Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News filled fans in on the latest developments:
Pistons legend Isiah Thomas is poised to become an investor into the franchise’s ownership group, according to multiple sources.
Thomas and team officials are in preliminary discussions to make Thomas a minority owner, but the exact percentage hasn’t been agreed upon. It would make Thomas one of a few African-Americans with a stake in an NBA team.
The talks between Pistons owner Tom Gores and Thomas reportedly began shortly after Joe Dumars stepped down as the team’s president. It’s certainly an interesting development considering Stan Van Gundy was just hired as the head coach and president of basketball operations, but Gores wanted to involve Thomas with the team in some capacity.
The changes in Detroit come after an abysmal 29-53 season for the Pistons. The team missed the playoffs in a downtrodden Eastern Conference despite having talented players like Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings on the roster. Some changes at the top of the organization were almost inevitable.
Thomas, of course, harkens Detroit fans back to the glory days of the franchise. He helped lead the “Bad Boy” Pistons to back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990, as ESPN just chronicled in its 30 for 30 series, and the team remains firmly entrenched in NBA lore.
Despite his position in Pistons history, it will be interesting to see how much responsibility and personnel power Thomas has at his disposal.
Gores seemed to indicate when introducing Van Gundy that the coach would have the power to shape the franchise, via Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Stan is more than just a great coach, he's a great leader. What I'm most excited about is how Stan can help us shape the franchise and instill what it means to be the best. He's also a great communicator. My time with Stan has me convinced that he will bring our players, team and community to a very proud place.
In an ideal world, Thomas and Van Gundy would work together to bring winning pieces back to Detroit. Check back for more updates as they develop.