PISTONS PLAYERS SAY THEY CAN WIN WITHOUT BROWN. NOW PROVE IT
I cannot begin to tell you about the low grumbles and side way rumbles in the Pistons dressing room If you think this bitter Pistons divorce is simply between former Coach Larry Brown, Pistons President Joe Dumars, Owner Bill Davidson and big mouth agent Joe Glass you are mistaken. The children are upset too. The children in this case are the players. Now I don't want to identify them because these were confidential and private conversations. But trust me on this one. There were grumblings about Brown. I've had the luck to run into a few guys at social functions and during other events around town. After the what up dude what's happening greetings came the complaints about Brown. What Can Brown Do for You? A number of Pistons players took the high road publicly but privately they hoped he'd take one of those left over Bobby Ross one way bus tickets out of town. They were tired of all the Brown courtships. They were tired of the drama and suspense. Davidson may have put it best during an interview with WDIV when he said it was all about Brown and not the players and the organization. Obviously, Mr. D has a spy in the dressing room. That is exactly what these guys were complaining about. One more refrain played out amongst players. Privately, they believe they can win an NBA title without Brown. Well guys prove it. Prove that it was you and not Brown. Prove that you are an elite team without Brown and not just an elite team because you had an elite coach. But let me put this in. These guys respected the hell out of Brown. They admit he made them better and played a large role in their development. They are simply saying the rest of us did not give them enough credit. Now they want to prove they will remain an elite team. Here is the problem. It is going to much more difficult to advance to the NBA Finals than it was the past two seasons. And yes it was tough as nails winning the title in 2004 and it was even rougher getting past Indiana and Miami in 2005 to face San Antonio. The Eastern Conference will be better. Let's assume that the entire Indiana Pacers bench won't bounce into the stands this season to beat up fry cooks and accountants. They should be better. Let's assume the Miami Heat return with the same team in and Dwyane Wade is healthy during the playoffs. That will make them tougher. New Jersey upgraded with the addition of Abdur-Raheem Shareff. Cleveland is adding nice pieces and the Chicago Bulls are a year older and will be better if players don't revolt against Coach Scott Skiles. Last year you had a two horse race to the finish in the East. Next season you have at least four major players. We will all put a lot of pressure on new coach Flip Saunders. And that is fair. But I am looking at the players in the dressing room and saying you got your wish. Now produce.