This is a special feature by guest blogger Christopher Sells.
Most franchises would view a trip to the conference finals as a success. For the Detroit Pistons, this is not the case. They’ve been in the conference finals in each of the last several years, advancing to the NBA Finals only twice.
So what do teams do these days when the team underperforms? They fire their coach. Bye bye, Flip.
Flip Saunders got three chances to get Detroit over the hump and he failed each time. When you’re employed by a franchise that gets rid of coaches who have just won a championship or who have posted back-to-back 50-win seasons, you should feel lucky that you got three chances at all.
One has to wonder exactly what Joe Dumars and Co. expected from Saunders. After all, his reputation in Minnesota, his previous job, was that he couldn’t get a team out of the first round. After all, he only did it once and it took career years from Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell.
So Detroit is now left to look for a coach that will mesh well with this team, along with improving the roster in some way that will return them to the pinnacle of the conference. Flip will either catch on with a team somewhere or (more likely) end up analyzing the game on TV next year.