The Detroit Pistons’ flirtation with John Beilein continues.
The Michigan coach is one of three finalists that are slated to meet with Pistons owner Tom Gores as the franchise looks to fill its head coaching position, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ime Udoka are the other two finalists.
Beilein has already met with the Pistons’ front office and appears to be genuinely interested in the position, but, as noted in Wojnarowski’s report, a prolonged and public process is a difficult thing for a college coach to navigate given roster, recruiting and simple PR concerns. Still, Beilein is seemingly intrigued enough about the opportunity – helming a professional team without having to even move if he didn’t want to – to at least pursue it this far.
Given Beilein’s success at Michigan – he’s won nearly 250 games there and appeared in two national title games – he’s got the leeway to see what this opportunity might hold. The NBA is also about the only level left for Beilein to try in his coaching career that starting at the high school ranks and has now brought him to one of the nation’s biggest athletic departments.
Beilein has garnered NBA interest before, but his name is not among the most popular to be bandied about when it comes to coaches jumping from the college ranks to the pros – Jay Wright’s name popped up way more just this spring along – but given his resume and respect he commands in coaching circles, it makes a lot of sense.
Now it’ll likely just come down to both the Pistons and Beilein deciding if the fit is right.