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Pistons back Joe Dumars' return to NBA

Terry Foster
The Detroit News
Heat guard Dwyane Wade shoots against the Pistons.

Miami — There are indications that former Pistons president Joe Dumars wants back in the game.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report reports the New Orleans Pelicans might inquire about Dumars, who was the Pistons president from 2000 until he was reassigned and replaced by current Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy before this season.

Dumars was later fired.

Forward Greg Monroe believes Dumars deserves a second chance.

"I mean, yeah," Monroe said. "He put together a championship team. Obviously he knows what it takes to get it done. For a stretch he had one of the most successful teams in the league. Obviously he is good at that job. I don't see how that would be a problem to get back."

The Pelicans (39-34) are losing ground to Oklahoma City (41-32) for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The goal is to build a team around Anthony Davis.

Dumars built the Pistons by acquiring cast-offs. That list included Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton, who executive Michael Jordan grew tired of in Washington. The pieces fit and Dumars was named executive of the year following the 2002-2003 season, and the Pistons won the 2004 NBA title.

However, there was the ill-fated Darko Milicic draft pick in 2003 which he has yet to live down, and the signing of Allen Iverson which freed money to sign Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as free agents. Dumars rebounded too late in adding good players in Monroe, Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

"Joe is a class guy who did a great job and had a ton of success," Van Gundy said. "Anytime you get good people in the league it is good for the league so yeah absolutely. Joe has a good track record. Hopefully if that is what he wants to do he will get another opportunity."

This job, if he gets it, would place Dumars a nearly five-hour drive from where he was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended nearby Neese State where he averaged 25.8 points a game his senior season and left as the 11th-leading scorer in NCAA history.

Slam dunks

Pregame shooting had to wait. Piston players were gathered around the television watching Michigan State's 76-70 overtime victory over Louisville, which sent the Spartans to the Final Four. Players clapped when Michigan State nailed down the victory.

"That's a wrap," someone shouted.

The players then went out to warm up.

... The Pistons have averaged 30.2 first-quarter points in their last five games and an average of 24.6 points the rest of the quarters. They scored 27 points in the first against the Heat and 17 in the second quarter.

terry.foster@detroitnews.com

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