Who’s the Next Pistons Coach?


By H. Jose Bosch

I can’t say I was shocked when I first learned ex-Pistons coach Michael Curry was fired. But the first thought that went through my mind was, why now, especially with the free agency period looming?

Then it dawned on me: Joe Dumars knows exactly what he’s doing and he probably already has a new coach lined up. At least I can only hope. I mean I did trust the man when he drafted Darko and that didn’t turn out too well. But that’s beside the point.

So, who will replace Curry? I’ve put together a list of who I think are the four best candidates, each with some pros and cons:

Bill Laimbeer


–Former Bad Boy who knows what it takes to win at the NBA level. He can also demand respect from a team.
–Has head coaching experience and won three championships. Stifle your laughs boys, the WNBA is still a professional basketball league.


–Even though his WNBA coaching is a plus, zero coaching experience in the NBA is a concern.
–We’ve already seen what a former Piston/rookie coach has done. I’m not sure the city wants to see another one.

Doug Collins


–Eight years of NBA coaching experience gives him the most experience out of the four candidates I’ve listed.
–His work as an NBA commentator has kept him close enough to the game that he can hit the ground running.


–Despite gradually improving the Bulls during his tenure, they didn’t break out until after he was gone.
–The last three teams he coaches missed the playoffs and he was fired from the Pistons before the 1997-1998 season even ended.

Avery Johnson


–Has an impressive career .735 win percentage as a head coach with Dallas.
–His experience as a point guard could help Rodney Stuckey develop as a point guard.


–His Dallas team lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2006-2007 playoffs. Arguably one of the biggest upsets in recent NBA history.
–Has coached just three full seasons and it’s arguable whether his hiring would attract free agents.

Tom Izzo


–His teams have never finished below .500 overall in conference play in 14 seasons.
–Has a track record of developing talent, which could come in handy as the Pistons try to get a bit younger.


–The jump from college to pro can be difficult. Just ask Rick Pitino.
–His “Players play—Tough Players win” attitude may not work with an NBA team. (See above con).