Pistons' owner Tom Gores cheers on his team in the second quarter. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
Auburn Hills — Pistons owner Tom Gores was in attendance for Thursday’s game, with his wife Holly and three kids.
He said his presence, even for a mere preseason game, is by design.
“You’ll see a lot more of me,” Gores said at halftime.
Gores has drawn criticism from observers for not being as visible during his stewardship, but he believes the team and fans need to see him more, especially during a season with such high expectations relative to the past two seasons.
During halftime warmups, the players came by Gores’ seat at midcourt and spoke to the Pistons owner.Gores even went to center circle to have a few words with one of the officials.
He noted the atmosphere of the Palace crowd at halftime, which was officially counted as 17,219, partly because of the two-time champion Heat drawing a huge following.
He reiterated again that he expects the Pistons to make the playoffs this season, and said he was very satisfied with the offseason acquisitions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jenningsalong with the hiring of Cheeks as head coach.
Considering he allowed Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars to spend big money on Smith and Jennings, as the contracts total $80 million, he expects to see a return on his investment — and again wants the people of Detroit to know he’s committed to planting roots in the area.
Platinum Equity also announced it made a sizeable donation to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter school headed up by the former Michigan star on the west side of Detroit.
Establishing some type of foothold in the city appears to be important to Gores, as they will make an annual donation as well as help Rose with fund-raising efforts.