New Pistons Owner Tom Gores Aims High

AIMING HIGH: Businessman Tom Gores may be calling the shots as the new Pistons owner, but he’s indisputably a team player


(page 1 of 7)




Tewfic (likely an uncommon spelling of the Arabic, Tawfik, interpreted as “fortunate” and “success” (Wikipedia), Gores, July 31, 1964, in Nazareth, Israel.


Genesee Township, Mich.

Current address:

Beverly Hills, Calif. (Also a three-address waterfront compound in suburban Detroit.)


Genesee High School, class of 1982; Michigan State University bachelor’s degree in construction management, 1986.


Founded Platinum Equity, a private equity firm ranked 27th on the 2010 Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies, in 1995; Forbes “400 Richest People” position: No. 159.

Personal net worth:

Estimated $2.5 billion.


Holly (née Murdoch), a Grosse Ile native.


Katrina, 14; Amanda, 13; Charles, 9.


ONE of these things is not like the other: Pro basketball. Seven-figure salaries. JumboTrons. Playing the tambourine.

Still, they all have a place in the world of new Pistons owner, aka family guy, soccer coach, and newbie studio musician, Tom Gores.

When Pistons executive Joe Dumars first met with his future boss, the conversation between the former hoops star and the incoming team owner had surprisingly little to do with the NBA, coaching decisions, or the business of professional athletics in general. As Dumars recalls, he and Gores swapped fatherhood stories while watching videos of Gores’ kids playing soccer.

“This is a very unique guy in the sense that he’s a very successful business guy, but the guy is a father and a husband, as well,” says the Hall of Famer and current president of basketball operations for the Pistons. “There’s no question that family comes first with him.”

Sports again were off the table during Gores’ first meeting with Ethan Davidson, son of longtime Pistons owner, the late William “Bill” Davidson. After a few scheduling conflicts between the two, Gores boarded his private plane and flew to Detroit to meet the younger Davidson in a Hazel Park recording studio, where the musician was laying down tracks with his band. Davidson was uneasy about meeting the billionaire buyer of his father’s sports franchise in the studio, located “down a dark alley behind a carpet store.” But any ambivalence was quickly put to rest. As he quickly learned, Gores is a pretty down-to-earth, casual guy.

“We handed him a tambourine and we told him to go to work,” Davidson says. “He jumped right in there with the band. I don’t know if we’ll ever finish this record, but if we do, he’ll be on it.”

And, no, Gores (pronounced GORE-es) didn’t come to jam in a billion-dollar suit. Fans paying attention to the changes at The Palace of Auburn Hills may remember the jeans and the white collared shirt with short sleeves that Gores sported during the Pistons home finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers. As Gores danced from the stands for the JumboTron, George Blaha, the longtime Pistons TV play-by-play announcer, introduced the team’s new owner, pronouncing his name “Gores.”

The Pistons fell to the LeBron-less Cavs in a game that — had it been played in the same arena just a few years earlier — would have been a local-celebrity studded, sell-out event. The message on the court and on the big screen was clear: There’s a changing of the guard at The Palace — and in the NBA.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Men's Spring Fashion: On The Town

Men's Spring Fashion.

Fall Arts Preview: Upcoming Events

Cultural life is especially vibrant this season. In this section, we offer a glimpse of upcoming exhibits, concerts, and drama, along with an introduction to the fresh faces of the DSO and a look inside a new book devoted to Detroit’s architecturally stunning churches.

2011 Men's Holiday Fashion

MAN ABOUT TOWN: A throwback to an earlier, classic era projects an undeniably suave, masculine appeal.

Best of Detroit 2011

Thousands of readers — the largest number ever — played favorites in online voting for Hour Detroit’s 2011 Best of Detroit list. Check out the 258 winners, and then go play tourist in your own hometown.

Best of Detroit 2013

Thousands of readers selected their favorites in online voting for Hour Detroit’s 2013 Best of Detroit list. Find out who joined the league of over 500 superheroes in the city!
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  5. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  6. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  7. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  8. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  9. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission