Basketball / Sports

Stan Van Gundy wows Pistons ownership with interview

DETROIT -- Pistons ownership representatives realized that they had their guy during a recent meeting in Los Angeles.

Stan Van Gundy, the team's new president of basketball operations and head coach, flew out to the West Coast to meet with Pistons owner Tom Gores and Platinum Equity representatives.

And he proceeded to knock the interview out of the park.

So it was a mere formality when the news leaked Tuesday that Van Gundy would replace Joe Dumars as Pistons president of basketball operations and John Loyer as Pistons coach. The team made the official announcement on Wednesday. A news conference is planned for Thursday.

"Stan is a proven winner in our league," Gores said in a released statement. "He instills his teams with passion, purpose and toughness. He is a great teacher who will help our players grow and develop. 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."

Van Gundy's deal technically was sealed overnight -- reportedly for five years and $35 million, though the Pistons didn't release terms.

"It is an honor to be chosen to help Tom Gores build the Pistons into a team that competes for championships," Van Gundy said in a statement. "Tom's vision of building for the future, while seeking immediate improvement is a challenge that I embrace. We will work to put a team on the floor that reflects the franchise's rich tradition and embodies the toughness and work ethic of fans in the Detroit area."

First contact between the parties was established two weeks ago, but Van Gundy emerged as "the guy" after that meeting in L.A. He broke down every player on the Pistons' roster. He had a detailed plan for his first 100 days running the team. And he convinced ownership that he will be able to curb the emotions associated with coaching and make the cool, calm decisions required of front-office executives on a daily basis.

Van Gundy, 54, has a .641 winning percentage in two-plus seasons coaching the Miami Heat (2003-05) and five with the Orlando Magic (2007-12). His career record is 371-208 in the regular season and 48-39 in the postseason. He coached the 2005 and 2010 Eastern Conference All-Star teams, as well.

The Pistons haven't reached the postseason for five straight seasons, the longest drought in the Eastern Conference.

Loyer is under contract through next season, so there is a chance he would remain as an assistant coach.

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