Former Vice President of Media Relations for the Detroit Pistons, Matt Dobek died unexpectedly in his Rochester Hills, Michigan home. He was well known in Professional basketball and International basketball circles.
Dobek, 52, was with the Pistons for 29 years. Before joining the Pistons he had been Sports Information Director at Wayne State University for a year.
Recently, he was embroiled by some controversy after leaving the Pistons last May.
Dobek, a graduate of Central Michigan University and a native Detroiter, was very active with the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame and civic events in Hamtramck, Michigan. He was a longtime member of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association and was known for hosting Piston players and the media at colorful Hamtramck pubs.
Dobek was part of three NBA Championship Teams, 1989, 1990 and 2004. He was adept at making the Detroit Piston ‘Bad Boys’ look good.
He was very close to former Piston, Isiah Thomas and Coach Chuck Daly. In 1989, Dobek co-authored a book with Thomas, “Bad Boys: An Inside Look at the Detroit Pistons’ and the 1988-89 Championship Season“.
When Thomas was being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a gambling and point shaving scandal regarding National Basketball Association games, Dobek and Detroit News reporter Dave Dye were caught up in the controversy.
Dobek had been communications director for the 1992 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team in Barcelona, Spain, coached by Daly. Dobek always joked when Daly would give him some of his new clothes. Daly was known for his classy wardrobe. Dobek was tall like Daly and once said, “He would give me his expensive overcoats after only wearing them once, it was a great arrangement. I loved it.” Dobek coordinated logistics and support for Daly’s funeral.
Around the NBA, Dobek was considered an active Detroit ambassador. He brought many notable guests to the celebrated Hamtramck bistro, The Polish Village Cafe. He was low key in his approach to handling media relations and was old school and generous with buying a round at the old Detroit Press Club.
He was always quick to praise his staff including long time statistician Mooris Moorawnick. “Morey makes me look good,” Dobek would often say. Dobek would sometimes drive 30 miles each way to make sure Moorawnick would get to the Piston games on time.
Most importantly, Dobek was very loyal to his old friends and always highlighted his humble upbringing.
Last year Dobek was honored by the CMU Journalism Department.
Dobek supported the Holy Cross Council-Knights of Columbus and St. Andrews Church campus in Detroit. Before residing in Rochester Hills, he lived in Royal Oak and Detroit.
The Oakland County Medical examiner said funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.