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Pistons enlist former NBA head coaches to help team find a new one

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Bernie Bickerstaff and Jim Lynam will assist team during head coaching search

Toronto Raptors v  Charlotte Bobcats Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons are relying on the experience and intuition of two former NBA head coaches in the organization’s effort to identify a new head coach, according to ESPN reports.

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the team will bring on Bernie Bickerstaff and Jim Lynam to consult with Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski during the team’s head coaching search. Bickerstaff and Lynam will sit in on interviews with prospective candidates.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press adds that the candidates will be asked about coaching philosophies and how they would a practice — including detailing specifically what their first practice as head coach would look like.

Their input will be brought to Stefanski, vice chairman Arn Tellem and Platinum Equity executive Bob Wentworth, according to Ellis.

While slightly unorthodox, perhaps this is owner Tom Gores learning a valuable lesson from his previous mistakes. He kept on Joe Dumars when he first purchased the team and then hired renowned search firm Korn Ferry to replace Dumars. Gores then subsequently scuttled all of Korn Ferry’s work when he jumped at the chance to hire Stan Van Gundy as both president and head coach.

Gores has always freely admitted that there are people that know much more about basketball than he does, and now he seems to be doing something about it. That is why he hired Stefanski to lead the makeover of the entire front office, and that is why he is turning to some NBA elder statesmen (Bickerstaff lasted coached in 2006 and Lynam in 1997, and both men are in their 70s) to help ID the next head coach.

The issue might be that hiring these basketball lifers and, some would argue, conventional choices, would mean the Pistons are most likely to only pick from experienced, conventional, traditional coaches. Only time will tell.