As soon as former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy was named head coach and team president of the Detroit Pistons, he said he was going to hire an experienced general manager. He talked to the likes of Otis Smith, his general manager in Orlando and the former Executive Vice President in the National Basketball Association, Stu Jackson, before eventually settling on Jeff Bower.
On Wednesday, Van Gundy officially introduced Bower as general manager and explained his duties.
“Jeff is going to be our general manager on a day-to-day basis,” Van Gundy said via Brendan Savage of MLive.com. “He’s going to be talking to assistant general managers and the scouts and dealing with agents on the phone and things like that.
“I’ll be much more involved at this time of the year but as we get into the season, it will look like a pretty conventional NBA franchise. What we want is a collaboration process with a lot of hard-working, intelligent people who are thinking and then we use the process to come to a decision.
“I look at my role in this … as more working with Jeff to develop a vision and strategy of where we want to be and then Jeff will be the primary guy. This will be Jeff’s front office. I’ll be involved. We’ve talked about lines of communication to keep me involved. But day-to-day, he’ll be the one running things.”
Bower, who was the head coach of Marist, has been both the general manager and head coach of the New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans).