Terry Foster: Feisty Dan Gilbert Would Have Been Great Pistons Owner

Why did Dan Gilbert have to buy the Cleveland Cavaliers? Why couldn’t he hold out a few more years and purchase the Pistons?

The Pistons have their new owner and my guess is Tom Gores won’t be the savior that many expect. He’s fun. He seems like an OK guy. But he is not going to be our Mark Cuban, who wants to win at any cost. I don’t think Gores will be a guy that makes Detroit his permanent home.

Cuban lives in Dallas and is willing to fight for the Mavericks and their fans. Gores will bring stability to the Pistons, but I don’t get the feeling he’ll bleed Pistons red, white and blue.

Gilbert lives and dies with his Cavaliers. He fights for his city, even when it makes him look foolish to people outside of Cleveland. When LeBron James left the Cavaliers high and dry, Gilbert attacked James and guaranteed that the Cavs would win an NBA title before James in Miami. That seems foolish now, considering that the Heat lost to the Mavs in the NBA Finals, and the Cavs had a terrible season.

But Gilbert man stood up for his fans and stood up for his city. Nobody in Cleveland heard the laughter and head shaking outside of Ohio because they drowned it out with loud cheers.

For the past two weeks I’ve been reading wonderful things about Gilbert and his investments in Detroit. He moved Quicken Loans to the Compuware Building in Campus Martius and has his eye on at least four other buildings. He is trying to bring life to a lifeless downtown and is encouraging people to move downtown.

This is the type of guy that should own one of our sports teams. He reminds me of Mike Ilitch, a guy who invested downtown when others did not. Ilitch made the Fox Theater his corporate headquarters. He invested in Detroit when it didn’t make sense because he had a vision. Ilitch turned the Red Wings into a model franchise and the Tigers are competitive. But Ilitch was not the right choice to own the Pistons because he does not have a background in basketball.

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