MAY 16, 2014 AT 1:00 AM
VINCENT GOODWILL THE DETROIT NEWS 0 COMMENTS
Auburn Hills — Pistons legend Isiah Thomas is poised to become an investor into the franchise’s ownership group, according to multiple sources.
Thomas and team officials are in preliminary discussions to make Thomas a minority owner, but the exact percentage hasn’t been agreed upon. It would make Thomas one of a few African-Americans with a stake in an NBA team.
“Not a ceremonial piece, but a respectable piece,” was how a source with knowledge of the negotiations termed the potential deal.
The discussions began after Joe Dumars stepped down as the team’s president. Although Pistons owner Tom Gores targeted Stan Van Gundy to become the coach and president of basketball operations, he still wanted to partner with Thomas in some fashion.
Thomas has an indelible connection to the Detroit community, and Gores’ group isn’t averse to letting someone in, especially someone familiar with the local terrain.
The two became familiar during preparations for the Bad Boys reunion last month, and Gores expressed to Thomas he knew the former point guard wanted a seat of power — one Thomas hadn’t had since he was a part-owner of the Raptors.
When Gores told Thomas it was possible for him to invest in the franchise he helped build, he jumped at it. Thomas, 53, was slated to buy a piece of the team before his retirement in 1994, but when news leaked of the then-unprecedented move, he and late owner Bill Davidson had a public falling out.
Neither Gores nor officials from his Platinum Equity partners in attendance for Van Gundy’s introductory news conference Thursday would comment.
The deal would have to be approved by Platinum Equity’s partners, as well as the NBA.