Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Dumars, Joe

Former Detroit Piston and six-time All-Star player Joe Dumars was born on May 24, 1963, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Dumars was drafted by the Pistons in 1985 in the first round out of McNeese State University. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard combined with Isiah Thomas to form one of the finest backcourts of the era and the Pistons went to the NBA finals in three straight seasons from 1988 - 1990. Dumars was named Most Valuable Player of the 1989 finals, averaging 27.3 points a game as the Pistons swept the series to their first title. The following spring, he played through his father’s untimely death as the Pistons won a second straight championship.

Dumars was a smooth ball handler and shooter and a tenacious defender. Michael Jordan called him the best defender he ever played against. Overall, Dumars played 14 seasons, all of them with the Pistons, and averaged 16.1 points per game. He retired from playing in 1999, second in the club history in points, steals and assists.

As Pistons President of Basketball Operations from 2000-2014, Dumars was responsible for assembling teams that made the Central Division finals six straight seasons, winning the NBA title in 2004. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, and after stepping down as Pistons’ president, continued with the organization as an advisor. 

Aside from basketball, Dumars founded Detroit Technologies, an automotive supply company, which he ran from 1996-2006. He was president of the basketball division of the sports agency Independent Sports & Entertainment before joining the Sacramento Kings. The Shelby Township location of his Joe Dumars Fieldhouse, an indoor sports and entertainment complex, closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Detroit location is housed at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. In September 2020 he became the Chief Strategy Officer of the Sacramento Kings, after serving the organization as interim executive vice president of basketball operations.  

Through his career, Dumars became known for his quiet and understated style. In recognition, the National Basketball Association named its sportsmanship trophy after him. Dumars was the first recipient. An NBA executive summed it up best by saying, “Joe is the epitome of class.”



Photo of Joe Dumars on basketball court, c.1992 – 2012.032.272

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