The hiring of Stan Van Gundy was a good hire for the Detroit Pistons. But in honesty there were five to six candidates who may have been a better for the job. This is by no means a slight on the coaching ability of Stan Van Gundy because he has what it takes to get us going in the right direction. But to get to the level of a perennial contender, I’m not so sure he is the man for the job.
Let’s look at some candidates who may have been overlooked or never contacted to be the next Detroit Pistons head coach.
Mark Jackson should have been contacted once he was fired by Golden State Warriors. He was Golden State’s best coach since Don Nelson. In the NBA the Western Conference is much more of a gauntlet than the Eastern Conference. For instance the Phoenix Suns who failed to make the playoffs won forty eight games. Only the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers won more than that in the Eastern Conference. Players love to play for Mark Jackson and in this day and age you need a face of a franchise who’s not a player to attract marquee free agents. If you watched game one of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals you saw LeBron James embrace him with a hug. Mark Jackson is a coach that will attract stars and you win in this league with players and timely coaching.
Doug Collins should have received a call based on his passion and attention to detail. Collins builds players and puts a scheme in place to make them competitive. What he did with Philadelphia a few years ago was mind boggling when you look at what he had to work with.
The Other Van Gundy
Jeff Van Gundy is a great defensive coach and is micromanager of sorts. Jeff Van Gundy teams are known for toughness, solid defense, and timely scoring. Jeff Van Gundy has a premiere basketball mind and is well known.
Lionel Hollins maybe the best of the bunch when you look at the personnel he had in 2012-2013. The Memphis Grizzlies made it to the Western Conference finals against a stacked Western Conference with tenacious defense, rebounding, and a pension for pulling out close time. With the three big men we have in Detroit he would’ve found a way to work everything out by trading the right one away or putting together a style where all of them could coexist.
I’m content with the hiring of Stan Van Gundy but to overlook other candidates when there is such an abundance of quality is disconcerting. At the end of the day it’s about bringing the Detroit Pistons back to the playoffs.