Joe Dumars has often heard criticism for not drafting well. There are certainly examples of questionable draft choices by the Pistons under Dumars - from Mateen Cleaves to Rodney White to, obviously, Darko Milicic.
But Tayshaun Prince was a great draft pick late in the first round. Mehmet Okur was a terrific choice in the second round. And Rodney Stuckey has provided the Pistons with a cornerstone for the future.
Stuckey got off to relatively slow start this season because of a health issue, but the way he played in the second half Wednesday against the Bulls may be a precursor to what he may provide in the future.
With Allen Iverson out with a groin injury, he took over the game. It’s rare the player that can go to the basket like Stuckey. If he gets a little better with his mid-range game, he’ll truly be special.
And it wasn’t like he was on everybody’s radar coming out of college. Eastern Washington is about as remote as it gets in Division I. It was a gutsy call by Dumars to select Stuckey where he did. For that, he deserves credit.
- Happy Holidays to everyone who supports The Oakland Press and this blog. Your comments are very good and always appreciated. Thank you very much.
- The most under-reported aspect of the Lions’ season finale at Green Bay is Kevin Smith. He is just 116 yards shy of 1,000 on the season. Who would have thought it possible on such a dreadful team. Smith is an excellent football player. A definite keeper.
- The early weather forecast for the Winter Classic January 1 at Wrigley Field: A high of 29, a low of 19 with just a few snow showers. If that holds up, it would be ideal.
- I’ve had people request my thoughts on the Rob Parker situation Sunday after the Lions’ game. I wrote it about in Wednesday’s paper (You can read my columns at theoaklandpress.com. Just click on sports and go to the "columns" section.) This is what I wrote:
It’s a terrific old song, lyrics taken from a passage in the Bible by legendary folk singer and song writer Pete Seeger in the 1950s. Most remember The Byrds version of it from the 1960s with the great electric guitar riffs.
"To everything, there is a season. Turn. Turn. Turn. A time to live. A time to die. A time to laugh. A time to cry. And a time for every purpose under heaven."
It’s a great message. As relevant today as it was then. And it always will be.
That song is the first thing I thought of Sunday when I heard Detroit News columnist Rob Parker ask Lions head coach Rod Marinelli the following question: "On a light note, do you wish your daughter would have married a better defensive coordinator?"
A news conference, comprised of professional journalists, who were issued credentials because they work for legitimate news organizations, didn’t seem to be the appropriate time for such a question.
I not sure there would ever be one.
Nobody should shy away from asking tough questions of Marinelli - or anyone else in the Lions organization - about their 0-15 record. I’ve had a few testy moments with him myself at news conferences.
It’s true that Marinelli opened himself to questions of nepotism by hiring his son-in-law, Joe Barry, as defensive coordinator. However, he answered Parker’s question about Barry a few times before Parker pulled out his, "On a light note..." line Sunday.
There are questions. There are followup questions. Then there are asinine questions. This one fell into the latter category.
It personalized the issue rather professionalized it. It was a cheap shot. Marinelli is drowning as Lions’ head coach. His team is 0-15. They lost Sunday’s game 42-7. Understandably, he was in anything but a "light" mood. He’s been an awful head coach. The worst I’ve seen with the Lions. His "just keep fighting" rhetoric is stale and trite. It doesn’t give the media the right to humiliate him with their line of questioning, though.
Parker did that. It’s why the backlash was so hard on FOX’s post game Sunday. It’s why his managing editor at the Detroit News referred to the question as "inappropriate" and "unprofessional" on the newspaper’s website.
This is part of the larger issue of media calling attention to themselves above those they are covering. The Lions’ news conferences are broadcast on both of Detroit’s sports talk radio stations. It shouldn’t change the mentality of the media at news conferences. They should ask the questions they need to ask for their stories, columns or broadcast reports - period. They shouldn’t become a dog and pony show playing up to the listening audience on radio.
Parker has done exactly that for much of this season - like he’s not asking questions as much as presenting some sort of shtick he has going with Marinelli
There was a line in Parker’s column Monday that was particularly disturbing. He wrote of the questions he asks at virtually every news conference about Barry: "It’s almost a running joke. A news conference isn’t complete unless I ask it."
Huh? According to whom?
There was also a point Parker made in his Monday column about the mutual respect he and Marinelli have for one and other. Not according to what I’ve heard from those in Allen Park. That was confirmed when Marinelli very publicly didn’t accept Parker’s apology.
In the age of the 24-7 news cycle, the "media" has evolved, but one factor hasn’t changed: We’re there essentially for you.
Our main objective should be to ask the questions you want to have answered of athletes, politicians and public figures. We’re there to discover and tell stories you might not have heard about otherwise. Sometimes we provide analysis and opinion for you to ponder.
We’re not there to become the story by playing to the crowd at a news conference.
Wrong place. Wrong time. Horrible question.