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Basketball Fan
02-25-2011, 03:42 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Five-Pistons-hold-a-player-protest-against-the?urn=nba-326449


Five Pistons hold a 'player protest' against their coach
By Kelly Dwyer



Five Detroit Pistons didn't show up for work on Friday, and it doesn't take a divining rod to figure out why. The Pistons are terrible, the trade deadline passed without any member of the team happily being sent elsewhere in a deal, no buyouts were structured for players to flee the area, and the entire roster seems to hate coach John Kuester.

Tracy McGrady(notes), Richard Hamilton(notes), Tayshaun Prince(notes), Chris Wilcox(notes) and Ben Wallace(notes) all staged a sleep-in of sorts, and the Detroit News quotes a team source as saying that the missing Pistons were staging a "player protest."

Vincent Goodwill details the immediate fallout:

Only Charlie Villanueva(notes), Jason Maxiell(notes), Will Bynum(notes), Ben Gordon(notes), Greg Monroe(notes) and DaJuan Summers(notes) were present and fully participated. Jonas Jerebko(notes) also was there, doing his usual rehab workouts.

The players have not been happy with their coach, seemingly all season, for the way he communicates, among other reasons.

Kuester said the lineups will be evaluated before tip-off Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Kuester deflected direct questions about what was going on with his team.

"We'll go with the group that was here. We have a number of guys who have that bug," Kuester said. "These guys went through shootaround the way they were supposed to."

John Kuester was the supposed offensive mastermind behind Cleveland's 2008-09 run to the best record in the NBA, and he was hired by the Pistons in the summer of 2009 to great fanfare. The next two seasons have been an abject disappointment, and Kuester's Pistons are 21-38 as they enter play on Friday, six and a half games out of the playoff bracket.

Detroit was the subject of myriad trade rumors and buyout options for good reason -- the team is thick with former stars who think they deserve better, without actually playing "better." Kuester's style has grated on the team, Detroit is easily the most boring team to tune into amongst the NBA's 30 squads, and apparently the mess has hit the fan.

Good thing there won't be many fans left to tune in, tonight.

Sookie
02-25-2011, 03:50 PM
I can't imagine this coach is worse than what JOB was.

We've got good kids on this team. That's all that comes to my mind.

Wu-Gambino
02-25-2011, 05:59 PM
John Kuester was the supposed offensive mastermind behind Cleveland's 2008-09 run to the best record in the NBA, and he was hired by the Pistons in the summer of 2009 to great fanfare.
Giving the ball to LeBron every possession and having him run the offense = offensive mastermind.

Shade
02-25-2011, 06:37 PM
Kuester is awful.

With that said, have Rip, Prince, and Wallace ever had a coach they didn't ***** about?

Isaac
02-25-2011, 06:50 PM
It's amazing how low and fast the Pistons have fallen. Just three seasons ago they won 59 games. Trading Chauncey for Iverson played a huge part in destroying that franchise. They have no future outside of Greg Monroe and will be bottom feeders in the East for a long time, I think.

And all of that makes me very happy because they caused me a lot of pain in the mid 2000s.

Kstat
02-25-2011, 06:51 PM
Jerebko is a very good young player, but he's been forgotten.

In the NBA, nothing is for a long time if you have good management.

Isaac
02-25-2011, 06:58 PM
Jerebko is a very good young player, but he's been forgotten.

In the NBA, nothing is for a long time if you have good management.

That's true Jerebko is talented.

I think the Pistons have proved that nothing is for a long time if you have bad management. Dumars has done a terrible job transitioning out of the championship era. They traded the most valuable piece of it and are still holding on to Rip and Wallace whom are shells of their former selfs.

NapTonius Monk
02-25-2011, 07:00 PM
Things could be a lot worse than missing out on a questionable trade, don't you agree?

Kstat
02-25-2011, 07:01 PM
Wallace is a non-issue. He's making next to nothing. Rip was a horrible decision, but I think the worst is behind us, as he only has 2 years remaining past this season. He'll be much more movable next season.

The Billups trade in hindsight was another horrible decision.

In the end, I doubt Joe Dumars keeps his job past this season, so I'm not even including him as part of the future.

Deadshot
02-25-2011, 07:04 PM
It's amazing how low and fast the Pistons have fallen. Just three seasons ago they won 59 games. Trading Chauncey for Iverson played a huge part in destroying that franchise. They have no future outside of Greg Monroe and will be bottom feeders in the East for a long time, I think.

