Joe Dumars has made some puzzling moves over the years as President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons. Despite winning the NBA Championship in 2004 and a handful of successful seasons surrounding that milestone, Dumars has struggled at times to make the Pistons a perennial contender in the league since he took the job just before the 2000-01 season.
Here are some of the more odd signings since then. Some of them made sense, some of them didn’t, and others just looked strange in a Pistons uniform.
Grant Hill 1994-2000
Hill wasn’t really a part of the Dumars Era, but he did set it off. Dumars first major move in his new position was to trade the ailing Grant HIll away to Orlando for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. It turned out great for Detroit and Hill eventually returned to activity after years of injury with the Magic, but never returned to his former superstar self. Here Grant is rocking the teal which most assuredly is responsible for his injury.
Mateen Cleaves 2000-01
Drafted by the Pistons in 2000 after winning the NCAA Championship with Michigan State, Cleaves never materialized as an NBA player. Must have been the effect those teal-era jerseys had on players. He’s shown here wondering why everyone in the NBA is so much bigger than in college.
Mehmet Okur 2002-04
A 7th or 8th man off the bench for the championship era team, Okur brought some size and European effort to the floor. He went on to a little more individual success in Utah before heading back to Turkey. He also tried to look cooler later with longer hair and a goatee. He needed to do something, that’s for sure. His triple-chin, pictured here, did not ever go away.
Nazr Mohammed 2006-07
Nazr has been around the league, currently backing up Joakim Noah in Chicago. His consistency and hard play have kept him in the 6th man elite, and won him a 2005 NBA championship with the Spurs. Nothing bad to say about this guy, but here he was kissing a 4th Pistons championship goodbye.
Chris Webber 2007
Not sure why this guy thought he was the shit when he signed onto the Pistons in January of ’07, but he didnt amount to anything close to the defensive presence he should have been. By this time he was old and tired, which is probably what Rasheed is saying to him here.
Allen Iverson 2008-09
Worst move in franchise history? Possibly, when Dumars traded Chauncey Billups and change for Iverson in 2008. Iverson was at the end of his career and brought the wrong attitude to the locker room. The Pistons haven’t been the same since. Here Kobe just told Allen how many more years he’ll be playing than him.
Kwame Brown 2008-10
For some reason Dumars thought this guy would amount to something. Apparently being a number 1 draft pick buys you enough cred that you don’t really need any actual basketball skills. As is evidenced by the blocking foul on Pau here.
Tracy McGrady 2010-11
This was a last-ditch effort to either generate some scoring (unlikely) or generate some jersey/ticket sales (more likely, but futile.) McGrady is currently warming the bench for the SPurs in their title run, but he fizzled out after his Houston Rockets tenure. He got lots of chances to touch the ball on free throws, though.
Ben Gordon 2009-12
Another horrid signing by Dumars, using a ton of cap room to sign Gordon and Charlie Villanueva instead of pursuing a superstar or, you know, good fits for the roster. Gordon was an asset off the bench in Chicago, but never caught on as a starter in Detroit. He hasn’t been able to regain his magic since. Here he’s trying to figure out how to get back to Chicago.
Corey Maggette 2012-present
Maggette was acquired for Ben Gordon by trade, and is stamping his NBA passport with yet another stop in his near 15-year NBA career. Just seems weird seeing him in a Pistons uniform. Here’s a photo of him — what do you know — smiling.