AUBURN HILLS — Tom Gores didn’t try to pretend that Thursday was just another day at the office.”This is the most defining moment of my ownership,” he said while introducing Stan Van Gundy as the new Pistons coach and president of basketball operations. “This is the most important decision we have made as an organization, because we are changing the culture of this franchise.”By signing Van Gundy to a contract widely reported as five years and $35 million, Gores is taking two separate gambles. First, he’s betting on a unified-management system that will see Van Gundy both build the roster and then coach it. Both men were quick to cite examples where that model has worked — Pat Riley in Miami, Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and Doc Rivers with the Clippers — but they both know that there are many places where it hasn’t been successful.For Gores, though, the attraction was simple.”Since I’ve been here, I have struggled connecting the floor to the front office,” he said. “I can give all the speeches I want to the people in the front office, but it doesn’t do any good if that’s not getting to the players. By doing things this way,… Read full this story
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