FLIP SAUNDERS IS PISTONS TOP CHOICE
AUBURN HILLS -- The Pistons have targeted their man to replace departing coach Larry Brown.
The man is former Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Flip Saunders. And I am willing to bet there is already a gentleman's agreement in place.
Chances are he will replace Brown when LB jumps to become the Cleveland Cavaliers head man for a year or two.
Phil Jackson and Saunders are the top two candidates for this job. Chances are Jackson will take the Lakers job or hold out for the New York Knicks when they become a viable team again.
We cannot forget Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo. He could still be a wild card if the Saunders thing does not work out. Owner Bill Davidson loves Izzo. And Izzo has familiarized himself with the NBA game through a series of visits to the Pistons practice facility to see how things work.
So if you want to believe this is a two horse race I would not blame you.
But it appears as if Flip is the guy.
There have been a number of coaching vacancies. And have you noticed Saunders has not been rumored for any of them? His credentials are such that he can be picky and choosy. And the best job in the NBA is right here in Auburn Hills.
This team is built for championships.
Chauncey Billups approves. And that is key. He will tell the other guys who do not know Saunders why they should flip for him.
The detractors say he never won big in Minnesota despite having Kevin Garnett on the team. That is true. But look at the other candidates. What have they won? That Timberwolves were always talented but disfunctional. And in the end they got old and cranky. No one could right that ship.
And one more thing. How many NBA titles did Brown win before coming to the Pistons from Philadelphia.
None. But President Joe Dumars knew he was the right man for the job.
And Flip is the right man also. He took over a team that never had a winning season. Saunders helped turn it into a Finals contender.
The black mark on the team were all those first-round TKO's. That won't happen here for quite some time.
The Pistons do not need a great X and O's guy. They need someone who players will respect and listen to. With Billups paving the way they eventually will flip for Saunders.