Pistons owner Tom Gores lauds Dwane Casey, but ‘lots of work to do’

Detroit News

The Pistons followed Monday with an acknowledgment, along with praise of Casey from team owner Tom Gores and general manager Troy Weaver.

“Dwane Casey has done everything we asked of him since the beginning of our partnership, both as a coach and atremendous mentor and person. Our organization and the young men he has been leading are very fortunate to have had his guidance and support,” Gores said in a team statement. “We are grateful for his steady hand as head coach during these important development years, and we are excited to have his wisdom and experience in the front office as we enter the next phase.

“Dwane joined us as an experienced and successful coach ready to lead a veteran team, but when we made adjustments as an organization to rebuild around a younger core, he fully embraced the decision. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, and I’m very proud of Dwane and our players. The young men he has been teaching and guiding are very fortunate to have had his leadership and direction. He’s protected their hearts and their spirit and instilled in them the work ethic and desire required to reach greatness.

“Under the leadership of General Manager Troy Weaver, he has helped re-set our culture and restored our aspiration to compete at a high level and contend for championships. Of course, there is still lots of work to do. But, as we enter the next phase of this rebuild, I am optimistic about our team and our direction, and very excited about the newest member of our front office, Dwane Casey.”

Casey was the Pistons’ head coach for five seasons, notching a record of 121-263, but that’s not the story of his tenure. Casey was coming off being named NBA coach of the year in 2018 and joined a Pistons franchise that was looking to make the playoffs with Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson. That squad posted a 41-41 record and lost in the first round of the playoffs, following Griffin’s All-NBA season.

After Griffin suffered a knee injury, his production dipped, and they didn’t get back to the playoffs. The Pistons have been in rebuild mode since, acquiring young talent, including Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

General manager Troy Weaver arrived and retained Casey as head coach, and though the wins haven’t come during Casey’s tenure, Weaver respects what Casey was able to accomplish.

“I want to thank Coach Casey for his commitment to the organization over the last five seasons,” Weaver said in the statement. “He has represented the organization with class and grace and built a system in which our young players could learn and grow. As we enter the next phase of our restoring, I look forward to continuing our work together in the front office and supporting him during his new chapter of life. I’m excited for him and his family moving forward.”

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