In his first media availability since becoming the General Manager of the Detroit Pistons, Troy Weaver spoke with seriousness and clarity about where this team is, and where he wants them to be. With less than a week under his belt as a GM, that’s really all he could do, and all fans could expect of him. Perhaps, more importantly, Weaver promised to be indefatigable in his efforts to bring the Pistons back:
I’m excited to work tirelessly to put a team on the floor that fans can identify with and be proud of. There’s a tremendous amount of greatness in the walls... I can’t wait to get to Detroit, roll my sleeves up and get it going.
Weaver also spoke a little bit about why he joined the Pistons now (instead of, hypothetically, two years ago, when they first tried to talk to him):
We had a goal, we wanted to bring a championship to OKC, and I wanted to be there to make that happen. I felt a sense of loyalty to that organization to let me be assistant gm, and I excited to continue to work there. This opportunity presented itself, thought timing was right... Training with the Jazz and Thunder make this a great fit for myself. Thank God the Pistons saw it the same way. The way the team was trending, my skills and talent are a great fit.
Weaver on the opportunity to work with Ed Stefanksi and Arn Tellem:
The best way to help a rookie QB is to put a veteran around him. Surrounding me with experience and a wealth of knowledge makes this job special, it was attractive for me. With so much knowledge, we’ll work together hand in hand to make the best decisions for the Pistons.
Stefanski, for his part, also had an interesting quote about working with Weaver under Tom Gores:
I still sees myself as my title, we left it open on purpose. (Two years ago) Tom said to me, “You’ve been a GM, you’ve been a President, this is bigger than that.” That’s how Tom thinks. We all have egos, mine is in check - whatever we can do to win.
Stefanski’s ego is in check? That’s a good thing to hear.
All of these quotes are good things to hear. They are also the type of thing you typically hear at an introductory press conference for a new front office member. However, Weaver also talked a little bit about the HOW of the forthcoming Detroit Pistons Restoration, and I think that’s the best place for fans to look to for now. So, in his words, here’s how Troy Weaver plans to execute The Restoration Of The Detroit Pistons.
On the team he currently has:
(What) stands out for the roster is two veterans that are looking to restore their careers. Blake Griffin, a perennial all star, and Derrick Rose. Both guys have injury history, both guys are looking forward to building their careers back. Excited to get them healthy and help us moving forward. Young players, Sekou, Luke, Bruce, Svi, Wood - we feel like we have a good mixture, with those two staples to start there.
So, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose maybe aren’t going anywhere for a while. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing - I talked on the podcast about how having Blake as an adult in the locker room, and example for the young guys to try to hit, was a good thing.
On the type of players he wants to bring in:
What we need, we need competitors. That’s the number one trait that we look for, we want guys that compete, That’s how we move the needle - big time competitors, before position or skill set. Everything else trickles down from that.
On his draft philosophy:
My philosophy is, we don’t draft players, we draft people. Get the person right. More times than not, high picks that don’t pan out, you miss on the person. Get the person right, the basketball takes care of itself. Someone that is committed to working, fierce competitor, and that the community can be proud of, on and off the floor.
Okay, now I am officially VERY curious about how he feels about some of the players at the top of this year’s draft. “Big-time competitors” doesn’t exactly describe some of the guys at the top of this draft, but it does describe the guys Weaver has built his career on (Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams come to mind).
For now, though, the draft is a LONG way away. Weaver’s Restoration will have to wait until then. But fans can at least be pleased that the Pistons have hired a guy who sounds like he gets it.