Dumars: No reason to remove Saunders as coach

Updated: June 11, 2007, 3:03 PM ET
Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons have no plans to fire coach Flip Saunders despite disappointing endings the past two seasons.

Flip Saunders coaching record

Flips Saunders has been unable to duplicate Larry Brown's postseason success in his two years in Motown. A quick glance at his NBA coaching record:

Career record
Team Regular season Postseason
Timberwolves ('96-'05) 411-326 17-30
Pistons ('06-'07) 117-47 20-14

"Just because we haven't gotten to the [NBA] Finals, it doesn't mean Flip has done a bad job," Joe Dumars, president of basketball operations Dumars said Monday.

Dumars added that the team doesn't plan drastic changes this offseason.

"We don't have a fire sale going on," Dumars said.

With four of the same starters, the Pistons have lost in the Eastern Conference finals as the top-seeded team the past two seasons after winning a title in 2004 and falling just short of repeating the following year.

Dumars said his No. 1 priority is re-signing point guard Chauncey Billups when he becomes a free agent next month. He plans to bring back most of his key players.

Rasheed Wallace has been the subject of trade rumors in the week since the Cleveland Cavaliers eliminated Detroit.

"You're talking about the guy that was our best and most consistent player in the playoffs," Dumars said. "He's probably also the guy that is the most volatile and crosses the line at times, but I have to balance that."

Wallace and Saunders have struggled to coexist the past two seasons. If that persists, Dumars insists he will not let that lead to the unraveling of the team.

"If we can't get it done, I'll make changes," Dumars said. "I wouldn't blink an eye about it."

The Pistons have received calls from other teams looking to make moves with major players, but Dumars said it's easier to talk about blockbuster trades than to pull them off.

"This is not fantasy basketball," he said.

While Dumars intends to bring back many familiar faces, he doesn't plan on begging his players to work hard or to allow them to casually prepare for games.

"If you come back with the same corps, the only difference is this would be the first time that they're coming back with this mandate," he said. "Complacency is the worst thing you can have in sports, and that's not going to be the calling card of our team going forward. I know that's been the tag labeled on us, and deservedly so a lot of times, but it won't be going forward."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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