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NBA notes: Pistons hire Jeff Bower hired as general manager

Published June 3, 2014 5:33 pm

NBA notes • Detroit's offseason overhaul also includes hiring of Stan Van Gundy.
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Detroit • Jeff Bower is returning to the NBA, this time to join the front office of the Detroit Pistons.

Detroit announced Tuesday that Bower had been hired as the team's new general manager, part of an offseason overhaul in which Stan Van Gundy was hired last month as the coach and team president. Bower was the coach at Marist College last season, but he resigned that position Monday.

"I'm excited to join the Pistons organization and play a role in helping this franchise build on its great basketball tradition," Bower said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Stan, his staff and everyone in the Pistons organization to put together a team that the community can support and be proud of. I'm also excited about ownership's commitment to winning and their demonstrated commitment to the community."

The Pistons called a news conference for Wednesday to introduce Bower.

Bower has been a general manager and coach in the NBA, holding both those positions with the New Orleans Hornets in 2009-10.

Wizards' Wittman signs extension

Wizards coach Randy Wittman signed a contract extension Tuesday after leading the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

With its young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington beat the Chicago Bulls in the first round before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Wizards hadn't won a postseason series since 2005.

Wittman was promoted to head coach when Flip Saunders was fired in January 2012, the third rebuilding project Wittman has undertaken. He has the worst regular-season record of anyone who has coached at least 400 NBA games — 191-329, a .367 winning percentage — since the league started in 1946.