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Detroit Pistons hire new front office boss. Fire the old one. It's a start, but only a start.

The Detroit Pistons fired Troy Weaver on Friday according to Free Press and other reports. Weaver was apparently let go by the team’s new president of basketball operations, Trajan Langdon, whose hiring was made official through a late Friday news release from the team.

It's entirely possible that head coach Monty Williams will be next to go, though the head coach's resumé of past success might be enough to give him more time. That decision is now Langdon's and, to a degree, Williams' — assuming he truly wants to stay.

News of Weaver's dismissal was met with jubilation, as witnessed by the mock championship parade so many took on social media Friday afternoon. Owner Tom Gores had to know that was coming.

Fans might react similarly if Williams was next to go, mostly because they are longing for as clean a reboot as possible. But at least Williams has a case.

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver holds a news conference a day after the trade deadline at the Pistons Performance Center on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver holds a news conference a day after the trade deadline at the Pistons Performance Center on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.

This is obviously Langdon’s next big decision before he gets down to the business of deciding who remains on his roster. And who arrives.

Parting with Weaver will play well with the fan base who couldn’t take another 7-footer ... or former lottery pick desperate to uncuff from unmet expectation. Yet hiring Langdon should’ve allayed those worries already.

Even if Weaver had stayed, he wasn’t going to run a draft board again. Or make a trade. Or step to a podium and tell fans the team was ready to compete when it was so obviously not.

No more restore talk, I suppose. Funny how in-house phrases work, eh? Win and “grit” is the word of genius. Lose and it’s cliché.

Turns out restore was simply sentimental, and more than a tad misguided. Weaver’s nod to the franchise’s glorious past was noble and heartfelt and an acknowledgment of his adopted home. Detroit is unique, and the Bad Boys do cast a long shadow for those of a certain age.

Pistons guard Cade Cunningham dribbles defended by Grizzlies forward GG Jackson in the first half of the Pistons' 110-108 loss on Monday, April 1, 2024, at Little Caesars Arena.
Pistons guard Cade Cunningham dribbles defended by Grizzlies forward GG Jackson in the first half of the Pistons' 110-108 loss on Monday, April 1, 2024, at Little Caesars Arena.

Weaver was certainly that age. I’m that age, and I remember well the marriage of franchise and city, of how snugly those title teams fit into the identity of this place: rare is the reflection where you truly see yourself.

To have a similar identity-meld 15 years later with the “Goin' to Work” crew? Well, maybe Weaver thought it destiny, or fate, and that the only way to win here was to build the third iteration of those classic, physical, factory-floor tough squads.

The problem is the league changed. The game changed. Skill changed. Way more from 2004’s title run to now than from the Bad Boys’ era (1989-1990) to 2004.

Everyone can shoot. Big men must switch on defense. Wings have to play make. Primary ball handlers need space. Something Weaver could never give Cade Cunningham, a player, it must be noted, whose potential is still relatively unknown.

Sure, you can extrapolate, you can fret over his turnovers and inconsistent shooting from deep, and the third-year dip in defensive intensity, or you can clip the stretches where he’d control not just the game, but the pace, and the flow, and imagine what that flow state might look like with a knock-down shooter on the other side of the court.

Or two.

Weaver failed to find the two most essential needs to be competitive in the post-post-modern NBA: shooting and rim protection. And while he can be (somewhat) forgiven for missing on some draft picks — every GM does; that’s NBA life, and please, can we not mention Tyrese Haliburton? — he couldn’t be forgiven for all the other moves outside the draft.

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The fixation on limited big men, as mentioned above. The whiffs in free agency ... and trades — the NBA playoffs were another reminder of what it looks like when teams hit on signings and trades. The stubborn insistence on athleticism above almost all else.

Yes, speed, quickness, hops and strength are important. Skill is more important. And not just bucket-making skill.

Defense is a skill, too, and if his teams had displayed even a fraction of it, he might still be here. Funnily enough, his second-best decision (Cunningham was his first) was based on defense, and while Ausar Thompson’s rookie season was cut short by a blood clot in the lungs, he flashed first-team all-defense potential almost from start.

He’s got a lot to learn, obviously, and he’ll need the luck of health when he returns. But if we’re going to give Weaver any credit at all for leaving a few groceries in the kitchen, Thompson would certainly be among them.

Everyone should be on the table, though, now that the new boss is in. Losing 68 games does that.

New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon during a news conference at the New Orleans Pelicans media day from the Smoothie King Center, Sept. 26, 2022 in New Orleans.
New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon during a news conference at the New Orleans Pelicans media day from the Smoothie King Center, Sept. 26, 2022 in New Orleans.

The man primarily responsible for those losses is gone, almost four years after he was hired. For some, he’ll be mentioned in the same breath as Matt Millen, and by losing percentage, he should be. Others won’t bother to ever use breath on him again.

Sports are cruel like that. Arrive on a wave of hope. Leave on a wave of ignominy. Such as it is when trying to remake the past in a changing world.

It's up to Langdon to navigate that world. His path is officially cleared.

Contact Shawn Windsor: 313-222-6487 or swindsor@freepress.com. Follow him @shawnwindsor.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons take huge step firing Troy Weaver. But now work begins