And all of that makes me very happy because they caused me a lot of pain in the mid 2000s.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that trade was no so much about acquiring Iverson as it was making cap room for the future. The mistake was not that particular trade, it was signing Gordon and CV31.

Kstat
02-25-2011, 07:06 PM
I still like Ben Gordon. It's hard to understate how much of a team player he is. He's been the only Piston that's never *****ed, never whined about coming off the bench, always done what he's been asked to do. You can win with a guy like that, despite the money he's making.

CV, on the other hand, has been a major disappointment. His defense has been beyond bad.

Tayshaun comes off the books this season. Cutting him and Stuckey loose frees up $14 million. If they can unload CV, Rip or Maxiell, that gets the number even higher. It's not as bad as people think. There are only 4 guys on the roster scheduled to make more than 3.5 million next season.

cdash
02-25-2011, 07:14 PM
In the end, I doubt Joe Dumars keeps his job past this season, so I'm not even including him as part of the future.

Really? I thought that Dumars was kind of given a pass up in Detroit for being the architect of of those wildly successful teams last decade. Is he feeling the heat up there?

Kstat
02-25-2011, 07:19 PM
He's feeling the heat because he put everybody in this mess, even if he hasn't been allowed to fix it. He hired Kuester over Thibodeau, he traded Billups, and he signed CV and Gordon with his cap space.

Maybe he'll stick around, but it's doubtful. The town has definitely turned on him.


The sad thing is, his drafting the last few seasons has been very good, and that was the major knock on him for most of his tenure here.

This franchise badly needs a shot in the arm. Maybe it's a big name player,a big name GM, or a big name coach, or a former hero (Bill Laimbeer) coming back to be part of the organization.


Nobody in Detroit believes in this franchise anymore, and something has to be done to change that, and get people to come back to the Palace. Gores would have to be blind not to see that as well.

Scot Pollard
02-26-2011, 01:56 AM
****ing kuester got thrown out of the game tonight

is this douchebag for real

he complains to the refs like a woman from the games ive seen

just name brian hill your head coach already detroit hes not a bad option

rock747
02-26-2011, 02:09 AM
Players have too much control in the NBA, this coach is done.

wintermute
02-26-2011, 05:17 AM
Just an incredible situation in Detroit.

Question: a number of the rebellious Piston players are free agents next summer. Does this act hurt them in the market? I can see the Pacers possibly being interested in Stuckey (RFA), McGrady, and maybe Wilcox. Think teams would now have second thoughts?

pacer4ever
02-26-2011, 05:20 AM
Just an incredible situation in Detroit.

Question: a number of the rebellious Piston players are free agents next summer. Does this act hurt them in the market? I can see the Pacers possibly being interested in Stuckey (RFA), McGrady, and maybe Wilcox. Think teams would now have second thoughts?

I wouldnt mind T-mac but he is gonna go to a contender. I dont want Stuckey or Wilcoxs

CableKC
02-26-2011, 05:26 AM
Jerebko is a very good young player, but he's been forgotten.

In the NBA, nothing is for a long time if you have good management.
Isn't Jerebko injured and out for the season?

CableKC
02-26-2011, 05:27 AM
I wouldnt mind T-mac but he is gonna go to a contender. I dont want Stuckey or Wilcoxs
Why not Stuckey?

He seems like a very solid Starting qaulity scoring Combo Guard. But he's a RFA....the Pistons will match.

pacer4ever
02-26-2011, 05:29 AM
Why not Stuckey?

He seems like a very solid Starting qaulity scoring Combo Guard. But he's a RFA....the Pistons will match.

$$$$

Also he is gonna be a SG in the future I dont like his defense andhis shooting ablity

Heisenberg
02-26-2011, 06:55 AM
Kuester got tossed arguing with the refs and apparently the Pistons bench laughed about it. They also only played 6 guys, I don't know if there's legitimate reasons for some of the benchings but McGrady, Prince, Wallace, Daye, and Stuckey are all in the boxscore as DNPCD's.

I don't give a damn how bad Kuester may be or how much the team wants him gone, giggling like a bunch of children when your coach gets tossed is about as unprofessional as it gets. I wouldn't give Joe Dumars's problems to a MONKEY ON A ROCK!

Kstat
02-26-2011, 08:50 AM
Isn't Jerebko injured and out for the season?

