July 17, 2023 | Articles The Pistons
Detroit Free Press: Pistons owner Tom Gores expresses ‘cautious optimism’ on franchise direction
Detroit Free Press columnist Shawn Windsor conducted an exclusive interview with Platinum Equity
founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores recently in Las Vegas.
Gores was in Vegas to attend the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting and watch young Pistons prospects compete in the league’s Summer League, an annual series of exhibition games featuring rookies and young prospects.
Windsor spoke with Gores’ following the Pistons’ 94-90 victory over the Raptors. In a conversation that
lasted roughly 20 minutes, Gores talked at length about the direction of the franchise.
With the addition of two highly regarded rookies in Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser to the young
group of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and others, the Pistons have a sizable collection of talented players younger than 25. To lead the young group, Gores played an instrumental role in luring head coach Monty Williams to replace Dwane Casey, who moved to the team’s front office.
“We’ve never had a core group like this, you know?” Gores told the Free Press.
Gores thinks the Pistons are finally ready to start the climb out of the Eastern Conference cellar after last season’s 17-win campaign.
“Feeling pretty good, feeling cautiously optimistic,” Gores said.
Gores was impressed by Pistons rookie Ausar Thompson, who was a standout in leading the Pistons to
their second victory during Summer League. Thompson, the fifth pick of the draft, scored 17 points,
grabbed nine rebounds and added four steals and two blocked shots.
“He doesn’t play like somebody that just got into the league,” Gores said. “I think he’s a really smart
player. Also just defensively, he’s going to help us a lot. He had three or four blocks, and steals, he just
does everything out there.
“He’s a team player. You can tell he’s an unselfish player, very thoughtful player. He’s very aware of who
is on the court with him.”
On the evening before the game, Gores met with the team over dinner at Catch, a restaurant located in
the Aria Resort & Casino. Gores message to the team?
“I was saying to my team that we’ve done everything with the Pistons in the community and that kind of
stuff,” he said. “But we’ve got to finish it now and win. We want to win because that’s what the fans