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DBusiness interviews Joe Dumars

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DBusiness Magazine -- "Southeast Michigan's Journal for Business"It's a new magazine produced by the same folks that do Hour Detroit, which I'm sure those local to Detroit have seen here or there. -- has a very interesting interview with Joe Dumars. What's even better, they present the actual audio of the interview, conducted by WJR legend Paul W. Smith, as well as the polished transcript, so you can hear Dumars in his own words as he describes his experiences both basketball-related as well as with his other business ventures.

I recommend the entire interview, but here are some interesting excerpts:

What NBA superstar would you like to add to the [Pistons] if you could pick anybody? One guy?

Yeah. Tim Duncan. Tim Duncan, without a doubt. [He's a] champion, plays to win, shows up every night. He's the type of person that I would want on my team. He just embodies everything that I think an NBA player should be.

How do you balance your time between your duties with the Detroit Pistons and [your] outside business interests? Golly, man, you talk about time-management. First of all, you've gotta get up early and be willing to stay late. And that was a big part of why I essentially sold Detroit Technologies. I'd had it for 10 years, Paul. The company had become very successful, and I said to myself maybe a year ago, Paul, that if I'm ever gonna sell and move forward, this is the time to do it. Do it while things are absolutely great.

Sure, it was a successful venture for you. You had it those 10 years … let's face it, you've been one very busy guy. Very busy. I mean - Paul, first of all, you have to understand this: I'm up [early] every morning because I committed to my wife that when I retired from basketball, I would pick up the ball where I wasn't there before because I was traveling so much. So I'm up every morning driving my kids to school at 7, 7:15, and then my day gets started. Either I'm at the Palace right away or I was at DTI - Detroit Technologies - driving back and forth …

How closely do you work with Pistons owner Bill Davidson? He stops into my office just about every single day. And you know, it's interesting, Paul. A lot of times we're not talking about Pistons basketball specifically. We're really talking about business philosophy, people, developing an organization … just life, you know. He talks to me about when he was my age - when he was 43, he talks to me about when he started Guardian [Industries], he talks about the things he had to do over the course of all these years to build a company, making tough decisions and sticking with them … So, really, for me, Paul, it's almost like a business lesson. If you ever wanna get an MBA, come and sit and talk with this guy.

It sounds like he's maybe [your] mentor. He's somewhat of that, Paul, because like I said, it's better than any MBA that I could've ever gotten because his life has been incredible, and the decisions he's had to make have been incredible. He'll sit and talk to me about, "When I was your age, Joe, here's what I was doing, here are the decisions I had to make …" It's absolutely fascinating for me. And I love listening to people like him in that position talk about the things they had to do to get there.

Joe Co. [DBusiness Magazine -- thanks Caroline!]