Many names have already been thrown around on who will take the place of Lawrence Frank, who was fired Thursday as coach of the Detroit Pistons.
No clear frontrunner has emerged and many candidates might wait a few weeks to see what other NBA openings might pop up.
Former coaches Mike Brown from the Los Angeles Lakers, Nate McMillan from the Portland Trail Blazers and Jerry Sloan from the Utah Jazz have been suggested the first two more so than Sloan, are likely. There’s assistant coaches like Brian Shaw from the Indiana Pacers, Kevin Sampson from the Houston Rockets and Mike Malone for the Golden State Warriors, who are three more possibilities.
Other names have been mentioned and might be dark horses such as former Piston Bill Laimbeer. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo‘s name always comes up when the Pistons have a vacancy. But Izzo twice has turned down NBA jobs and has yet to regret it.
Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles is one name not being mentioned and perhaps he should be. He played at Michigan State and has a background in the state although some of his off-the-court escapades didn’t necessarily make him a fan favorite. Bucks’ players, who did not play as well after he left, if records are any indication, questioned his coaching style.
With his three NBA teams, the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Bucks, Skiles showed notable improvement from his first to second season. He was able to make all three teams playoff contenders. The Pistons are young and still need some gentle guidance; Skiles has a decent track record in leading young athletes.
Skiles has had as much success as a lot of coaches that have taken their fourth NBA team. Since the Pistons keep running through coaches with an average of two years, they could find remarkable results from Skiles after two seasons with the team.