Listen, I get that most of you don’t care about the Detroit Pistons—I don’t blame you. They are a bad basketball team. They are horrific to watch. I mean, they’re so bad I went to a game by myself and live tweeted it.
The issues with the team are too long to list here—they can’t shoot the ball, they can’t play defense and above all, they have a crappy attitude. This morning, they made a move to rectify one of their biggest problems with the outright release of Josh Smith.
“Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction,” coach and team president Stan Van Gundy said in a released statement. “We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve performance and build for our future. As we expand certain roles, others will be reduced. In fairness to Josh, being a highly versatile 10-year veteran in this league, we feel it’s best to give him his freedom to move forward. We have full respect for Josh as a player and a person.”
In the summer of 2013, Pistons owner Tom Gores promised the fans he was going to spend money, he promised the fans he was going to make things better. Then they signed Josh Smith to a massive four-year, $54-million contract. Eighteen months later the team has nothing to show for it.
But for the organization this is addition by subtraction. The frontcourt of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith never worked out. In fact, Smith’s playing time came at the expense of Monroe, a much more efficient offensive player. The Pistons are looking to the future, they’re looking to compete with Chicago and Cleveland in the Central Division. That was never going to happen with Josh Smith bricking three-pointers at a 24.3% clip.