Jeff Bower has been hired as the general manager of the Detroit Pistons, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
Bower spent 15 years serving in several capacities for the New Orleans Hornets, including a couple stints as general manager, most recently form 2005-10. He most recently spent one year as head coach at Marist College.
Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations will have final organizational say, but has said he was looking for a general manager who had held the role before and could be someone who was experienced in running the day-to-day operations as well as someone who is smart enough to be a sounding board on important team-building decisions.
It appears Van Gundy believes the best person to serve in that role is Bower. From Wojnarowski (emphasis mine):
As Van Gundy concentrates on his coaching responsibilities, Bower will handle the day-to-day duties of the front office. He's well respected among front-office peers and player agents in the NBA, giving Van Gundy a strong complement as he makes his first move into combining management and coaching responsibilities.
Bower will begin his job immediately, Wojnarowski reports, and will begin working on preparing for the upcoming draft and July free agency.
Van Gundy had already gone on record praising Bower's basketball knowledge and talent evaluation so it is no surprise that the longtime executive and coach was high on Van Gundy's list. And while Bower might be considered an old-school NBA veteran in an era of data-driven executive management, Bower isn't anti-analytics.
From the Detroit Bad Boys profile on Bower as a GM candidate:
About his approach to analytics in coaching, he said, ""You don't know until you track something. I think it can point out trends and patterns and get you to information much quicker than traditional methods of standard observation. I see the reaction from players when you show them the hard facts as opposed to vague generalities. Players like to be told the truth and what it is they need to improve on. Measuring and monitoring things give you the data and facts to help make those areas more evident to your players."
DBB will bring you more on the hiring of Bower as general manager in the days to come. What's your take?