a quiet leader. He's going to lead through private conversations. Thursday, he was having a conversation with Brandon Knight and they spoke under the basket for over an hour about things. Mo has a real ability to connect one-on-one with our young folks and I think that's necessary. So that's what struck me - his ability to connect, his understanding of young players and what it takes to have them develop. I think these last four years in Oklahoma City have been important for Maurice's own development. He's been able to do it with those young guys. ... He does it in a relatively easy manner. He's not a big believer in huge discipline, but he has values and principles that he holds them to. I saw him on Thursday and the thing I stressed to him was communicate, communicate, communicate. We have to do that with our young players especially.

On winning now without mortgaging your future:

A: Everybody wants to win, but you don't want to win at all costs. Even this off-season for example, obviously we want to make moves, we want to do our thing, but we don't want to do anything to affect the long-term future of the franchise. I think it's very tricky. We want to develop our young people and believe in them. I think we got the pieces to win and this year we got some room with our cap space and so on to bring in the right pieces. It's not that easy to balance and really it's about being the best you can be as a team. As much as we want to win, I think the most important thing is that we're playing to our maximum.

On the selection of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over Michigan star Trey Burke:

A: I was actually in the draft room, but I did hear about it and I understand. I think Trey is a great player and he did so much for the University of Michigan. I totally understand, but we took the philosophy of being in this draft what we needed as a team and we did take a bit of a win-now attitude. Our philosophy going in was we really wanted to have someone kind of slip right in to the team and help us win now. We felt that Kentavious could help us do that. Having said that, obviously Trey Burke is a great player. He's going to do great. It wouldn't be good for either one of us to just make the move for popularity just to get a good hooray from the fans.

That one might rub some people the wrong way but I still love the pick.

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