It’s Down to Two Contestants – Who’s going to be the new Coach in Detroit Woodson or Frank?

by | Jul 14, 2011 | 35 comments

This is no beauty contest, but the Pistons are down to their final two coaching candidates.

According to ESPN the future of Detroit could be chosen soon.

NBA coaching sources say that the Pistons are inching closer to a decision, though.

Of the five known candidates for job, sources say that former Pistons assistant Mike Woodson is still the closest thing to a favorite, thanks largely to Woodson’s good working relationship with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and the fact that Detroit would know exactly what it’s getting after Woodson’s work under Larry Brown during the Pistons’ 2004 title run.

Yet sources say that one reason Detroit’s search has dragged out so long is the strong impression that Lawrence Frank made on new Pistons owner Tom Gores and his advisers, among them former New York Knicks executive Dave Checketts.

Detroit’s choice, then, appears to be a tossup between the unattached Woodson and Frank, who remains part of Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston.

Frank or Woodson…if you could choose, who would it be?

[poll id=”4″]


  1. BadBoy

    Sooo i have a question burning deep inside me. I love Laimbeer as much as the next guy, but whats the dealio with people wanting him as a head coach. Maybe i’m just a little undereducated on “Coach” Laimbeer, but to me it seems like he would exclusively tell Greg Monroe to fuck up anyone that comes in the paint..and thats about it.

    apologies for sounding ignorant- i just want some facts.

    • J to the izzo

      @badboy, you are far from crazy, and you are completely correct.
      Bill’s only coaching experience was in the WNBA (aka, who cares) and although he’ll probably stress hard defense and a strong work ethic, just like the timberwolves, I know Laimbeer will fail our franchise.

      Don’t get me wrong, he was a member of our old big three, and the heart and soul of the badboys era. but that era is over. woodson is the best candidate. He’s got playoff experience with young players and vets alike, and can set proper roles for his players (Jamal crawford, joe johnson)

      so come on guys, give woodson a chance, he’s more capable than laimbeer, and he’s the best candidate to bring the team to a respectable level again (then, if a great candidate appears and our team is stronger, our team will become a championship great once again)

      • dteachout

        So if I read you correctly, you see Woodson as nothing more than a good placeholder until a better candidate comes along? Then why bother? Just promote one of Kuesters assistants and save the $$ for that great candidate you’re waiting for. What is the team supposed to be doing in the meantime?

        • J to the izzo

          iincorrect my friend! As you can see with the atlanta hawks, woodson is the perfect mould of coach much like carlisle, he can develop and nurture young talent, promote defense, and bring us to some decent playoff matchups at the 4-5 seed. After we build up a decent foundation and may find a championship caliber coach (assuming woodson cant do it, and the atlanta magic playoffs last year proved it) then there’s the win. by paying pennies and hiring crap assistants we only worsen the development of the young talent. Trust me, this is the most effective way to go.

          • J to the izzo

            as can be seen in the best playoff clash ever. detroit vs la 2004 playoffs

            • dteachout

              So you’re still saying that he can’t take us all the way there. That we’ll still need to get another couch to get us back to championship caliber. So in my mind that makes Woodson assistant material.

  2. Amer-ican Prince

    badboy i think it has to do with his work ethic and he is one who defines blue collar. and everyone loves his cocky jerk attitude. like sheed in the early years.

    He has at least won something while leading. even if it is the WNBA he won multiple times.

    And woodson and frank both are middle of the pack coaches. showing nothing to be defined as exceptional.

    Under lambier kevin love got a 30 30 and that double double streak. Even darko had monster games last season under lambeer.

    if i had to pick out of lawrence and woodson it would definately be woodson. Frank is like a tiny little kid. how can you expect him to command respect which is what you said you wanted after kuester. And why is gores listening to ANYONE from new york. does anyone remember what new york basketball used to be like or am i the only one?

  3. The Fluidics

    It would be nice to have an experienced head coach for a change.

  4. Chad

    I’ve been waining on quitting the NBA for years – the only thing that has kept me interested is a fast-detiorating desire to see the pistons succeed. I’ve stuck with Joe d through every mistake, endured the increasingly ghetto culture commonly associated with basketball, the scarcely televised games, etc, but if laimbeer isn’t hired I’m officially done.

    How much do we really get out of basketball? I don’t enjoy playing it, I don’t really enjoy watching it that much to justify spending the amount of time I do online reading about rumors and following everything everyone does.. Honestly, I hope Joe d doesn’t hire laimbeer because that would be one less thing on my mind.

    • John


    • RalphHau

      What does a loosing “experienced coach” bring to the Pistons…more loosing. Neither of these candidates are winners!!! Laimbeer is a winner, just because he has not had the oportunity to coach in the NBA, that should not make him undesirable. “We need to hire Frank to keep an eye on the team through leaner years”…what!!! what is that all about! we need a strong coach, not a bacysitter!!!

