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Phil Jackson and Ben Gordon Agree the Pistons Aren’t Trying

The Detroit Pistons are the definition of an NBA team with all the talent needed to succeed but no drive.  When you see a roster that consists of names like Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Rip Hamilton, and Tracy McGrady, it’s easy to think you’re reading something about the all-star game.  That clearly isn’t the case anymore.

I don’t want to say washed up, because plenty of these guys have a lot of basketball left in them.  For one reason or another, they just don’t seem to gel as a team.  It probably doesn’t help that they are choosing not to try, which has led to a 4-8 record through 12 games.  When Phil Jackson made a comment about the Pistons being a talented team that wasn’t giving any effort, Gordon wasn’t exactly offended.

Yeah, when you get beat by that much and if you get down by that kind of deficit,” Gordon told the Detroit Free Press on Friday. “It seemed like they got whatever they wanted. We allowed them to move the ball around the perimeter easily without much defensive effort, so that’s an accurate statement.”

We appreciate the honesty, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to sell tickets.  The sad part is Detroit has the talent to make the playoffs and the experience to make a run.  That won’t happen if they continue to simply go through the motions and not care about winning.

Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva Is the Best Detroit Could Do?

Not too long ago I was praising Joe Dumars for recognizing his team wasn’t good enough to beat the elite teams in the East and that he needed to change it up. What I didn’t envision was him using the available cash he freed up under the salary cap to spend on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. By most accounts, the Pistons have agreed on a five-year $55 million deal with Ben Gordon, and a five-year $35 or $40 million deal with Villanueva (there are differing reports).

Maybe it’s just because I’m not a Ben Gordon guy that I don’t like what Detroit’s doing, or maybe it’s because they spent $10 million a season on a sixth man who’s a gunner and not a ball-handler and doesn’t play much defense. Maybe it’s because I prefer Rip Hamilton and can’t envision them paying Gordon $10 mil per and telling him he’s coming off the bench meaning Rip’s probably gone. Now Villanueva’s a decent deal because he can score and board and he comes at a reasonable price as a Rasheed Wallace replacement. The thing I’m missing is the size issue. Where’s their inside presence? Don’t they need one? Maybe I should be patient to see what they add next year before I completely judge because this has to be a work in progress.

The Pistons coaching situation also needs to be determined. They took way too long to fire Michael Curry. It seemed pretty obvious that his decision-making skills were lacking when he kept Iverson in the starting lineup and brought Rip off the bench for as long as he did. I know they’re recruiting Avery Johnson and I like him as a coach, but I just can’t imagine the new personnel really buying into Avery’s defensive mindset. I don’t see that as a great fit. They need to get tougher inside and Dumars has to recognize that. At this point, they remain a non-factor in the East.

Ben Gordon Doubles as Doughnut Man

A few weeks ago, I presented you the story of Joakim Noah screwing up his doughnut duty as part of his rookie hazing with the Bulls. Ben Gordon was upset that Noah had been bringing Dunkin’ Donuts to the facility instead of Krispy Kreme. Well, that little faux pas resulted in Gordon serving dougnuts at a local shop. Here’s why:

Seems the Bulls’ marketing department was none too pleased that Gordon went public with his complaint that Joakim Noah brought the team doughnuts from Dunkin’ Donuts each day, instead of from Krispy Kreme, as part of Noah’s rookie initiation.

Dunkin’ Donuts is a Bulls sponsor — which is why Gordon found himself serving up pastries and coffee at a Dunkin’ Donuts near the Berto Center after practice.

[Ben] Wallace said he was ready to make Gordon work.

”I’m going to send them back about 10 times because there is a certain way I like my doughnuts,” Wallace said. ”I’m pretty sure he’ll get it wrong.”

First Roy Williams delivers pizza, and now we have Ben Gordon serving doughnuts? What’s next? Ron Artest assisting you at Best Buy? Oh wait …

(via Ben Maller)