Flip Saundes GONE

by | Jun 3, 2008 | 35 comments

WDFN just reported Flip Saunders is gone. Matt Dery reposts that The Pistons will buy Saunders out of his last year. There will be a press conference at 2 PM. All the Flip haters can rejoice.

Listen in Live for details from WDFN now.

From the sounds of things, it could be Michael Curry.


“Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that Flip Saunders will not return next season as the team’s head coach.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make, especially with the success we have had throughout the last three regular-seasons,” Dumars said.” However, at this time, I feel it is necessary to make a change. I thank Flip for his hard work and dedication, but it is time for a new voice to lead our team.”

Saunders, who was named head coach on July 21, 2005, tallied a regular-season record of 176-70 in three seasons with the Pistons. In three trips to the NBA Playoffs under Saunders the Pistons were 30-21, losing in the Eastern Conference Finals each year.

Chris McCosky:
“Apparently, Pistons owner Bill Davidson has seen enough of the Flip Saunders era.

The Pistons fired Saunders on Tuesday after three seasons in which he compiled the highest winning percentage (.715) in franchise history. Saunders had one year remaining on his contract, for which he will be paid $5.4 million.”


  1. DJ

    Not the right move. but I trust Joe.

  2. Steve




  3. The Fluidics

    I really didn’t think this would happen, since it had been several days without an announcement. Every other coaching spot was lost the day after the team was eliminated.

    Michael Curry is a mistake if it holds true.
    If the problem with Flip was the players don’t listen to him, than why would they listen to a guy who worked under Flip? I remember the Red Wings did this a few years back with Dave Lewis, and they were too buddy buddy with him for him to be an effective head coach HERE. I’m not saying Curry won’t cut it as a head coach, but I do think it’s the wrong move for the Pistons. A top level team needs a top level coach.

  4. Natalie Sitto

    I think we all are going to agree that we don’t think Curry is the answer. Do we really want an unproven assistant coach in charge of this team even when he has a great relationship with the Players?

  5. Travis

    THANK YOU GOD (and when i say God, I mean Joe Dumars)

    for firing Flip Saunders. Homeboy can’t win a Conference Finals to save his life. I had a feeling that when Larry Brown left and we brought in Flip it wasn’t the right decision. Flip isn’t a winner, straight up. He may be a great person but he wasn’t the right coach for the pistons. Rasheed had beef with flip so i’m glad to see thats over. We need a coach that can relate to our players.

    It seemed there was tention between Flip and the rest of the organization. I can think of two examples, the first was in the First round of playoffs this year against 76er’s. At halftime when they interviewed C Webb and he said our starting 5 wouldn’t listen to flip, but they would go out and “do what they do.” Then in the same series when it looked like we were on the ropes, Joe Dumars is seen behind our bench in game 3. It almost seemed as if Joe D had to make his presence felt by standing there. You could tell by the look on his face that he was pissed, standing there burning holes in the back of the pistons. It was like he had to stand behind our bench to spark our team.

    Honestly Joe Dumars could be our couch for a winning season. I know this will never happen but it would work because our players respect him and follow his words. We need a coach thats been there, done that, and has the confidence.

    As for Flip Saunders i think his NBA coaching career is done! He might get a bottom end coaching job, but no contender wants a coach that can’t get to the finals.

  6. T. Kinslow

    I think it has to be someone who doesn’t take any crap. I mean if we’re going to go with an unproven, why not Laimbeer. You know he wouldn’t take any crap.

  7. andyfrombrooklyn

    dumars as coach…great idea. team needs an angry and insatiable type.

  8. andyfrombrooklyn

    somebody who looks irritated rather than worried

  9. andyfrombrooklyn

    larry brown

  10. The Fluidics

    I wouldn’t count on Flips career being over in coaching. Flip will be just fine.

  11. Manuel

    Flip inherited the team with the highest expectations possible, a team that had been in the finals 2 years straight, what other coach other than phil jackson, popovich or maybe Pat Riley would have done much better? I do think that this team should have been to the finals a couple more times but I think the players are as much to blame as the coach.

    Anyway, I agree with everyone that Curry is not a good choice. I’m not sold on Avery Johnson either. Laimbeer sounds intriguing. Who else is out there?

  12. Detroit 2hot 2 handle

    I don’t really think Curry is the right answer. We need a coach that will get instant respect, new to all players, I would have loved to see what Carlise would have done, but well he’s down in Dallas.

    Avery Johnson could fit in, but I think we should maybe get a new coach, maybe from Europe.

    One thing is sure, Curry, isn’t the answer.

