Former Pistons president Joe Dumars has been conspicuously absent from The Palace in recent years, since he left his job in 2014. He’s missed the jersey retirements of Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton, as well as the final game at the Palace last month.
Dumars, though, could be making a return to the NBA, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Stein reported Friday, citing league sources, that Dumars, could be in line to take the reins with the Atlanta Hawks, who are looking for a new direction with their front office. The coach Mike Budenholzer relinquished his duties as team president and Wes Wilcox resigned as general manager Friday.
“League sources say Joe Dumars and (Cavs president) David Griffin are expected to emerge as candidates in the Hawks’ search for a new lead front-office voice,” Stein posted via Twitter on Friday afternoon.
It’s an intriguing development, as Dumars hasn’t latched on with another team since he left the Pistons, where he built the 2004 championship team, which made six straight appearances in the Eastern Conference finals.
Another connection is Dumars’ relationship with Grant Hill, a former Pistons teammate, who is a minority owner with the Hawks. Stein points out that Hill also has a connection to Griffin, who was a Suns executive when Hill played with the Phoenix Suns.
Dumars complemented his Hall of Fame playing career with a modicum of success in the front office for the Pistons. Since leaving the Pistons, he hasn’t been mentioned with many openings around the league, but in a podcast with The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski in January, he said he cherished the time with the Pistons.
“The run in Detroit was tremendous on a lot of levels, on and off the court. I enjoyed every moment of it, 28 or 29 straight years,” Dumars said. “Sometimes it’s time to turn the page — and it was time to turn the page and have someone else come in and carry that load.”
Dumars, 53, said he maintained a lot of contact with his basketball luminaries both in the NBA and in other parts of the world, including spending time with his son Jordan, who played in Germany.