He should be back in a few weeks. He moved into Arnie Kander's home four months ago in an attempt to speed up his rehab.

Really good kid. I can't stress that enough. How many players would bust their *** like that just to get in a few meaningless weeks during a dreadful season?

BlueNGold
02-26-2011, 09:32 AM
Kuester is awful.

With that said, have Rip, Prince, and Wallace ever had a coach they didn't ***** about?

This is an excellent point.

BringJackBack
02-26-2011, 10:08 AM
Would the Pistons match for Stuckey?

Kstat
02-26-2011, 10:27 AM
Would the Pistons match for Stuckey?

It's impossible to say, since a new owner and possibly a new Gm will be pulling the strings by then.

They'd have to be stupid not to want Stuckey back. Would they match at any cost? I hope not.

I'd offer $6-7 million or so any cut him loose if he got a more lucrative offer.

idioteque
02-26-2011, 11:20 AM
Wow, I hate the Pistons as much as the next guy, but they played an admirable brand of basketball last decade and to know their players laughed at their coach after he got thrown out is just disgusting. But with the players union these guys can probably do whatever the **** they want without getting in much trouble. I really don't like this player boycott idea, it sets a horrible precedent.

I wanted JOB gone as much as the next guy, but if our players refused to play for him, they would have been booed by me whether it was Hibbert or TJ Ford. You signed a multimillion dollar contract to play a game, be a man and play out the contract.

Kstat
02-26-2011, 12:35 PM
...now you can fully understands the depths of which I do not want Rip Hamilton anywhere near this franchise anymore.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-hamiltonpistons022611

Hamilton at center of Pistons’ turmoil


By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports44 mi



About a week prior to his banishment to the Detroit Pistons’ bench in January, Richard Hamilton(notes) berated coach John Kuester in a jarring and expletive-filled diatribe on the practice court, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

As stunned coaches and teammates watched, Hamilton bellowed at Kuester that he had been a failure in his two seasons in Detroit, blown the opportunity the franchise afforded him and was nothing more than a career assistant coach, sources said. Despite Hamilton yelling within inches of him, Kuester didn’t respond.

Several of the team’s younger players were mortified watching it and privately told agents and associates they wished they had the courage to stand up, confront Hamilton and try to take control back from the disgruntled veteran. Nevertheless, Hamilton influences a powerful lobby in the Pistons’ locker room, including veteran leaders Tayshaun Prince(notes) and Ben Wallace(notes).

The early January incident was the second time Hamilton had initiated a confrontation with Kuester this season, sources said, and it ultimately spurred the benching that led to such public acrimony. Once a cornerstone of an NBA championship and six straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals, Hamilton helped orchestrate a player protest on Friday morning by skipping the team’s morning shootaround in Philadelphia.

Kuester played Hamilton two more games in early January – which included a scoreless performance against Chicago – before moving him to the bench on a permanent basis. Since Jan. 10, Hamilton’s s played only one game for the Pistons.

With $25 million left on a contract that runs through the 2013 season, Hamilton had been nearly impossible to trade for Detroit. Still, Pistons general manager Joe Dumars and Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant had an agreement to send Hamilton and a lottery-protected 2012 first-round draft pick for a $12.6 million trade exception and a second-round draft pick on Thursday, sources said.


Cleveland was mostly interested in the draft pick, but was willing to let Hamilton join the team for the remainder of his contract. Once Hamilton made clear he didn’t want to play for a last-place team, his representatives discussed a contract buyout that would’ve allowed him to likely join the Chicago Bulls, sources said. Cleveland wanted him to take $18 million in the buyout, arguing that he could secure his 2011-12 salary now when it’s possible that money wouldn’t be paid him during a lockout next season.

Hamilton declined, and the trade died within an hour of the Thursday afternoon deadline. Hamilton stayed in Detroit, and turned out to be one of several players who boycotted Friday’s shootaround and were benched in the 110-94 loss to the 76ers.

