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Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

Dumars says Pistons bringing back Curry

ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Michael Curry is coming back as the Detroit Pistons' coach.

Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars held a news conference yesterday to wrap up a miserable season and he ended any doubt about his plans on the bench by confirming Curry would return.

"It was an up-and-down season for him," Dumars said. "And, an up-and-down season for us."

Curry was 39-43 in his first year as a head coach and his second season in the coaching profession.

A Pistons team that opened the season with high hopes couldn't recover from the loss of all-star point guard Chauncey Billups in a November trade to Denver for Allen Iverson. Iverson's past-his-prime game and pride proved to be a bad fit in Detroit.

The Pistons plummeted to the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs and were swept in four lopsided games by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Dumars, though, did not blame Curry for Detroit's demise.

"The fact that we made so many changes for a first-year coach, I had to step back and be a little more patient than I have been," Dumars said. "During the season I said to myself, 'What effect is this having on him as a first-year coach.' I tried to put myself in his shoes."

Dumars fired coach Flip Saunders last year after he led the team to the Eastern Conference finals in each of his three seasons.

The Pistons parted ways with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown in 2005 after he helped them win a title and almost repeat in his two years with them.

Rick Carlisle was fired after two years with the Pistons following an Eastern Conference finals appearance in his second season and NBA coach of the year honors in his first.

BYNUM STAYING: Will Bynum had the Pistons pick up his team option for next season after emerging as a reliable scoring threat off the bench.

The Pistons announced the decision yesterday.

The 6-foot Bynum appeared in 57 games last season, averaging 7.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He scored a career-high 32 against Charlotte earlier this month, including a franchise-record 26 points in the fourth quarter.

The Pistons signed Bynum in July after he played for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli League.

The former Georgia Tech star played 15 games for the Golden State Warriors during 2005-06, but spent most of the season in the NBA Development League.



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