Sitting Down With Joe Dumars

Pistons Fans Asked, Joe D. Answered

Joe Dumars, well known for his defensive prowess against Chicago's Michael Jordan, answers questions from Pistons fans.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Known around the NBA for his selflessness, work ethic and competitiveness, Joe Dumars has become one of the most well-respected figures in the league. As both a player and executive, Dumars has brought stability and leadership to the Pistons organization. A stallworth in the backcourt, Dumars played his entire 14-year career with the Pistons, won two World Championships (including MVP of the 1989 NBA Finals), was a six-time NBA All-Star, first-team All-Defense four times and finished his career averaging 16.1 points per game and 4.5 assists. Dumars is the Pistons second all-time leading scorer (16,401), he is second in assists (4, 612) and ranks third in field goals made (5,994).

After his playing days, Dumars became the president of basketball operations for the Pistons in 2000. Besides his Pistons responsibilities, Dumars is also the majority owner and CEO of Detroit Technologies, Inc. and a partner in the Joe Dumars Fieldhouse, an indoor sports and entertainment facility.

During the 2005-06, the Detroit Pistons will honor their legends with Flashback Fridays. On Friday, December 23rd when the Golden State Warriors invade the Palace, Dumars will be honored by the organization that owes him so much. As part of the week-long celebration, Pistons.com will post ?20 Questions with Joe Dumars? and include questions from the fans.

Pistons fans submitted their questions online and Pistons.com got the answers from Dumars.


Mexico City: I admired you in and out of the court, what is the best advice to be a gentleman?

Joe Dumars: The best advice I would give is to treat people the way you want to be treated and to treat them like you would want someone to treat your family.


Jon H., Kalamazoo, MI: You have made some great trades as a General Manager over the years and have a knack for seeing talent in players before others do in the business. What is your secret?

Joe Dumars: The first thing I will say is that you're never going to be right everytime you make a move. That said, you have to go with your instincts and do your homework.


Rhonda: Detroit: Hey Joe.I have two quick questions for you. 1. On the subject of Darko, how is our guy looking to the management in practice? He seems to have a great build and a nice attitude as he enters his third season. 2. What style does Coach Flip Saunders bring to the ball club? Go Pistons!

Joe Dumars: Darko is still working hard and learning, but unfortunately for him, he's behind three great players and that doesn't leave a lot of time and opportunities for him at this point. As for Flip, I like his philosophy about the game. He has our team playing at a high level and the guys really enjoy playing for him


Andy (Farmington): Describe the differences between winning a championship as an executive and winning as a player.

Joe Dumars: As a player, you feel great and its the ultimate as an athlete to be on the top of the mountain. As an executive, its more gratifying because its your job to try an bring a winner and a championship to your organization and your city.


John Swartz (Los Angeles): On the court and especially in the community, you've been such a positive force. Thank you. Who were your heroes growing up? Any players you wanted to be like?

Joe Dumars: My family had the biggest impact on me. My mother and father were great role models and they are the ones I credit for being who I am today. I also had great brothers and a great sister that are incredible people.


Joe (Zeeland): Joe, what free agent are you most proud of bringing to the Pistons?

Joe Dumars: I have to say Ben and Chauncey. Both guys have been tremendous for our team.


Michael Megill (Chesaning MI): Has the NBA or you ever considered having an "old-timers" game during all-star weekend like they do in the NHL and some other sports? It would be great fun seeing who out there still had some game.

Joe Dumars: There has been no talk of an old timers game and I don't think you'll see it happen anytime soon.


Mark Haskin (Zeeland, MI): Joe, What experiences when you were a player impacted and affected you and the way you run operations in Detroit?

Joe Dumars: I think the experience of playing with great teams and seeing what you had to do to become champions had a profound affect on me and how I try an operate as an executive.


Eric Apollo (Ann Arbor): During your career, what opposing players really got your competitive juices flowing and took your game to the highest level. What was your biggest disappointment during your career?

Joe Dumars: Without a doubt, Michael Jordan was the one guy that I got up to play the most. He forced you to raise your game and I always loved the challenge. The biggest disappointment was losing game 7 of the NBA Finals to the Lakers in the '88 Finals.


Ann Arbor: Hi Joe. All I can say is I watched you and the Pistons while I lived in Boston. I stayed loyal to the Pistons although everyone around me was green and white (Yuck). What was the hardest arena to play in?

Joe Dumars: The toughest arena had to be the Boston Garden. The Celtics had great players and the Garden was a great setting. It was a very tough place to play.


Patrick Fogle (East Lansing): Mr. Dumars, Since you are a huge part of both teams, who do you think would win in a match between the Bad Boys and the modern-day Pistons, and why? Thanks!

Joe Dumars: Very tough to call, I think the teams I played on were great and physically tough, but I think my guys right now are great as well and are mentally tough. Somebody would win it in overtime.


Mike - Grand Rapids, MI: Joe - What would you say is the most important life lesson you have learned through the game of basketball? Whether it is about attitude, hard work, etc.

Joe Dumars: Respect for others is one of the biggest and best lessons I've learned from the game. I've always had respect for others and I've always received great respect from others.


Ann Arbor: I know you are continuously improving the team. Do you see any area so far you may have to address in the off-season or possibly before the trading deadline? Also, what is the timetable for Lindsey's return?

Joe Dumars: You never ever stop looking to get better. Everyday I walk into the office, I try to figure out how we can be better. I don't have one area that I'm looking at to get better, but I'm looking everyday. We're hoping to have Lindsey back somewhere around the All-Star break.


Corbin Walker (Saginaw): How do you decide whether a player will fit in with the Pistons, and what are you looking for in them?

Joe Dumars: I look at a few things: attitude, ego, unselfishness, is winning his number one priority and does he have toughness, and finally, do I think he's a good person? Then I decide.


Dan (Warren): I've been a fan of the Pistons for a number of years and have seen some very memorable plays in that time. One play in particular that always brings a smile to my face was your baseline "turn & burn" reverse lay-up against MJ and the Bulls at The Palace in 1990. What is your most memorable play/game as a player and why?

Joe Dumars: Probably blocking David Rivers' shot in the '89 NBA Finals. It sealed the win for us.