NBA: Dumars says he wants new coach by next Tuesday
By DAVID N. GOODMAN
Associated Press Writer
DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons don’t plan to wait long to name a replacement for fired coach Michael Curry.
Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ president for basketball operations, doesn’t have a “complete list” of candidates but wants to act in less than a week, before next Tuesday’s opening practice for the NBA developmental league.
“My goal is to have a head coach in place by the time we go out to Las Vegas,” Dumars said in a video posted on the team’s Web site. The NBA Summer League runs July 10-19.
The Pistons are in a good position to improve their lineup for the coming season with about $20 million under the salary cap to work with, to say nothing about four of the first 44 picks in the NBA draft.
“We’re definitely in the mode of reshaping our roster,” Dumars said last week. “We need to add about three or four talented players by drafting them, signing them or trading for them.”
Dumars announced Curry’s dismissal Tuesday. The first-year coach led the Pistons to a 39-43 regular-season record and a four-straight-game loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.
In the video, Dumars said Detroit needs a more experienced coach as it moves to integrate new players with remaining veterans.
“We think it’s best to move forward with a more experienced coach to get us through these times right now,” Dumars said. “We’re going through a transition now where we’re bringing back some of the veterans, we’re implementing some of the younger guys.
“That’s probably a little bit too much for a first-time head coach. ... It’s a little bit unfair of me to put him in that situation.”
Dumars and Curry played together at Detroit, but that wasn’t enough to save Curry’s job after he led the team to a losing regular-season record and four lopsided playoff losses to the Cavaliers after six straight Eastern Conference finals appearances.