Convention seems out the window in the Pistons’ search to replace Stan Van Gundy as coach and general manager. Usually, the plan is to hire a GM, then let him pick his man as coach. The Pistons have hired Ed Stefanski as a “senior consultant” and then they have hired a couple of consultants to help him pick a coach (on a separate track from the GM).
One of the potential coaches: Kenny “the jet” Smith.
Smith isn’t just the guy running up to the big screen (and lately into the big screen) on TNT’s Inside the NBA, he was a 10-year NBA veteran point guard who won a couple of rings with the Rockets in the 1990s. He was interviewed by the Knicks for their head coaching job a couple of years ago. He knows the game.
That’s a very different skill set from being an NBA coach.
Sometimes guys plucked out of the broadcast booth make great coaches — Pat Riley, Steve Kerr — but it is a risk. The question becomes does Smith’s coaching philosophy fit with the direction the Pistons want to go? Of course, that leads to two other questions: What is Smith’s coaching philosophy? What direction do the Pistons want to go?
It’s going to be one hot summer in Detroit.