Friday, September 5, 2008

Bill Davidson Drops the Gloves

Beneath this gentle, wrinkled exterior is a feisty man with a distaste for the men in the gray shirts.

The Detroit Free Press has posted an interview with Hall-of-Fame bound Pistons owner Bill Davidson, covering a wide range of topics from his relationship with Isiah Thomas to his distaste for loud music. Davidson is one of the great owners in sports, and is widely respected in the NBA, but he clearly is not afraid to throw out some zingers.

On Larry Brown: "Well, Larry Brown is not what he appears to be. And he's built a reputation for himself based on his own PR people. He's not what he appears to be."

He also said he decided he would fire Larry Brown after half a season of him coaching the Pistons, and was forced to stick it out with him for two years because he won the NBA title in 2004. He even blames Brown for the loss to San Antonio in the 2005 finals:
We were the better team, but Larry Brown was not the right coach. Now that you can say.
Beneath Larry Brown's slimy, opportunistic exterior is, well, more sliminess and opportunism, probably.

Davidson definitely comes off as a player's owner. In fact, here is his reasoning for the firing of the last three Piston coaches:
Brown: "The reason I get rid of a coach is if he's lost the players. I don't want to subject my players to a coach they don't want, basically and in whom they have lost faith."

Rick Carlisle: "Yeah, he had lost the players. He had a certain style, which wore off after a certain amount of time. But he was a good coach, on kind of a short-term basis. He knows the game, did all the right things, but he didn't have that personal touch with players."

Flip Saunders: "He had definitely lost the players."
Davidson saves most of his venom, however, for the NBA referees.
Well, I look for certain things, which are mainly fouls ... and, unfortunately, the referees are not what they should be -- although they're getting better. So I watch the referees. I watch who they are. There are certain referees -- when they come to our game -- you know you're gonna lose. And that should never be.
Wow. Don't go so easy on them, Mr. Davidson. Wait, there's more?

Q: What do you think of the whole Tim Donaghy scandal?

A: That's the tip of the iceberg with referees.

Bill Davidson is officially one of my favorite people on Earth.

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