Prior to the start of the 2000-01 season, the Detroit Pistons hired Joe Dumars to be their President of Basketball Operations. During his 14 years in that position, Dumars built rosters that would go to six Eastern Conference Finals, and win an NBA Championship (2004).
Dumars certainly made some big moves while in charge, which included some pretty big trades, including trading Jerry Stackhouse for Rip Hamilton, Grant Hill for Ben Wallace, and Bob Sura (and others) for Rasheed Wallace.
But according to ESPN.com, Dumars nearly pulled off a blockbuster trade that likely would have altered all of those moves. That blockbuster trade would have sent Allen Iverson, who was in his prime at the time, to the Pistons.
And that stance was high among the sparks that imploded one of the most
complex swaps in NBA history — a four-teamer discussed in July and August
that would have landed Geiger and Iverson in Detroit, weeks in advance of
the fall’s first Larry lecture.
We’d like to think that Brown and boss Pat Croce would have ultimately
scuttled the deal no matter what, with or without the Geiger factor. That
they were simply trying to scare Iverson into the compliance he has
unexpectedly maintained all season, just as with those rumors of a
banishment to the Clippers.
Except that this was a very real deal. In its most well-known incarnation:
Eddie Jones, Glen Rice, Jerome Williams and Dale Ellis were Philly-bound;
Iverson and Geiger headed to Detroit; Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner
and Travis Knight routed to Charlotte; and Anthony Mason, Toni Kukoc and
Todd Fuller dispatched to the LA Lakers.
As Croce himself told ESPN The Magazine’s Tom Friend: “It came close,
brother, it came close.”
Had this trade had happened, the NBA and the Detroit Pistons would have looked much different moving forward. The biggest difference would have been that the Goin’ To Work Pistons would have never happened and because of that, I for one am very happy that things worked out the way they did.