Friday, April 24, 2009

Has Joe Dumars lost his mojo?


Urbandictionary.com defines “in the zone” as an expression used to describe a state of consciousness where actual skills match the perceived performance requirements perfectly. Being in the zone implies increased focus and attention which allow for higher levels of performance. Athletes, musicians, and anybody that totally owns a challenge of physical and mental performance can be in the zone.

Professional athletes love to be in the zone. During his playing career, Joe Dumars was in the zone quite often. Even when Dumars retired and joined the Pistons front office, he was in the zone. Every deal that he completed made the Pistons a better team.
Some of Dumars best moves were trading Grant Hill to the Orlando Magic for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. Wallace emerged as one of the leagues best defensive players while in Detroit. He drafted Tayshaun Prince late in the first round of 2003. He acquired Rasheed Wallace for the 2004 playoff stretch drive. He also knew when he had gotten all that he could from Ben Wallace and allowed him to leave via free agency to Chicago. Wallace’s career has never been the same since.

These are just some of the moves that helped the Pistons reach the Eastern Conference Finals 6 years in a row. During that time, they made 2 trips to the NBA finals and won 1 championship.

Is he one of the greatest Pistons executives of all time? That remains to be seen.

Even though Dumars has accomplished a lot of great things during his tenure in the front office of Detroit, he has also done a lot of questionable things.

During that time he has fired 3 successful head coaches in 6 years, drafted perhaps the biggest “bust” of all time in Darko Milicic, and hired a guy that has no head coaching experience at any level in Michael Curry. He also traded their team leader Chauncey Billups for a team killer in Allen Iverson.

When Dumars first started in the front office of Detroit, he was most certainly “in the zone”. He scored with every move that he made.

The past few years though, he has been out of the zone. Many people have questioned his moves and the thought process behind them. It seems that he’s just making moves with the hope of catching lightening in a bottle again.

In the next couple of days, the Pistons will most likely put an end to one of their most disappointing seasons in many years. This years team played with no heart, no passion, and no will to win.

Many personnel moves need to be made this summer. Each and every player (and coach) on this year's team is expendable. The Pistons are not the same team that they were in years past. Dumars needs to find the zone that he was in when he first took his job with the Pistons front office and make the necessary moves to return the Pistons to NBA supremacy.

1 comment:

The Witteveen said...

You've got some great articles Matt. Maybe you could start writing for the Gazette, then write a book that gets turned into a movie about a dog! Good stuff!