    • Drew

      I have so much I could reply to all of that, but I’m just going to go with John’s comment: Bye! And go enjoy your hockey or whatever.

  5. Georgeblaholler

    Amer-ican Prince…I think you are right on and I would add that Laimbeer also has 2 championships* as a player. If nothing else, he should be sitting on the bench next to Woodson as his lead assistant.

    Norment and Wentworth running follow-up interviews is the scariest thing I can imagine as a Pistons fan. How do two business guys from Boston get any say in who is going to be running the hot seat in Detroit for the next few years. They are the equivalent of ‘the Bobs’ running things with one idea in mind “is this good for the company?”. If they ever get tooned, they can’t be done in the style of the stones, I’m thinking something more like tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

    *(should be three as we are required by the ghosts of Pistons past to mention the phantom foul in all references to Laimbeer especially concerning past championships)

  6. daddy

    if we hire either one of these guys im afriad im going to explode. woodson could not win a single game against the magic his last year. the new hawks coach won the series with the same players. frank dont even get me started im sorry but if joe hires either of these two guys i will offical join the hate dumars foundation

  7. DaveC

    Frank would be a solid hire in this position- when we need someone to keep an eye on the team through leaner years. He did a great job with the Nets as head coach until he wore out his welcome, and as the Celtics lead assistant in charge of the defense last year.

    Do not get the Laimbeer love at all. He has no experience as an NBA head coach, and that hasn’t worked for either of our last hires. Get Frank. I’m not as keen on Woodson, who had the Hawks quit on him, but there’s some familiarity there, which ain’t nothing.

    • Tate

      Cmon man, both of these coaches suck.. plain and simple…. So Laimbeer doesnt have “NBA” coaching experience, but for what its worth he coached back to back championship teams in the WNBA and hes a back to back champion as a player. So with this young team that we’ve become over the past couple of years, it would make sense to put in a proven winner that can go in there and try to teach these young guys how to win. Clearly this team doesnt know how to do that yet and I dont feel that Frank or Woodson are the ones to teach it to them. Laimbeer at least knows what it takes to win and that is what is most important

  8. RalphHau

    Both coach Woodson and coach Frank have had their chance to coach, results, more losses than wins. What are they to prove with the Pistons, more losses than wins. Give Laimbeer a chance, he is a proven winner, both in the NBA and the WNBA. He is a very intelligent individual who knows basketball inside and out, he will deal with those bad influences in the locker room and he will fill the Palace, how much more do you want from a coach?

    • Tate


      • J to the izzo

        I would agree, only laimbeer hasn’t even made that big an impact as an assistant in minnesota. imagine the same scenario, but in detroit. yes, we’d fill seats, but then we’d get mad at bill and then he’d go from beloved idol to hated failure. pistons fans are far from forgiving, and i’d hate to see bill’s potential as a coach get ruined in the big d.

  9. Jon L.

    Take Frank…he did a very good job as an assistant in Boston last year and he is a proven winner from his days in NJ.

  10. pistons 4 life

    Why does coaching UNDER Larry Brown make you some kind of genius? Kuester did too and well………….. enough said. Kurt Rambis coached under Phil Jackson for years and he sucked as the T-wolves coach. This logic is so messed up. Who cares is Laimbeer won in the WNBA. He still won and proved he knows basketball x’s and o’s. Like it makes any difference if you hire him or one of these two clowns. Why not give him a chance?

    • J to the izzo

      speed and consistency. why waste more time with a coach who will probably not prove to be good enough once more. At least Kuester had some experience as an assistant with a winning team in the NBA (championship pistons baybaay) unlike the loser t-wolves where bill works. woodson is also proven enough to bring a team back to mediocrity. time to play the smart game and get a coach who will build youngsters and vets into better players (al horford) (joe johnson and jamal crawford). woodson is the right coach for the kind of team we’ve got.

  11. Altan

    Lawrence Frank….ALL DAY

  12. Georgeblaholler

    Bring back the player coach, and let Big Ben run the show…it worked well for Russell. We bring Sheed in as his lead assistant, and go nuts!

  13. thewordkeeper

    Two coaches who at some point lost their player’s attention; players tuned them out. Woodson had a running problem with Josh Smith and Franks players just seem to give up on him. It’s a good thing the Pistons didn’t have those problems last season. Yeah i can understand how these two guys would command the utmost respect from the players moreso than Laimbeer would.

    Besides, as player and coach Laimbeer has only been to the finals 7 times and only has 5 championships to show for it which is only 5 more than Franks and Woodson. Yeah i can really see how Gores and Joe would want these two guys over Laimbeer.

    Like RalphHau alluded to, an “experienced” head coach doesn’t necessarily translate into a “winning” head coach.

    • J to the izzo

      @ thewordkeeper

      in case you haven’t been paying attention, the pistons have spent two years in the lottery with coaches who’ve had very little experience, despite their trememndous ‘upside’

      bill is an awesome key cog of the old bad boys era, the main character in one of the strangest basketball video games of all time, and a true blue collar winner who hustled, grabbed boards, took charges, flopped, hockey checked larry bird and put on facemasks.

