Lawrence Frank was introduced as the new coach of the Detroit Pistons Wednesday, and sat next to GM Joe Dumars is what is a silly exercise of a press conference. Silly not because of Dumars or Frank or the media, but because the league rules prohibit Frank and Dumars from even mentioning a player by name. Coaches lean toward giving you clichés and vague platitudes when they talk in the first place, now that’s about all they can do.
That means there wasn’t a lot to take away from Frank talking about his plans as coach, but there was one thing — he wants this team to focus on defense. Which is how the Pistons won all their previous titles — from the Bad Boys to 2004, the Pistons locked you down.
“We’re going to be a defense-first team, a rebounding team, an attacking team, a low-turnover, high-assist team,” Frank said.
Aside that, he talked about accountability. He talked about learning from Doc Rivers. He talked about his high school coach cutting him four times.
But he couldn’t talk about Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and if Rodney Stuckey can play the point for this team. Those are the things that will really determine how Frank does as a coach — in the end this league is about players. Coaches matter, but not as much as talent.
At least the Pistons are going to get back to being who they are historically. It’s a good place to start.