Opening Statement:Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury: There are 30 teams in the National Basketball Association. Since 2009 only six of those teams have not made the Playoffs. They are the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets, and the Detroit Pistons. We are here today to discuss the last team on that list, and present a case that it is time for Joe Dumars to go as General Manager of that team. I understand that this is an unpopular opinion, but after our case is offered, we believe that the jury will be compelled to agree. Our evidence will include a look at Joe Dumars personnel decisions and handling of coaches. We hope that the jury listens with an open mind, and puts all emotional attachments aside. The facts are the facts, and it is time for the defendant, Mr. Joe Dumars to vacate.
Exhibit A-Drafting Darko: The roots of this case were planted back in 2003. The Pistons had the 2nd pick in the NBA Draft. A draft in which LeBron James was the top pick, and also included Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. What did the defendant do? He drafted a youtube sensation named Darko Milicic. Think back on the names I said were in this draft. Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. All of these guys have become perennial All-Stars, Olympians, and are potential Hall-of-Famers. Meanwhile Darko was traded after 2 1/2 unproductive years, and is currently toiling on the fifth team of his career, the Minnesota Timberwolves. It is the prosecutions belief that drafting either Anthony, Wade, or Bosh would have prevented the precipitous fall that the Pistons are currently enduring.
Exhibit B-Trading Chauncey: Despite the horrible drafting of Darko, the Pistons were able to maintain a high level of success for five years. The main catalyst of that was Chauncey Billups. After years of being a journeyman in the League, he came to Detroit and turned it around. He became Mr. Big Shot, and won an NBA Finals MVP. The Pistons were coming off of another failed trip to the Conference Finals in the 07-08 season. After they lost, the defendant spent the entire summer promising changes. So on November 4, 2008, just two games into the season, he traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson. The trade was made under the guise of opening up salary cap space for the upcoming free agent class following that season. We will definitely touch on that shortly. The trade created a cluster of players that played basically the same type of game. Iverson was at that point a shorter version of Rip Hamilton. This trade would have been good if the defendant would have been able to use that salary cap space to get a big-name free agent. However, as you'll see in Exhibit C, that didn't happen.
Exhibit C-Free Agent Signings: After trading Chauncey Billups was released, and a few other moves made by the Defendant, the Pistons were needed to land a big name player. After striking out on the more prominent free agents, the defendant threw a combined $155 million at Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva. These were moves that even the defendant's strongest supporters couldn't argue. Moves that made trading away Chauncey Billups absolutely pointless, and set the organization back even further than keeping him would have.
Exhibit D-Coaching Carousel: Imagine for a moment that you're the owner of a major company. The HR director has hired and fired six directors of operations in the an eight year span. At what point do you begin to look at the HR director and blame him/her for continuous mistakes in hiring practices?? I believe we are at that point with the defendant now. He has had veteran coaches, and coaches who weren't ready to be head coaches on his watch. They have all ended up leaving and most of them with hard feelings towards the defendant. So, again I ask, at what point does it begin to fall on him??
Closing Argument: What is the statute of limitations and goodwill afforded due to winning a championship? That is the question that the jury has to figure out. That is the only thing keeping the defendant in his position. The defense is going to argue that the players are the reason that the coaches left. They will argue that the defendant was put in an awkward position due to ownership issues. They will also argue that the team is on the rise. However, all of that is just hiding the fact that they have an emotional attachment to the defendant. All of his years of service as a player for the team, in addition to the fact that he led them to a championship in the front office, is not, I repeat, not enough to acquit him on the issues presented today. Had the defendant been someone other than Joe Dumars, we wouldn't be here today. He would have already been fired and replaced. So, please sir, please ma'am, look at the facts while deliberating. Leave your emotion at the door, and you will see things our way.
The prosecution rests.
I'm Jimmy L. Wilson, Jr. and I approve this message.