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Feds Watchin’: Joe Dumars


The first in an irregular series of intercepted correspondences. 

Hello friends. My name is Evan and I am a fan of the Detroit Pistons. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes, I am also a fan of playing in traffic and bathing with toasters.

Unless you are a basketball fan (which you likely are, based on the fact that you’re here) or a Pistons fan (which I am, and let me tell you that being a Pistons fan is quite different from being a “basketball” fan, since the Pistons have not played “basketball” since roughly 2007), you may not be aware that Pistons General Manager Joe Dumars has spearheaded a rather eventful summer for the organization. After a disappointing season that saw the team get off to a scorching 0-8 start before cruising to a 29-53 finish to earn the 8th pick in a 7 player draft, Dumars fired coach Lawrence Frank and brought in Mo Cheeks to turn things around. This made sense: Cheeks is a grizzled veteran of the game and Frank had presided over two losing seasons and still cannot grow facial hair.

From there, things got a little hairier. The Pistons proceeded to pass on Michigan man Trey Burke in the draft, noting the presence of point guard Brandon Knight (hold this thought) and opting to draft hy-phenom (get it?) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope instead. Detroit then stayed quiet during free agency until suddenly deciding to hand a four year deal to Josh Smith, who was either severely overpaid or severely underpaid but it doesn’t matter because there’s plenty of money to go around in the city of Detroit these days. Finally, Dumars and Co. remembered that Knight died five months ago and dealt him for Brandon Jennings. So if you’re keeping score at home, the Pistons built their team around a shoot first point guard who can shoot sometimes (Jennings), a shoot first power forward who cannot shoot (Smith), a developing big man who terrifies Pistons fans and opponents alike (Andre Drummond), and the team’s quiet as kept best player (Greg Monroe). Oh, and Rasheed Wallace got lost looking for the Funny Farm and joined the team’s coaching staff as well. Welcome to Detroit!

This Dumars-assembled group will either be painfully bad (read: I will watch the Red Wings instead) or a lesson in dysfunctional entertainment that could back into a 7-seed and ruin their Riggin’ for Wiggins shot in the process (read: I’ll watch the Red Wings in April). Either way, one thing is clear: Joe Dumars is clearly not in his right mind. After a startling summer of transactions, I alerted the federal authorities to the prospect of the Pistons GM using illicit, mind-altering substances in large quantities. The Feds proceeded to Watch Dumars and successfully unearth years of correspondence between him and his meth dealer. Below are some relevant highlights of their findings. Everything makes sense now.

June 2003

Joe Dumars: This draft has me all sorts of stressed! Why pick second in a five player draft when it’s so much less stressful to pick sixth? Can’t I just give Memphis its pick back?

Meth Dealer: Let me pump the brakes right there Joe. You guys are on the cusp of a championship run. A successful pick here and you’ll be golden for the next few years. Melo? D-Wade? Championship potential. Don’t trade the pick, or else people will know that you do meth.

JD: Ahh alright, can’t have people on my tail like that. How about that tall kid from Serbia? Marko? What’s his name? God I am so high right now.

MD: What? No no, don’t take the European project. There are stars in this draft! Sure things!

JD: Why take the sure thing when you can live on the edge? Besides, I can’t take some ball hog who will steal touches from Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. The offense is clicking!

MD: If people find me, it will probably be your fault.

February 2004

JD: I can’t believe Rasheed is out there on the market. He could be our missing piece!

MD: Like there’s a chance in hell I veto the opportunity for two of my highest profile clients to work in the same city. Trade away!

July 2005

JD: I’m having a rough time right now. I really just don’t think Larry [Brown] is cutting it anymore.

MD: What? You guys just went to two straight Finals! You’ve got the best starting five in basketball!

JD: I dunno man. I always feel like he’s hitting on my wife.

MD: Dammit Dumars if you fire a Hall of Fame coach while you’re high I am never selling you any drugs ever again.

JD: Fine fine I’ll wait a day or two! Say, what do you think about Flip Saunders? A real inspiring fellow, yeah?

January 2007

JD: Why didn’t you tell me Chris Webber was an unsigned free agent? How long has he been sitting there? The fans will love a Michigan man!

MD: Your team’s title window is closing. Rip Hamilton hasn’t been healthy in a year. Flip Saunders is still your head coach. That Lebron guy in Cleveland keeps getting better. I have never had less confidence in someone whose team has made five straight Eastern Conference Finals.

JD: C-Webb went number one overall like six years ago right? He’s still fresh! Or have I missed a few seasons?

MD: I hate you so much.

November 2008

JD: Alright alright get this, I hear Allen Iverson is on the market, and all Denver wants from us is our team leader and former Finals MVP. Who says no?

MD: Are you taking some sorts of other medications? Are you over-exerting yourself doing strenuous physical activity?

JD: Ah shit they want Antonio McDyess too, do you think that’s too steep? Really like AD on this team.

MD: How are you still employed?

July 2009

JD: Guess what? I’ve got huge news!

MD: I sincerely hope not, since you’re supposed to be saving all your money for the summer of 2010.

JD: Nah, why wait for talent?

MD: Oh Jesus.

JD: We got Ben Gordon!

MD: What the shit are you going to do with Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey and Allen Iverson’s promethazine’d corpse?

JD: And Charlie Villenueva!

MD: If you pay him any more than you do me you should probably consider a new profession.

JD: Five years, $35 million, so much less than I pay you!

MD: You should be put down.

July 2012

MD: Hey Joe, long time no talk. Wondering if everything was okay? I noticed that you’ve picked pretty well in the last three drafts and seem to be building around a young nucleus of Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, and Andre Drummond. These moves all make quite a bit of sense and frankly I’m a bit concerned?

JD: They just want me to win games. I am so empty without you.

MD: It’s gonna be okay Joe. This is for the best. Remember the 2004 championship run? The six consecutive conference finals appearances?

JD: I was high as a kite all six years. I want you back.

MD: Alright come back to me. I’ll take care of you like the old days.

July 2013

JD: I am so high right now.

MD: Do you have any idea what you’ve done for the last three weeks?

JD: What time is it? I need to take my kids to soccer practice. Did I miss Breaking Bad?

MD: You probably will not be able to afford your drug habit when you get fired.