The Detroit Pistons, who are 2-26 overall, have major issues to fix.
Tom Kors promises to find them.
The founder of Platinum Equity and owner of the Pistons since 2011, held a conference call with local media Friday night as the team is in the midst of a historic 25-game losing streak. The Pistons have fallen short of preseason expectations. Kors, Troy Weaver and the coaching staff all expected significant improvement after winning an NBA-low 17 games last season.
No firing to report. Monty Williams' job is safe, as is Weaver's. But Kors promised big changes. While he didn't dive into specifics Friday, based on conversations with decision makers at the organization, it's safe to say the front office will be very active in the trade market in the coming weeks and months and will prioritize addressing. Additions of veteran talent complement roster deficiencies and young core.
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Kors traveled to Detroit on Wednesday to meet not only with Weaver and Williams, but with several of the team's recent draft picks, including Kate Cunningham and Jalen Duran. Because of the team's cap flexibility, there is hope that the front office will have the resources to lead the team back on a positive path. There is still hope for Williams, who signed a record six-year, $78.5 million contract this offseason.
Here's what the course has to say. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.
Course: “The thing on my mind is to talk to the fans, and what better place to do that than this team. I've been thinking about how to talk to the fans for a long time. We owe it to them. It's a conversation about the Pistons and where we're at, and I apologize for the disappointment of our fans. Like everybody else. “I'm disappointed too. Talking to our fans and letting them know what's going on is very important at this moment. The moment is important, and I have a lot of thoughts about it.”
Expectations were high. When you talked to the coaching staff and the front office, what was the idea of what this season should look like?
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“We wanted it to compete. Competing every day, play-in, playoffs, an opportunity for our players to grow, that would have been a win for us. That is what we discussed. We know we have a lot of growing to do. There were expectations to somehow compete, grow and be close to the playoffs. Because that's how you grow the most. Nothing wrong with that, that's the expectation.
Are you considering front office or practice changes??
“”What's not visible right now is that we've cleaned up a lot of things in our player contracts over the last few years. One of the important things for the fans to hear, and I actually talked about this with the players the other day, is that despite all the losses here, we still have a good future. No. 1, we have amazing young players. High character, high talent. This collection of players, I know them individually, I saw them the other day, we are in a great place with our young talent. I think seven or eight players are under 22, so they are young. But No. 1, we have amazing young players. No. 2, We set ourselves up to be flexible in our contracts. All these deals are suffocating us and we cannot be agile. We are set up with a lot of space and you know I am willing to do whatever it takes to make this organization a success. As for the blurring of vision, I feel the same way I felt at the beginning of the Bright Future season. I still have it.
“We still have an incredible city, and I understand that some of them are mad at me, I understand. I understand, and I don't blame them, but still, it's a great city with passionate, caring fans. We're connected to the community. All the dots there are ready to connect. There are. We're not winning.”
Now that there won't be changes, what gives you confidence in this front office, Troy, and what gives you confidence in this coaching staff, makes you believe that this team can pull this team out of the doldrums and turn things around.?
“First of all, I'm not saying there's not going to be any change; you've got to make sure you don't hold me like that. We need change. We're not doing well. Where we're going. I think there's still work to do with these players and flexibility and all that stuff and that stuff to get there. . But we have to evaluate what's not working here. Monty and I talk about rotations. I don't. Monty is very good, he knows what he's doing, and he's willing to talk about it. We're like, 'How do we fix things?' We've got to change something. I can't tell you exactly what it is; we're diving in really hard. We're two weeks ahead of you guys, the fans, and our disappointment is hitting us. We expected a lot more. But there are some things that just don't work with the makeup of the group. To be true, we must observe it.
“A lot of accountability has to be held. There may be additions to the workforce, but there's definitely going to be change. We're not right now. We've got to add, we've got to fire. We'll be there. , we're already there. We'll make changes. We'll make them. We'll see what they're going to be. Still not handling properly.”
Who is most to blame?
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“It should be me. I was very optimistic at the start of the season. Maybe I missed something in the combinations. If you want to lay it on anyone, I'd say it's me and Troy. We made these decisions. What you don't see right now, what the fans don't see, is cleaning everything up. We're in the most flexible time of our lives here, at least in my Pistons franchise. But the way we don't work out, I think Troy and I have to go. It starts there. Maybe underestimated wanting more bench power, dunno. We underestimated something. We have seven, eight players 22 and under. That's the makeup of our list. Maybe we should have some casual players. But carrying it on the shoulder, it cannot be mandi. Monty has been here in 20-something games. You can say, 'Hey, maybe he did this cycle, that cycle,' and it gets you a few more hits. And Monty judges himself every day. That wouldn't be right.”
For the front office, if there are no moves between now and the trade deadline, does that hinder how you see him progressing beyond this season??
“We have to regroup at the end of the season and we're already doing that, but it's like, 'What happened?' We have to do that. Looking forward to change. I expect Troy to bring change. Being in the same position, I don't think anyone can be here and say that change is not needed in any real way. I expect Troy to find ways to get the makeup of our team and make us more successful. I expect him to find ways, and he knows that. If we don't do anything to improve ourselves, I'll be disappointed. I'm going to be disappointed. And I think Troy knows. He knows that.”
There is a perception that there are too many voices in the system. Should there be a vocal attitude, not necessarily, telling agendas in the building??
“I don't think so. Voiceover, it's Troy and me. We have a lot of good assets and good advisors, and we're focusing on what we call restructuring. We have cleared everything in terms of contracts and these young players. It's really just Troy and me. There are many who want to go in a different direction, but everyone's voice is Troy and myself. We are responsible for where we are.
“I also understand that it's an aligned vision and vision needs to be adjusted. And I think Troy is doing that as well. I don't doubt he knows that. I don't know if that's the answer to that, but like in any organization or in any situation you listen to everybody and you listen to them. Ask, but it's just advice. Then you make the decisions. And Troy and I make the decisions. That doesn't mean we shouldn't move in certain directions, but we make these decisions.”
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