The Detroit Pistons fired Coach Michael Curry today after one disappointing season. The Pistons snapped their 6 conference finals streak after free falling to the Eastern Conference 8 seed before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in round 1 of the playoffs. The Cavs swept the Pistons with double digit wins in each game. They could not even sell out playoffs games after ticket sales plummeted.
I find the timing surprising and do not agree with this decision. In firing his old teammate, GM Joe Dumars put the Pistons in an odd position. A day before the free agency period starts, the Pistons are coach less. Dumars said Curry was safe after the first round exit, but went back on his word. With no clear cut replacement available (although former Bad Boy Bill Laimbeer resigned from the Detroit Shock for an NBA job and Avery Johnson is sitting at ESPN waiting by his phone), the Pistons are now paying Larry Brown, Flip Saunders and Michael Curry, in addition to the new coach. With so much locked up in coaching for the time being, it could take some away from free agents. Given only one year, and a terrible situation where an obvious cap (and jersey and ticket sales) deal was made, Curry was asked to play youngsters as they tried to create a new core of talent. Sure, he juggled the lineup a lot (like having Rip come off the bench) but that was more out of desperation. If he was “the guy” then he was not given time to reach his potential. The Pistons, all though loaded with talent and potential, may slip farther behind the Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers (now with Shaq) and the Bulls.
Jason Kidd is being courted to come back to the Mavericks or quarterback the New York Knicks. The Knicks, which are using a Coach D’Antonio high flying offense, could be appealing for the aging All-Star. Mark Cuban is meeting with Kidd tonight when free agency begins.
Scott Gomez was traded to the Montreal Canadiens from the New York Rangers in a 6 player deal. The former New Jersey Devil star never caught on in New York, scoring 28 Goals in two seasons with the Rangers. The Canadiens, under new ownership with the Molson Family, are looking to reload and the Rangers are looking to clear up cap space and rebuild. NHL and NBA free agency begins at July 1st.
Jay Bouwmeester just inked a 5 year $33 million dollar deal with the Calgary Flames after having his rights traded to them earlier this week. The Florida Panthers kept Bouwmeester in hopes of making the playoffs, but narrowly missed out to the Canadiens. The Panthers received defenseman Jordan Leopold in the deal. Yes that’s right, the Calgary Flames have Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester on the same roster.
The Cubs are 3.5 out of first place after being blanked by the Pirates. The Cubs have the fifth best team ERA in the MLB with 3.83 but cannot get the offense going.