Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Dumars' decisiveness draws critics, fans
Like many of his decisions over the past few years, Detroit Pistons president and general manager Joe Dumars' quick move to sign shooting guard Ben Gordon and forward Charlie Villanueva on the NBA's first day of free agent signing will be met with skepticism.
Dumars took over the front office duties in 2000 and built a team that went to six straight Eastern Conference Finals from 2003-2008, won a championship (2004) and lost a repeat title bid in seven games (2005).
Since then, he's been under some criticism for his hastiness to fire and hire head coaches (going on No. 5 since he took over), drafting eventual bust Darko Milicic No. 2 in 2003, trading Chauncey Billups (33) for expiring contract Allen Iverson and essentially beginning the dismantling of the championship-winning core, and even rejecting a reported trade that would've sent Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey to Boston for Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.
Now, critics will question his signing of Gordon (5 years/55 mil.) and Villanueva (5 years/35 mil).
Gordon's offensive prowess has always been his greatest trait and it was on display to the nation when he carried the Chicago Bulls many times during their epic second round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. Fans and critics question Gordon's defensive and passing abilities.
Villanueva's work ethic and consistency have been questioned. He just finished the best season of his career, but skeptics will say he did so because it was a contract year. He'll get called soft for a 6-foot-10 forward. Villanueva plays a similiar offensive game to Rashard Lewis. A lot of people criticized Orlando's signing of him in 2007, too.
NBA and Pistons fans should realize the franchise is trying to rebuild with youth while still being competative. Signing Gordon (26) and Villanueva (24) alone aren't going to bring Detroit back to the 2004 championship glory, especially with the Magic, Cavaliers and Celtics on top of the Eastern Conference.
But bringing in two young, energetic and offensive-minded players that replace a core of aging and unfocused veterans that reached their peak in 2007 is a good thing for the franchise. Dumars likely won't resign Rasheed Wallace (34) and will probably move Richard Hamilton (31) and/or Tayshaun Prince (29), all three of whom were members of that title team.
Detroit desperately needs a post scorer, but the Gordon and Villanueva signings free up Hamilton and Prince to be moved for one or two.
Dumars isn't done. NBA and Pistons fans need to recognize that he's building another team for another title run.