The Detroit Pistons announced on Friday that Spartan Tom Gores has purchased the team. The deal has not been finalized yet, though the deal should be completed in the next couple of weeks. The deal includes the Palace of Auburn Hills as well as DTE Energy Music Theatre, and is said to be about $325 million.
Tom Gores, a graduate of Michigan State, was born in Nazareth, Israel. He moved to Genesee, Michigan as a child. Attending Genesee High School, he earned a scholarship to attend MSU. Gores graduated from Michigan State in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in construction management. After spending some time investing in start-up companies and learning his trade, Gores started his own company- Platinum Equity, LLC. The companyâ€™s reputation is solid, and made $11 billion in 2009. Gores, well-known in the financial world, is the 161st richest person in the United States. He is known as a hands-on, old-fashioned business man.
Gores, 46, currently lives in Beverly Hills, California with his wife and three children. A self-made man, Gores hopes to re-make the Pistons. He has stated that he wants to reshape the â€œcultureâ€ of the Pistons. Reshaping the culture of the team will include dedication, hard work, and accountability in the organization.Â Gores said in a recent interview with the media: â€œAre we afraid of change? Absolutely not.â€ Gores plans to implement the changes quickly. The first move Gores took was to reassure the fans that former NBA player Joe Dumars would be staying on as team president for a twelfth year. Under Dumarsâ€™ reign, the Pistons won the NBA Championship in 2004 and went to six straight Eastern conference finals. Still, Dumars made some questionable trades at the end of the Pistonsâ€™ prosperity that led to criticism. For the last couple of years, Gores was told not to make any moves until the team was bought. The head coach of the team, John Kuester (Gores mispronounced his name in a recent press conference), is most likely gone. Gores has not met with the coach who has led the team to two losing seasons in a row, but has promised to.
Gores plans to be whatever type of owner the team needs. Whether it be an inspirational leader on the sidelines or a figure in the shadows, Gores will do his part: â€œIâ€™m willing to be whatever the franchise and organization needâ€¦ Iâ€™m a team playerâ€. Above all, as an owner, Goresâ€™ main goal is to â€œmake Bill Davidson [the late owner of the Pistons] proud.â€
Many fans are relieved that a person with local roots has bought the team. In regards to returning to Michigan, Gores said: â€œEcstatic is the right wordâ€¦I appreciate everyone welcoming me back.â€ Gores also called Detroit an â€œunbelievable cityâ€. As Gores talks about changes that will attempt to return the Pistons to its old glory, the fans are becoming excited. Gores looks to be a breath of fresh air for suffering Pistons fans, and hopefully will bring the magic back to The Palace.