Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 12/19/11

Dear Mr Joe Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumars,

Let me first begin by telling you how much of a fan I was of you when I was growing up. You were, by far, my favorite Piston on the Bad Boys squad that dominated the NBA at the end of the 80s. Your quiet, yet cerebral, demeanor on what was the most passionate, toughest, and loudest championship team in NBA history was always appreciated. You didn’t have a nickname like “the Microwave,” “Worm,” “Spider,” “Buddha,” or “Zeke,” but you also didn’t need it. Your outstanding defense, and explosive scoring did that for you. Whenever I played with my friends in the driveway or on the playground, I tried to mimic your rainbow 3-point shot while doing everything I could to shutdown my opponent. I stuck with you through the lean years after the titles. I loved seeing you take the leadership role left by the retirement of Isiah and encouraging Grant Hill to want to be a Piston when he graduated from Duke. Joe Dumars could do no wrong in my eyes.

When you left the court for the front office, I expected you to do well. Unfortunately, at least at the time, you were forced to move Grant Hill. You had to get rid of the man you reached out to and took under your wing as a player. Some guys by the name of Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins came back in return. This looked horrible to all Pistons fans. My blind homersim with Michigan State made me believe that your first draft pick, Mateen Cleaves, would workout. Obviously, it did not, and it was evident from the start. This led to a little bit of hesitancy in supporting you. Your first major move was that draft pick and it was bad. You followed that up with drafting Rodney White in the first round. Yeah, he was lauded coming out of college, but you blew it with that one as well. We will get back to your second round pick in the 2001 draft in a moment.

Regardless of the draft picks, you hit a home run by hiring Rick Carlisle to lead the team. He turned the Pistons around in his first season. Central Division Champs. Jerry Stackhouse was not efficient, but he put the ball in the hole when others could not. Chucky Atkins turned out to be a pretty decent guard, and this Ben Wallace guy was un-fricking-believable at rebounding and defense. It was as if Dennis Rodman were back at the Palace, minus all the zaniness. Jon Barry was fun to watch hit a 3 from the corner and pump his fist. Clifford Robinson, someone you beat in the 1990 NBA Finals. was still a productive player. It was an exciting to be a Pistons fan again. A first round playoff win actually happened, and though the Celtics would elminate the Pistons from the playoffs in the following round, optimism was there.

You shocked all of us that following off-season by moving Stackhouse for Richard Hamilton. You then brought in Chauncey Billups, drafted Tayshaun Prince, and that second round pick from the year before, Mehmet Okur, actually turned into a good player. Along with Ben and Corliss Williamson, the foundation for something great was there. We wouldn’t get all the way to the Finals just yet, that would happen the next year when you dumped Carlisle for Larry Brown, brought back former teammate Lindsay Hunter and stole Rasheed Wallace away from everyone else that wanted him. The win over the Lakers was the pinnacle. Unfortunately, a move that would cause the current long descent also happened that year. You drafted Darko.

I don’t think I can ever forgive you for this. This has led to me and every other Piston fan to question your judgment. I hate those that make excuses for you that everyone else liked him. We knew Carmelo was awesome. We knew Wade was awesome. Hell, we knew Chris Bosh could play better ball. Everyone knew that. Why didn’t you? Darko didn’t fit the mold of what you were building. Sure, the team you built had continued succes, but when you need stars to keep winning in the league, you can’t miss on them. Especially when you are a team in Detroit. Only hockey stars choose to go to Detroit. Cold doesn’t matter to them. In basketball, you cannot mess up in the draft like that. It was the 2nd pick. Damn it, Joe.

You kept trying to recapture the magic with castoffs. Kelvin Cato, Tony Delk, Dale Davis, Carlos Arroyo, and Maurice Evans. You messed up the draft again by taking Amir Johnson. A project that sucked. You made a couple nice selections with Rodney Stuckey and Aaron Afflalo, but you got rid of Afflalo when you inexplicably dumped Chauncey Billups. The string of Eastern Conference Finals ended, while Billups and Afflalo were playing in the Western Conference Finals. The hiring and firing of Michael Curry. The hiring and firing of John Kuester. The signings of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been trying to have patience with you. I blamed the death of William Davidson, and the impending sale of the team for your lack of aggressiveness, and resigning yourself to those two horrible signings. As soon as that was all over you would get back to be the Joe of old, being cool and calculated with your deals, just like on the court. All of us Pistons fans were excited once the new CBA was reached. It meant you were going to make the moves. Instead, we were left with the resigning of Tayshaun. No trades. A simple buyout of Richard Hamilton, who was believed to be trade bait, and the continued pursuit of bringing back Rodney Stuckey is what we are left with. You hired a guy that looks like one of our bloggers to coach the exact same team from a year ago. What are we supposed to get excited about now? A team meddling for a pick in the latter half of the lottery? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Joe, wake up! Tom Gores, your new boss? He likes to be successful in all things that he does. If the Pistons continue to suck, he isn’t going to make money. He invests to make money. And if he doesn’t make money, he will find people that will help him achieve that goal. I don’t want my last memory of you and the Pistons organization being a pink slip after a terrible end to what looked like a once promising run as the leader of my beloved Pistons. You have to fix this. You have to fix it for all of us fans that not only love the Pistons, but love you as well. We are yelling at our TVs each time the camera shows you sitting in your seat during the game. We want to cheer. We want to cheer for our team, and we want to cheer you. Get it done. Please.

Your #1 Fan,

Dave K

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