DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) Pistons’ General Manager Joe Dumars — one of the team’s most popular alums — is aware of the sea of empty seats facing the team at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
And he knows it’s the team’s fault.
“I totally understand it,” Dumars said Tuesday on 97.1 The Ticket. “I’ve been here in the city long enough to understand that the fans here will come out and support you, and it’s our job to put a product on the floor and to bring that type of excitement to the floor. When I look at that, that’s on us, that’s on us to generate that kind of excitement and buzz to make people come out.
“Until we do that, we understand what it’s going to be like. It’s totally our job to give fans something to cheer about, we all know that they will when there’s something great to cheer for, the fans will come out.”
The Pistons are 7-16, and face the Denver Nuggets at home Tuesday. Dumars’ admitted the first 23 games aren’t what he hoped they would be.
“We’ve been up and down, we’ve not been able to string together wins like we would like to, definitely made progress from the start of the season, the 0-8 start, it was a tough start for a bunch of young guys trying to win,” he said. “You can see the growth with these guys, they’re getting better.”
Is he disappointed?
“Certainly, you don’t think you’re going to start out 7-16,” he said, adding he knew it would be a tough first month. “Once you look at the schedule before the season starts you get a good sense … We ended up hitting a rocky road.”
Fan favorite Andre Drummond is meeting his expectations, Dumars said, adding, ‘We really like what we see so far, he has some ability, he could be a game changer for us.”
“He’s doing a good job, our expectations with him were up front and open from the night that we drafted him, we said we’re not going to rush this kid out there, we’re not going to put all these expectations on his shoulders.”
Drummond has come out of the gate even better than expected, with Dumars saying the team is “really happy with his progress so far … The kid has a long career ahead of him, he’s going to end up being on the floor, people don’t have to worry about that, bur you have to bring a kid like that the right way.”
Lawrence Frank has also done “a very good job,” Dumars said, adding, “to develop young guys … and try to win games night after night after night, it’s not easy… Lawrence is a grinder, he never lets up and that’s what you need with a young team.”
Listen to the interview below