Monday, April 14, 2014

Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars Resigns

Joe Dumars, former Detroit Pistons championship guard and Pistons General Manager, stepped down today as General Manager after fourteen years in that role. Unfortunately for Dumars, in the decade since his first and only championship as GM, things went south. This intensified after the long time Pistons owner and Dumars supporter, Bill Davidson, died in 2009. Davidson's wife soon sold the team to private equity billionaire Tom Gores. Gores has owned the team for the last three years. Dumars' results during that time have been less than stellar to say the least. As it is now 2014 and the Detroit Pistons were recently eliminated from playoff consideration, evidently Gores and I suppose Dumars decided it was time for a change. I liked Dumars as a player. He did a lot of the gritty work required to turn the Pistons into champions, starting with being willing to stand up to and put a body on the great Michael Jordan. As a GM Dumars was for a short time the golden child, building a team of seeming misfits, rejects and hungry guys with something to prove into contenders. And he hired the perfect coach to turn them into champions. It was just like something from the movies. But of course every movie has to come to an end. And while Dumars made risky but smart moves in 2003 and 2004 that turned the Pistons into champions and perennial contenders, his moves since then, (of course we have to give him special dishonor for the draft of all time bust Darko Milicic) have at best been questionable while in several cases being obviously harmful to the team. 

No one stays on top forever of course. Sometimes it's just time to find a new voice. Also often, as I have learned to both my great benefit and occasional cost over the years, a new boss may want his/her own team in place. Nothing personal, just business. The Pistons' losing record over the past few years as well as empty seats at the arena made it apparent that Dumars' approach was not working. So I would have to say that like him as I do it was probably past time for Dumars to leave. It's classy that Gores is allowing him to "resign" and/or that Dumars can read the writing on the wall and not make Gores fire him. Of course when your boss doesn't renew your contract I guess that is tantamount to a firing but it's better than getting pulled out of a status meeting and told to leave the building immediately, which I saw happen some years ago. I like to think I survived the last round of cuts because I was so incredibly talented with much potential but it may have been because I was relatively inexpensive at the time and doing work nobody else wanted to do. Who knows.


Have you ever been in a position in your professional life where your old boss left and the new boss did not like you? Or maybe you found the environment changed? How did you handle it?

If you follow sports were you amazed that Dumars kept his job this long? 

If your boss gave you the opportunity to resign rather than be fired, would you take it?

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