Stan Van Gundy's deal with the Pistons happened quickly, with Detroit offering the coach the front office clout he demanded.
I’m curious whether Van Gundy’s presentation differentiated between how he viewed each player as coach and as president – because the outlooks can, and probably should, be different.
Generally, I don’t like one person running the front office and serving as head coach. It’s a lot of work, and checks and balances can be helpful. Coaching on a day-to-day basis is an emotional exercise, and if the coach also has power to trade and waive players, that can lead to some irreversible transactions. Get mad at a player and bench him, and you can undo that whenever you want. Get mad at a player and trade him, and he’s staying traded.
But it works in San Antonio with Gregg Popovich, and Doc Rivers seems to have helped the Clippers by taking that role (though that franchise’s management was coming from a low place). Van Gundy doesn’t have the résumé of those two, but it can work in Detroit.
I’m swayed by the fact that Van Gundy is such a good coach and there were no clear-cut great front-office executives available. If this was the only way to get Van Gundy to sign on the dotted line, this was the right time to roll the dice on this setup.
-- Kurt Helin, ProBasketballTalk.com