It has been a rough month for the Pistons, who were off to a 14-13 start this season before dropping 11 of their next 16 games to slip to 19-24. Still, despite the club’s struggles, head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy doesn’t have to worry about his job security, according to team owner Tom Gores. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Gores said he has “full confidence” in Van Gundy, whom he met with on Saturday.
“We are having a hard time and Stan and I are very real about that, but we also know we have a great group of guys,” Gores said, per Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. “We believe they’ll work through this. We’ve hit a bump in the road and that’s what success is about – you gotta work through it.
“I never worry about Stan, because he wants to win,” Gores continued, per ESPN. “He’s the hardest worker I’ve ever seen in my life. I believe in him as a man and I believe in him as a strong person.”
As Ellis details, Van Gundy also spoke to reporters about Saturday’s meeting with the Pistons owner. Van Gundy explained that he and Gores agreed that the last six weeks shouldn’t outweigh the positive work the franchise has done over the past couple years.
“His thing was to not overreact to six weeks out of what has been over a two-and-a-half-year building process,” Van Gundy said. “We talked through our team and our options and what I thought we had to do to play better this year and what the long-term picture was and everything else.”
One player who could be a key part of that long-term picture for the Pistons is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The fourth-year guard is averaging career-best numbers in several categories, including FG% (.426) and 3PT% (.404). While the Pistons didn’t extend Caldwell-Pope back in the fall when they had the chance, the club remains committed to retaining him when he becomes eligible for restricted free agency this summer.
“I know Kentavious well. He is a hard worker. He is reliable and is improving every day,” Gores said, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “He should be a Piston. That’s just bottom line. He has what it takes to be a Piston. He was a shy kid when I met him and he’s become a leader.”