"In this society, athletes are role models, whether they deserve it or not ... Joe Dumars, though, is the role-model's role model and the professional's professional. It was an honor to play with Joe for five years, and I still ask him for advice."
Joe Dumars was born on May 24, 1963 in Shreveport, LA. He would grow up to attend McNeese State College in Lake Charles. In his collegiate years Joe would average over 20 points per game and receive an honorable mention as an All American. During his senior year, Joe was asked who in the sport he looked up to. His answer was Isiah Thomas, which was rather ironic, for the Detroit Pistons picked Joe as the 18th pick in the 1985 NBA Draft, just beating out the Los Angeles Lakers who sent Jerry West out to Lake Charles to speak to Joe. In 1986 Joe Dumars was named rookie of the year. He would continue this success throughout his 14 year career. He retired in 1999, after the season finished. Dumars is one of the 8 players who played over 1000 games with the team that drafted them. A five time all-star, Joe was awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his community work in 1994. In 1989, Joe was awarded the NBA Finals MVP trophy.
A success on the court and off, Joe Dumars was the leader of the Bad Boy Pistons teams of the late 80's. A calm player who could hit a shot from anywhere on the court, Dumars tied the NBA record with 10 three pointers in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also won a gold medal in the 1994 World Championship of Basketball. He currently runs Joe Dumar's Fieldhouse, which is a collection of sporting fields and courts, a restaurant, a miniature golf course and is home to a Detroit Roller Hockey Tournament. He was named the Pistons' Director of Player Personnel shortly after his retirement from the game.
Dumars joined a Detroit team that was slow to get started during his rookie season. The team won only 4 of its first 19 games. When Dumars was written into the lineup, Detroit took off, winning 20 of it's next 24 games. However the team would not pull it together enough to make it to the playoffs.
In the following season, Dumars became almost inseparable from fellow Pistons guard Isiah Thomas. He averaged 11.8 points per game in this season while running the floor with Isiah. The Pistons would finish out the season 52-30. They proceeded into the post season on a tear, sweeping the Washington Bullets and edging out the Atlanta Hawks in 5 games. However, the Pistons were beaten in a seven game series by the Boston Celtics, even with Dumars scoring 35 points in the final matchup. The Celtics would go on to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in the championship round.
In the 1987-1988 season Joe Dumars would score over 1000 points for the first time. He repeated this feat over the following 7 seasons. The team this year saw the acquesition of Adrian Dantley to the starting lineup. The Pistons finished on top of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference this year, and kept their winning ways up through the playoffs. This year they rolled over the Chicago Bulls in the semi's and then defeated the Celtics 4-2 in the conference Finals. The finals were against the previous year's champions, the red hot Lakers. The Pistons managed to jump to a 3-2 lead but lost their final two games by 1 and 3 points respectively.
Joe Dumars continued his improvement in his fourth season as a Piston. He averaged 17.2 points per game and was voted to the NBA's All-Defensive first team, along with then teammate Dennis Rodman. He also shot over .500 from the floor that season. The Pistons continued with their rough play and trounced through the season, finishing in first place of the Central Division again. They swept the Bucks in the opening round of the playoffs and beat the Chicago Bulls 4-2 in the finals of the conference. Their opponents in the finals were the unstoppable Lakers, who were looking to 3-peat and hot off a sweep of the Phoenix Suns. In turn, it was the Lakers who were swept as the Pistons ran wild over the Lakers. Joe Dumars averaged 10 points higher in the final series than in the regular season, making him an easy choice for MVP. This would be the first NBA championship for the Pistons, but would not be their last.
In 1989-1990 the Pistons of Detroit would reign supreme in the NBA, but many teams looked threatening to the Bad Boys of Basketball. Joe Dumars would also continue his sound shooting, now averaging 18 ppg. During a game against the San Antonio Spurs, on March 24, 1990, Joe would break his hand, causing him to sit on the sidelines. When Joe was able to play again, there were only seven games left in the season. The Bad Boys finished the season four games over the Bulls in the Central Division. In the finals this year, the Pistons would face off against some new blood, the Portland Trailblazers, lead by Clyde "The Glide" Drexler. It didn't matter to the Pistons though, as they took the sereis in 5 games, winning Detroits only two NBA Championships.
The 90-91 season did not have much talk of a three-peat, as the Pistons finished 11 games behind the His Airness and the Chicago Bulls. Dumars would do his best mule impression and play more than 3,000 minutes in this season, averaging over 20 points a game. He, at one point, shot a Piston record, 62 straight free throws. The Pistons would make a solid effort in the postseason, defeating the Atlanta Hawks and then the Boston Celtics in the two opening rounds of the playoffs. The Pistons would taste defeat at the hands of the Bulls who went on to win the Championship, the first of the three year run.
While Joe Dumars would perform well in the seasons following 90-91, the Pistons would falter. They were knocked out of the 92 playoffs in the first round and finished under .500 in the following year. This would be the first time in 10 years that Detroit didn't have a team in the playoffs. Dumars would score his 10,000th point during that season, and end up with a total of 16,401 when he retired. On March 11, 2000 the Detroit Pistons retired Joe's #4 jersey, making him the fifth member of the Bad Boy Pistons to be retired, alongside Thomas, Coach Chuck Daly, Vinnie Johnson and Bill Laimbeer. The NBA also announced that the league's sportsmanship award would be renamed the Joe Dumars Trophy. Dumars was also appointed as the Director of Player Personnel that day.
Position: Shooting Guard
Weight: 190 lbs.
SEASON TEAM G MIN FG FGA FG3 FG3A FT FTA REB A STL BLK PTS AVG
1985-86 Det. 82 1957 287 597 5 16 190 238 119 390 66 11 769 9.4
1986-87 Det. 79 2439 369 749 9 22 184 246 167 352 83 5 931 11.8
1987-88 Det. 82 2732 453 960 4 19 251 308 200 387 87 15 1161 14.2
1988-89 Det. 69 2408 456 903 14 29 260 306 172 390 63 5 1186 17.2
1989-90 Det. 75 2578 508 1058 22 55 297 330 212 368 63 2 1335 17.8
1990-91 Det. 80 3046 622 1292 14 45 371 417 187 443 89 7 1629 20.4
1991-92 Det. 82 3192 587 1311 49 120 412 475 188 375 71 12 1635 19.9
1992-93 Det. 77 3094 677 1454 112 299 343 397 148 308 78 7 1809 23.5
1993-94 Det. 69 2591 505 1118 124 320 276 330 151 261 63 4 1410 20.4
1994-95 Det. 67 2544 417 970 103 338 277 344 158 368 72 7 1214 18.1
1995-96 Det. 67 2193 255 598 121 298 162 197 138 265 43 3 793 11.8
1996-97 Det. 79 2923 385 875 166 384 222 256 191 318 57 1 1158 14.7
1997-98 Det. 72 2326 329 791 158 426 127 154 104 253 44 2 943 13.1
1998-99 Det. 38 1116 144 350 89 221 51 61 68 134 23 2 428 11.3
G MIN FG FGA FG3 FG3A FT FTA REB A STL BLK PTS AVG
TOTAL 1018 35139 5994 13026 990 2592 3423 4059 2203 4612 902 83 16401 16.1