  13. DJ

    Possible coaching options:

    Michael Curry
    Joe Dumars
    Isiah Thomas
    Bill Laimbeer
    Jeff Van Gundy
    Avery Johnson

  14. BiGAL2588

    i had a feeling that he was gone from the moment the guys lost. avery johnson or jeff van gundy would be the best to go with

  15. thereal

    aye nat how can you call yourself a true piston fan but when things go wrong your the first to jump ship.u said sheed has worn his stay in Detroit how is that the man just had to go toe toe with 2 1st team all nba players and as well a defensive player of the year.sheed is the top five pf in the league,take a look around the league who do u want Antwan jaminson!!!,kenyon martin,joe smith or charlie silly nama take your pick. Last time i looked there was a certain 34year old big man that beat the pistons two years ago and also helped his team to the grand finale. sheed still has gas left in the tank. what needs to be said is joe d’s inability to stay in tact with the league. he’s only picking up players that he thinks is quote unquote not superstars.when joe d stepped outside of the box and picked up rasheed in 04, that was a bold move. now he has to make another bold move and it starts with chauncey!!. to me chauncey has to go, i think u can draw bait from teams thats looking for a veteran pg with some experience like houston,atlanta,orlando or even miami. to me chauncey was the only player that hasnt produced in the playoffs,in the last couple of years.i mean besides in the regular season, what playoff performance since 06 can u truley say chauncey had a breakout game. i know people are saying chauncey was hurt, but however he played so he gets the blame. chauncey is the point and the point makes the team play better, just like a pitcher in baseball,or a quarterback in football or even a goalie n hockey these positions has a huge effect on how the team is lead. want proof look at the tigers season this year,the red wings performances before they pulled the dominator in the playoffs, and the lions every year. chaunceys inability too take charge against a younger inexperience pg for the second straight year is the reason we lost. chauncey should have took some notes from stuckey and took rondo to cup, and if not to the cup backed rondo’s skinny a!! down like a child playing his father in a backyard pickup game. basketball is not chess it checkers chauncey”, if someone is smaller then you, common sense should pop in that chrome!! head of yours and advice you to take advantage of that match up, and back rondo down and by that Boston would probably started double teaming, and that would have meant easy buckets for somebody. I love chauncey but i think stuckeys performance in the playoffs by far beats chauncey performance. so if you trade chauncey you can keep the core of the group you will still have a young pg “stuckey” how will be “AGGRESSIVE”!!! and if joe d can work some of the joe d magic maybe he can pick up a big man for chauncey, that can score inside,grab some rebounds and block some shots. hey what about chauncey and tay for melo and camby just a thought!!!

  16. Natalie Sitto

    The Real… How am I jumping ship????
    I have had my feet glued to this ship since the 80’s.

  17. The Fluidics

    You could get rid of Chauncey, but who is better and available.
    Fact is, if you replace Chauncey, you downgrade immediately.

  18. claire

    Well, with Flip Saunders gone, it’s only the beginning of an eventful summer. I’m excited to see the new changes in the Pistons, but at the same time, I feel bad for Flip. He is in no way, shape, or form a bad coach.

    It’s gonna be interesting to see who’s the new coach for the Pistons. I’d just like to say one thing about Avery Johnson, isn’t Johnson a protege of Popovich? And if I remember correctly, the year that the Mavs went to the finals was the year that the Mavs beat the Spurs? Please correct me if I’m wrong. But if it’s true, couldn’t Avery be the next Popovich?

  19. illmatic774

    I’m on the Avery Johnson bandwagon

  20. illmatic774

    Listen to these quotes. Sheed is GONE!

    “Am I going to make significant change? Oh yeah” – Joe Dumars live on NBA TV

    “I don’t have any intentions of coming back with the same group”

    That can be either Sheed/Tayshaun/Rip and the odds say Sheed.

  21. Mark

    I say if you want someone who isn’t going to take crap and who will motivate, get Laimbeer who coached the Shock to championships. Can you imagine him and Dumars coaching this thing together?

  22. Dominic

    Well if you told me this last year I wouldve been ecstatic. But now…sigh..I have mixed feelings about this. This wasn’t Flip’s fault as far as bench development, rotations, motivation, things like that. But I just don’t like Flip’s offense. He is too jump shot orientated. Mitch Albom of the Freep said it best,

    “The fact is, you need players who can create their own shots. Slash and drive to the hoop. Draw a foul. Every team the Pistons lost to had players like that. Only Billups really did it for Detroit, and his age and injury slowed him in that area this year.–

    –You can’t jump-shoot your way to a title. Ask Utah. Ask Phoenix. Or now ask Detroit. Relying on three-pointers to bail you out is a dangerous and undependable habit.”

