A week ago, the Pistons announced that they hired three assistant coaches and a team scout. Among those let go was former Detroit basketball star Rasheed Wallace. Under the Dumars administration, Wallace worked post-retirement as an assistant coach with head coach Maurice Cheeks last season.
Now with Van Gundy at the helm, Detroit is cleaning up after Dumars’ mess of letting go personnel. Along with Wallace, assistant coaches Henry Bibby and Bernard Smith will not be returning for the 2014-15 season in Detroit. Meanwhile, former interim head coach and assistant John Loyer will be lucky enough to keep his job.
Incoming for Detroit are Brendan Malone, Bob Beyer and Charles Klask. Adam Glessner will serve as the team scout. These Van Gundy hires point to the direction in which he wants to take the team. His hires have playoff experience and have worked with superstars and big men before.
Malone worked with Van Gundy in Orlando. Beyer also worked with Van Gundy and Malone in Orlando until Van Gundy’s dismissal. Afterward, he worked with improving teams in the Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Bobcats. Hopefully, his experience will help the Pistons improve the way both of those teams did.
Klask is coming straight from an assistant coach position with the Brooklyn Nets’ first year head coach Jason Kidd. Before that, he worked for two seasons in Detroit.
With a familiar supporting staff surrounding him, as well as coaches that know the team well (Loyer and Klask), Van Gundy’s transition to the helm of the Detroit team should be smoother. New personnel should bring a new aura to the team which, if coached well, could mean a rebirth of Detroit basketball dominance. It probably will take more than just one season to see a difference, especially without a first round draft choice in this year’s draft.
No matter what though, there is hope for next season, even if that is all fans have ever had.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.