      However, the last thing the pistons need is to sign another unproven assistant. Yea he won championships (with the wnba… not the same..) and as a player in the past (so did John Kuester and Michael Curry) but we all know how things turned out with that. By the by, Doc Rivers, gregg poppovich, larry brown, and mike dantoni (haha, yea maybe not him so much) never won championships as players, but are among the top coaches in the Nba (if anything, former stars are never great coaches).

      You ever hear the old adage, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me? Well, Joe D’s been fooled twice. he won’t be making the same mistake again.

      Take him as an assistant, i’m sure he’ll improve the big guys along brian hill.

      Now an experienced head coach doesn’t translate into a winning head coach, but in this scenario you need to stick with speciality. would you prefer an experienced doctor, or a kid fresh out of med school?

      woodson specializes in building teams up from lottery. he may have had some serious issues with his boys in the playoffs, but he’s built all stars and a strong defence from his old hawks team. considering we wont be in the playoffs for a bit of time, woodson is just right for the role.

  14. Ripples


  15. dteachout

    Why does everyone dismiss Laimbeers work in the WNBA as though it’s nothing? Don’t you need to be able to control personalities – male or female? Don’t you need to understand the game & be able to teach the fundamentals – to men or women? Don’t you need to be able to control a game, manage a game, know when to pull someone & when to leave them in? The fine science of when to call a timeout & when to let them play their way out of it? Clock management? Motivatin players, commanding their respect. This doesn’t change whether they are men or women. He’s not going to arm wrestle them for cripes sake. And you can’t tell me that anyone, the biggest and baddest you can find, is not going to respect the original Bad Boy.
    His understanding & knowledge of the game is unquestionable. Does anyone remember listening to him on Pistons broadcasts before his stint in the WNBA? His ability to predict a couchs next move was absolutely uncanny. He always knew when a game was turning around, and what caused it, and how to turn it back again. I learned a lot just listening to him.
    And on the most basic level – his style of play, his outlook is exactly what we have been lacking.
    I don’t know what kind of experience you all are looking for, but for my money he’s got more of the kind of experience I’m looking for than either of those two – who are adequate at best.

  16. daddy

    Everything you said is right some people are not head coaches and that is fine. They can not make the big time decisions or realize the little things that are killing the team. Im sorry I just do not have faith in either of the canidates.

  17. Tycoon

    Why can’t we hire a decent veteran coach? Someone that players could respect. Just look at Larry Brown did in 04. I thought Adelman is a suitable coach from the start of Q’s termination.
    From this two remaining candidates, I can’t choose any. I would rather have edt as coach.

  18. billy

    ok mike woodson is a great coach lead the hawks to the playoffs twice skip frank but mike woodson has heart it seems mike woodson wants it more if we get frank were probaly done mike woodson thatz ok then in 2 – 3 years the pistons would be back in the finals next year 1 st round 2nd year maybe eatern conference if we get bill laimbeer we will be ok but he couchehd wnba and timberwolves to soo.

    • blamu2

      oh yeah awesome woodson coached atlanta to reach playoffs woooow! Playoffs in the east. That is soooo hard to do. He has to be a genius. Thats the nba experience we need.

      Its almost painful to watch this crap that is the future of the pistons.

      • daddy

        that was the best comment every and 100 percent true.

  19. J to the izzo


    better then having crap coaches like kuester and curry drag us down to the lottery. this is what i hate about pistons fans, they always bitch when we’re not winning. We’re a proud franchise, but we can’t win all the time. Hell, before the bad boys we were the whipping boys of the nba. then there’s the teal era. winning big, losing big, such is the way of the nba.

  20. Kethan

    Free knloewdge like this doesn’t just help, it promote democracy. Thank you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Rasheed Wallace
  • Greg Monroe
  • Andre Drummond
  • Josh Smith
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Caron Butler
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Jodie Meeks
  • D.J. Augustin
  • Gigi Datome
  • Spencer Dinwiddie
  • Jonas Jerebko
  • Kyle Singler
  • Tony Mitchell
  • Stan Van Gundy
  • Arnie Kander
  • Mike Abdenour
  • Tom Gores
  • Greg Kelser
  • George Blaha
  • John Mason

Pistons Past

  • Chauncey Billups
  • Rodney Stuckey
  • Brandon Knight
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Will Bynum
  • Austin Daye
  • Chris Wilcox
  • Dajuan Summers
  • Peyton Siva
  • Kim English
  • Terrico White
  • Josh Harrellson
  • Charlie Villanueva
  • Vernon Macklin
  • Viacheslav Kravtsov
  • Ben Gordon
  • Ben Wallace
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Maurice Cheeks
  • Lawrence Frank
  • John Kuester
  • Chuck Daly
  • Bill Laimbeer
  • Joe Dumars