The Pistons haven’t won much since Dwane Casey became their head coach, but he has impressed owner Tom Gores with the way he has developed young talent, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Casey was the reigning Coach of the Year when he was brought in to oversee the Pistons’ rebuilding project, and while the on-court success has been limited, Gores is convinced that Casey has the franchise moving in the right direction.
Casey received a contract extension last spring that will run through the 2023/24 season, and Gores indicated Friday that he wants him to serve as head coach for much longer.
“I want to see Dwane more than next year. Dwane has threaded the needle this year, because to lose a lot — and we lost a lot of games — the key is whether can you keep everybody’s spirit alive,” Gores said. “So, he has the ability to keep everybody’s spirit alive. I just think it’s such a talent. … He really understands how to keep these guys engaged while they’re going through a hard time. So, he’s really threaded the needle. He really has this ability to just to keep everybody inspired, and the players love him, and I do too.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- As the Bucks prepare to defend their NBA championship, they have two players on the roster who understand how hard that can be, notes Lori Nickel of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Serge Ibaka was a member of the Raptors when they staged their title defense in Orlando after the league-wide shutdown due to the pandemic, and Wesley Matthews was on the Lakers, who were knocked out in the first round last season.
- Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has earned a $306K bonus for playing in 66 games, marking the fifth straight season he has achieved the bonus, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Because the incentive was considered likely, Milwaukee’s luxury tax projection won’t be affected.
- The Pacers awarded a game ball to Gabe York, who made his NBA debut today at age 28, per James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. York, who signed a two-way contract on Thursday, played 15 minutes and scored seven points. “Gabe is a good player,” said teammate Isaiah Jackson. “I played with him in the G League a couple times, so we’ve always been cool. It was just crazy seeing him out there doing his thing. I was telling him when we was sitting out, ‘I know it’s a lot right now, but just let the game just come to you. Don’t try to force it. … Once you get out there, it’s just natural.'”