Former NBA coach turned television analyst Jeff Van Gundy is no stranger to rants, he’s good for at least two when he’s calling games.
You’ll probably notice that he portrays himself as a martyr or public defender if you will for head coaches. He’s never afraid to offer the plight or frustrations of the NBA head coach to the viewers and more times than not he’s spot on with his assertions.
In an appearance on XM’s Mad Dog Radio with Chris Russo, Van Gundy tore into the Detroit Pistons organization for in his estimation, the unjust firing of Lawrence Frank.
“Detroit Pistons basketball slogan: When the going gets tough, we fire the coach,” Van Gundy said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. You know what surprises me, Chris? These new owners in Detroit have to be exceedingly bright to have made as much money as they have. And to be duped again that your G.M. tells you that the roster is good and the coach is bad … what was the problem with Michael Curry? What was John Kuester? Now Lawrence. They run through coaches and they haven’t even begun to address their problem. They have very little talent and very little basketball character. You combine that, you’re going to be in a long rebuild.
“I’m just surprised that when everybody acknowledges it’s a player’s league – everybody would agree with that – then the most important player or person in any organization is the person that picks the players. But we don’t, as organizations, examine them. We just take the easy way out time and time again. You lose, the G.M. convinces the owner ‘We got good players. It’s the coach’s fault.’ We fire the coach; we bring a new coach in; we continue to lose. We fire that coach, saying that ‘We have better players.’ It just goes on and on. It’s typical and I can’t believe that the Detroit owners fell for it. I just can’t believe it.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Van Gundy’s assertion that most of the blame for the Pistons rapid decline should have fallen squarely on the shoulders on Joe Dumars. The fact of the matter is that there is no coach roaming this planet who can win the Pistons roster as it currently stands.