Multiple outlets are reporting that Karen Davidson, who has spent the past several months trying to sell the team following the death of her husband, William Davidson, is going to formally enter negotiations to sell the team to Mike Illitch.
My gut reaction upon reading the news today:
- Mike Illitch is a good owner who is willing to spend money, but he is only as good as his management team
- Joe Dumars is a great GM and might have more leeway under Illitch then he ever did under Davidson.
- This could be great … IF Ilitch really wants the Pistons and not just use them as leverage to get a new arena for his true love — the Detroit Red Wings.
- Speaking of arenas, I feel bad for the city of Auburn Hills and its beautiful Palace, as Illitch is known to want to build a new downtown arena in Detroit to replace the decrepit Joe Louis, and being able to move both the Pistons and Wings into a new facility makes the chances of a new arena much more likely.
- I think Illitch must have paid a pretty penny for the franchise, which is good for the Davidson family, good for the Pistons franchise and good for the image of Detroit. When news broke that Karen Davidson was attempting to sell the team, some speculated that she would never be able to package both the Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment together because of economic conditions in the region. Well, he bought both.
- Does this help facilitate anything as far as trades are concerned? Is there a possibility of something happening before the first game of the season, ala the Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson trade?
- Hopefully there is no bad blood between GM Joe Dumars and former Pistons executive Tom Wilson, who fled the organization for a position with Illitch holdings during the aftermath of Bill Davidson’s death and Karen’s initial moves to sell the team. If Wilson and Dumars can’t co-exist, either Wilson will have nothing to do with the Pistons franchise he helped run for years or Dumars will be fired.
I’ll try and put together a rundown of reactions about the breaking news later on in the day.