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Who is Joe Dumars?

With the 2020 Playoff Matchups finally decided and the Sacramento King’s completing their 14th NBA season without reaching the Playoffs, it was clearly time for a change. New, young and highly rated coach Luke Walton had only been in place a year and is seen as a good candidate to help the King’s young core like De’Aaron Fox develop. So it was left for long standing GM Vlade Divac to fall on his sword and offer his resignation to owner Vivek Ranadivé. This left an opening that was filled by a former NBA star who was already a member of the King’s front office. Joe Dumars. 

Who is Joe Dumars? Joe Dumars is the interim executive vice president of basketball operations, also in charge of GM duties for the Sacremento King’s NBA team. Prior to being appointed he worked in the front office as an advisor. Between 2000 and 2008 he was the President of Basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons and helped with the construction of their 2004 title winning side. Drafted by the Pistons in 1985, winning two NBA titles and earning Finals MVP honours in 1990. He played college Basketball for Mcneese State for 3 seasons before declaring for the draft. 

So that’s the basics. As always there’s plenty more to learn about Joe Dumars. What was he like as a player? Was he successful in the front office with Detroit? What did he do for the Kings front office before his new appointment and why has he been appointed now? 

Did Joe Dumars play in the NBA?

Joe Dumars was a 6ft3 shooting guard raised in Louisiana. He was taken with the 18th overall pick by the Pistons in 1985. He had played 3 seasons for the McNeese State Cowboys. He played for the Pistons his whole career, 14 seasons, winning six NBA All-Star appearances and four All-Defensive First Team honours. He averaged 16.1 points and 4.5 assists as a standout defender on a winning team where defence was everything. In 1996 he was awarded the inaugural NBA Sportsmanship aware, now named the Joe Dumars Trophy. His No.4 jersey was retired by the Pistons in 2000 and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. In short Joe Dumars was a winner. 

Was Joe Dumars at the Detroit Pistons?

In 2000 after his retirement Joe Dumars was appointed President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons. He set about helping to build a team that reached 6 consecutive Eastern Conference Finals, including 2 Finals appearances and 1 improbable championship in 2004. In season front office moves like adding Rasheed Wallace are credited with helping the Pistons reach such levels of success. 

Something you may remember from recent Sacramento King’s history was the decision not to draft Luka Doncic in 2018. How much of this can be credited to Joe Dumars is unclear, what is already clear is that their use of the 2nd overall pick on Marvin Bagley instead of Mavericks star Point Forward is a big mistake. 

The reason I bring this up is it isn’t the worst draft mistake Dumars has been involved in. In 2003 after the Cleveland Cavaliers used the 1st pick on hometown kid done good Lebron James, the second pick sat with the Detroit Pistons. Options they had included Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, who have all gone on to have hall of fame careers. Instead they selected one-time NBA Centre and current Serbian farmer Darko Milicic. Later that season the Pistons would trade for Rasheed Wallace and go on to upset the stacked Shaq/Kobe Lakers in the Finals and all has been forgotten. Questions remain over Dumars ability to make top level draft picks. 

Was Joe Dumars at the Sacramento Kings?

Joe Dumars joined the Sacramento Kings in June 2019 as Special Advisor to the General Manager. It is believed he has been a relation and confident of owner Vivek Ranadive for several years. He was invited to accompany Ranadive at the Orlando Bubble during the NBA’s restart. It has not been stated yet if Dumars will take on the GM role full time or look to appoint someone, keeping the role of executive vice president of Basketball operations. Either way, Dumars is the man mapping out the King’s future and you’d be a fool to bet on him to fail.