The shakeup continued as did the search for replacements in Detroit in the wake of Stan Van Gundy’s exit from the organization as head of basketball operations and coach.
Pistons’ owner Tom Gores brought in veteran NBA guys Ed Stefanski and gave him a three-year deal and the ability to hire the coach and GM — Stefanski has a lot of power. Which means his guys are coming in to get the big chairs, and the changes are not done.
First, Friday ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Jeff Bower — Van Gundy’s day-to-day GM — is out as the house cleaning continues.
This isn’t surprising, but the Pistons just lost a good basketball mind and another team will snap him up.
The Pistons also stayed in state and interviewed Michigan head coach John Beilein for their vacant coaching position, Wojnarowski reported.
Beilein, who twice led the Wolverines to the national championship game, has long harbored intrigue with the NBA, sources said.
Sources told ESPN that Beilein and former Toronto Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey met Thursday in Michigan with Pistons officials — a contingent that included new senior adviser Ed Stefanski and coaching search consultants Bernie Bickerstaff and Jim Lynam.
It’s still odd that Stefanski is interviewing coaches and could hire one before a GM, but it may just speak to his role and power.
Casey is considered the clear frontrunner for the coaching job, but interviewing Beilein will play well in Michigan.
Beilein is a gifted offensive coach, and you can hire a defensive-minded assistant. He has the right temperament to be an NBA coach. The question with all guys making this leap, can he handle going from being the man with the power to just being a coach. In the NBA, the coach is the CEO of the program with a lot of power over players and everything down to what shoes the team wears. In the NBA, the players have far more power, and then there’s the GM. It’s more collaborative. Some guys (Brad Stevens, Quin Snyder) can make that leap. Some can’t. It’s fair to ask if Beilein can check his ego at the door.