Pistons Deny Report That Isiah Thomas Is Candidate To Replace GM Dumars
Platinum Equity Principal Mark Barnhill claimed that a report the team is pursuing Basketball HOFer Isiah Thomas as its next GM is "absolutely false," according to David Mayo of MLIVE.com. Barnhill in an e-mail wrote of Thomas, "He is not a candidate for any job with the Pistons." Barnhill added that he and team Owner Tom Gores "had dinner with Thomas a couple weeks ago in Los Angeles but the upcoming Bad Boys reunion 'was the sole topic. Period.'" Barnhill wrote in reference to a N.Y. Daily News report that Thomas was a candidate to succeed Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars, "If people are gonna manufacture rumors every time we are seen in the same room as someone, it's gonna be a long few weeks as we head into the Bad Boys reunion and beyond" (MLIVE.com, 3/2). In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence in the original report cited sources as saying that Gores is "seriously thinking of making what has been a long-overdue, front-office shakeup after the season, with Thomas recently emerging as a top candidate to take over the role of the team’s top basketball executive." Lawrence wrote Dumars' tenure is "expected to end when his contract runs out this spring" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/2).
AMONG FRIENDS: In Detroit, Terry Foster writes, "I do not believe Gores will hire Thomas, but it is an interesting thought." Whether Gores "keeps Dumars or finds a replacement, the Pistons must have people willing to challenge the top man." The "only one who has challenged Dumars the past five years is Gores, who spends most of his time in California as an absentee owner who appears unaware or unconcerned about how Metro Detroit now virtually ignores this once-proud franchise." Foster writes Thomas "doesn't want to talk about the Pistons because of his relationship with Dumars" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/3). Also in Detroit, Vincent Goodwill reports Thomas, who is currently an NBA TV analyst, "likely wouldn’t put himself in a position that pits himself on one side and a former teammate with whom he has a friendship on the other -- Dumars" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/3).