The Athletic: Detroit Pistons Coach Monty William's Failure Was Predestined

June 24, 2024, 10:54 AM

Monty Williams and Tom Gores

Jim Trotter of The Athletic writes that the writing was on the wall for Detroit Pistons Coach Monty Williams way before his recent firing, after just one year on the job. 

Trotter writes:

It was hard to believe in real time that Williams was fully invested. Let me count the ways: He had declined multiple overtures from Troy Weaver, the general manager at the time; the embers were still hot following his dismissal in Phoenix after a disappointing playoff exit; and his wife had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

But instead of leaving well enough alone — particularly when Pistons leadership publicly acknowledged the franchise was at a critical point in its rebuild — owner Tom Gores kept pushing. No surprise there. Wealthy owners don’t become wealthy by taking no for answers. They tend to believe they have the will and the wherewithal to get what they want, even if it’s not in their best interest.

So Gores made a final run at Williams, who had gotten favorable news about his wife’s condition, and offered him a financial package that shook the league’s foundation. He got his man but not the results he desired. Williams initially told the team he was not interested in coaching, then he spent much of the season acting like it.

Trotter doesn't have such great things to say about Gores who is not exactly beloved in Detroit. The perception, real or not, is that Gores is an absentee owner, unlike previous owner Bill Davidson who was regularly seen sitting at courtside at home games. Gores, a billionaire who lives in California, often denies that characterization.

He writes:

I’m always suspicious of owners who seem to crave the spotlight. Their egos often outpace their acumen when it comes to building a championship team. If Gores thinks it’s a flex that he’s able to eat $65 million for a departed coach, he’s wrong. It’s an embarrassment that he ever put himself in this position. It’s also confirmation that, generally speaking, owners are best seen and not heard from.

Read more:  The Athletic

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