    it’s true, and with the development of Rodney Stuckey (who according to Keith Langlois, could be on course to playing close to 30 minutes next season) we can’t just rely on jumpshots anymore, we need a coach who is used to teachin slashers to pick their spots as well as a guy who has taught another Big Man who could shoot the 3 ball.
    Avery Johnson.
    Think about it, he’s mentored guys like Jason Terry, and Devin Harris, guys who both slash the basket and can use their bodies to make plays. He’s also Coached Dirk Nowitzki who is a shooting big man who bangs in the post more than he shoots (something I know we all wished Sheed would become) Avery can also teach Tayshaun to be more like Josh Howard who is a slasher and used to carrying a team on his back when the other players (Dirk) aren’t performing Avery is also a great defensive coach and I would love to see him come to Detroit. I’ve always admired him.
    As for Michael Curry, I know the players respect him but he’s unproven and untested. I would much rather have Terry Porter but he has his eyes on the cactus.

    I really feel sorry for Flip though, I got used to his impassive post game conferences that I will actually miss seeing them. I always loved the fact he never sat down.

    More changes are possibly on the way, and I’ll cry tears of red white and blue for the possible departure of the players I love so much

    Lead us from the fire Joe

    BTW Nat can you post the video of him yelling “Ball Don’t Lie” as a tribute to him? It doesn’t seem to be working in your Videos page.

  23. Dominic

    By “Him yelling Ball Don’t Lie” I mean Flip Saunders

  24. Ronnie

    Although I have pondered Laimbeer as coach for a year now I’m not sure he would be the best. WNBA coaching is probably a little different than the NBA.

    As for trade talk. I’ve heard Sheed/Tay to L.A. for Brand/Livingston which is probably the worst considering those two are very injury prone.

    Sheed/Tay to Charlotte for Okafor/Richardson. I like this one, maybe cuz I’m a MSU fan and would love to see J-rich playing for us but I do not think it would be the best we could possibly get.

    If I was Joe D….*start dream sequence* I would try…try to trade Sheed/Tay for Amare from Pheonix and a 2nd round pick or 1st if I could pull it off.

    Definite mix ups this summer. I hate the off-season >:-(

  25. Dylan

    Well Arenas wants out of Washington, I’d pick him up over Chauncey at this point. I don’t think Arenas is a quote unquote ALL STAR, but he’s a great PG and with a great coach could lead the Pistons. But if Chauncey does go, so would a few others. It would be hard to get rid of the captain and just throw someone in his spot without making a few moves here and there. But given Joe Ds non-all star mentality Arenas may be a good choice. Why not let him rehab here in Detroit and take it easy at the beginning of the season, giving Stuckey more minutes.

    As far as a coach goes, Bill Laimbeer would be great, but improbable. Think Joe D would look try to get Rick C. outta retirement and outta Chicago?

  26. The Fluidics

    Mr. Davidson will never let Carlisle back into the Palace. Never going to happen, Mr. Davidson hates that man.

    I really don’t see Chauncey moving, his money and years on his contract are just too much.

    Arenas rehabbed a whole season and couldn’t stay healthy through the first round of the playoffs, I wouldn’t touch hi, with a 10 foot pole, not as a starter. Of the current roster, Chauncey and Stuckey are the safest, imo.

  27. The Fluidics

    that and he already has the Dallas job.

  28. Dylan

    yeah, just read that.

  29. The Fluidics

    Thats not saying I don’t think he could do the job, I thik he’d be great. Kinda wished they never got rid of him, though LB did get the Banner.

  30. Mustafa

    I don’t want MICHAEL CURRY leading this team. I don’t even know the guy that well and that tells me a lot about his experience… *Inexperienced*… We need a real coach someone like saunders but at the same time he got a defensive mind-set!

  31. ric


  32. cb1

    kinda sucks

  33. iloveblaha01

    i will be extremely po-ed if rip is traded. extremely. the guy is very loyal to the pistons and as previously mentioned, plays with a ton of heart. he always seems to get it done.

    i like what joe said about playing amir more. i know fans have been pleading for it all along, and i agree. he has potential. how can he get better and gain experience if he’s sitting on the bench? he could become a great player for us in the future.

  34. ric

    i wonder whos next.

  35. DarrensAngelRose

    When I read the headlines about Flip is gone, I did a dance around my room. I think Joe was too generous keeping him this extra season. The Pistons need a Larry Brown type that will keep a fire lit under them & keeping them playing together well on both ends of the court.
    Who would I like to see as next coach – in no particular order:

    *Terry Porter
    *Michael Curry
    *Bill Laimbeer
    *Rick Mahorn
    *Avery Johnson
    *Lindsey Hunter

    Any of those guys could do the job and I am sure Joe will make the best choice to get us playing in June of next year & hoisting the trophy.


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