Stan Van Gundy’s head coaching job is in jeopardy if he doesn’t make the playoffs, but he could lose his prestigious title as president of basketball operations with the Detroit Pistons regardless, according to a new report.
Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News writes that Van Gundy is “expected to at least lose his role as team president in Detroit, if not also his coaching duties.”
The Pistons already have a highly regarded replacement waiting in the wings in Arn Tellem who was one of the top agents in sports for 25 years before being wooed away into an executive position with the Pistons years ago.
Tellem was brought on board by owner Tom Gores with a dual mandate to oversee a potential move into downtown Detroit (now completed with the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena) and to strengthen governmental and community relations in Detroit.
If Gores pulls the trigger on this move it would likely mirror what happened to Doc Rivers in Los Angeles and Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta. In both instances they were effectively demoted out of presidential roles without anyone using the term. Instead, there was an emphasis of allowing the ability to “focus on coaching” while allowing the person to collect the same fat paycheck they had when donning both caps.
It seems like individuals are preparing for a makeover in the front office as someone has floated the idea that current Pistons general manager Jeff Bower would have interest in the Charlotte Hornets GM opening this offseason.
Bower is in the final year of his deal in Detroit and previously spent 14 seasons in various capacities with Charlotte. The Hornets announced earlier this year that current GM Rich Cho would not receive a new contract with the team after this season.