SBD/October 30, 2013/Franchises

Pistons Owner Gores Sits For Q&A, Says Joe Dumars Not On Hot Seat

Gores indicated that he plans to be a more visible owner this season
Pistons Owner Tom Gores said he is "happy with the Pistons' home at The Palace but open to conversations about moving downtown," according to a Q&A with Bob Wojnowski of the DETROIT NEWS. Gores also said that President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars "is not on the hot seat." Below are excerpts from the interview.

Q: It seems like you're pushing harder now, wanting more.
Gores: We took a philosophy, Joe and I, to win now without sacrificing the future. I really think we accomplished that. Obviously the business is very tricky, but we had to create an urgency. The fans need it, the Pistons need it.

Q: You mentioned Dumars. He’s in the final year of his contract, and there hasn’t been public talk of an extension. I have to ask: Is Joe on the hot seat?
Gores: He’s not. Joe and I collaborated on these moves, we talk every other day. He’s done everything we’ve asked, and his basketball organization is really solid. I’m excited where they’re at. I don’t think I could’ve asked for more this summer

Q: Then why no contract extension?
Gores: We haven’t talked about it. I really respect this about Joe -- his focus is on the Pistons, on winning. He knows we have a job to do this year. The good news is, we’ve done all these move hand in hand.

Q: Do you plan to be around more this season?
Gores: I do. The first couple of years, the team was really in transition. At times, if I got involved, I might have gotten in the way. But if you’re not here, that doesn’t mean you’re not doing the work behind the scenes. Now we’ve solidified the team and it’s time for me to be more visible.

Q: Have you enjoyed owning the Pistons?
Gores: It’s been a lot of work, but I have enjoyed it. The first year, it was really just about putting all the people in place. I enjoy that it’s a piece of the community. I grew up here, that really gets you embedded.

Q: There were lots of empty seats at The Palace last season. How much did that trouble you, and how much did it push you to make changes?
Gores: I can’t say it hasn’t bothered me. But I believe in the fans of Detroit, and we’ll ultimately get what we deserve. If we do this right, we’ll get the fans. If we don’t, we won’t. Attendance is looking up, and that probably has a lot to do with the changes we made, and people realizing we’re serious about building a team (DETROIT NEWS, 10/30).

MOTOWN MOVES: In Detroit, Terry Foster notes Pistons officials "hope the moves they made this offseason -- namely bringing in" G Brandon Jennings and F Josh Smith -- will "infuse new life into a slumbering franchise." From the "outset, it seems like they have," as season ticket sales are up 23.8%, while group sales "have doubled" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/30).
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