Fines are expected for the players who were without an excuse for missing the shootaround. Despite Kuester’s struggles, the prospect of firing him in-season has been difficult to even broach because of the uncertainty of the franchise’s expected ownership change. As the organization waits for a pending sale to businessman Tom Gore, basketball operations have been largely crippled to make moves that impact finances

xIndyFan
02-26-2011, 12:46 PM
rip is such a dick. the only teams that could take him on are teams with a strong veteran leadership group [boston, LAL, ATL, etc]. there is no way i would want him around any young players.

any chance the pistons will at some point jamaal him. ie just tell him to go home and stay there until his contract is over?

imawhat
02-26-2011, 12:47 PM
I hope Detroit signs Kuester to a lifetime contract. That's how much I think of him and the Pistons.

vnzla81
02-26-2011, 12:57 PM
Is funny how Cleveland wanted him and he said nope, that team was going to be interesting to watch if he wanted to play there I think.

idioteque
02-26-2011, 01:22 PM
...now you can fully understands the depths of which I do not want Rip Hamilton anywhere near this franchise anymore.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-hamiltonpistons022611

Hamilton at center of Pistons’ turmoil

My fraternity brother used to live next door to Rip in Maryland and yeah, I never heard much good about him.

How have the Pistons not just told him to go away like we did with Tinsley? The fact that they are keeping him around befuddles me.

idioteque
02-26-2011, 01:24 PM
Is funny how Cleveland wanted him and he said nope, that team was going to be interesting to watch if he wanted to play there I think.

Players should have no right to veto a trade unless the provisions of their negotiated contract allow them to.

Kstat
02-26-2011, 01:34 PM
My fraternity brother used to live next door to Rip in Maryland and yeah, I never heard much good about him.

How have the Pistons not just told him to go away like we did with Tinsley? The fact that they are keeping him around befuddles me.

...because Rip controls the locker room. Simply benching him nearly set off an atom bomb.

Kstat
02-26-2011, 01:35 PM
Players should have no right to veto a trade unless the provisions of their negotiated contract allow them to.

...and they don't. However, what they can do is threaten to make whatever team that wants them miserable in an attempt to scare them off, which is apparently what Rip did.

NapTonius Monk
02-26-2011, 01:50 PM
Way to thank Detroit for giving you another opportunity to resurrect your career McGrady.

Kuq_e_Zi91
02-26-2011, 02:04 PM
Billups was more than just valuable on the court, it looks like he really kept Rip in check. Rip has been a child ever since his babysitter was traded.

No to Stuckey. Lance can be a mini version of Stuckey if you want a tweener guard who can bully other point guards, get in the lane, and has a nice touch around the rim. Wouldn't make sense to overpay (DET would match) for something we already have.

Kstat
02-26-2011, 02:05 PM
Way to thank Detroit for giving you another opportunity to resurrect your career McGrady.

That's guy guy I'm most disappointed in.

Hicks
02-26-2011, 02:14 PM
Why not send him away like we did Tinsley? We didn't bench Jamaal, we asked him to not even enter the building.

travmil
02-26-2011, 02:20 PM
Because Rip has more clout with the guys in that locker room than Jamaal had in ours. If they send Rip away they will lose the few remaining guys as well. And Rips clout in that locker room is well earned. He isn't what he used to be but he does have a ring. It's easier to send Tins away than to send a guy away who has one ring and payed in another Finals.

Sookie
02-26-2011, 04:01 PM
Dang, didn't know Rip was such a problem.

rexnom
02-26-2011, 04:45 PM
Nothing less than season-long suspensions for these guys is appropriate, I think. This is a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous precedent.

vnzla81
02-26-2011, 04:46 PM
By the way, why is Cleveland taking on 18mil for a 1st round pick? this makes no sence.

Bball
02-26-2011, 05:00 PM
Jim O'Brien is available immediately to coach the Pistons. ...Tell Dumars to just pick up the phone and call him...

Sookie
02-26-2011, 05:04 PM
Jim O'Brien is available immediately to coach the Pistons. ...Tell Dumars to just pick up the phone and call him...

That'd be a pretty good punishment for those five guys. Someone should just tell O'brien they're rookies..:laugh:

O'Braindead
02-26-2011, 05:08 PM
http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/pistons-laugh-coach-ejected-video/

:unimpress :mygod: :shakehead :surprised

That's just terrible. The person that I am most disappointed in in this whole fiasco is Tracy McGrady. I thought he had more respect than that and the Pistons basically revived his career.

They're poisoning the likes of Monroe, Stuckey, and Jerebko. There is no way in the world that I would ever want Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace, and Chris Wilcox. No matter how bad of a coach John Kuester is, you don't do something like that to embarrass the whole city of Detroit.

speakout4
02-26-2011, 05:13 PM
Damn Pistons if they aren't causing a brawl they do something like this. Must be really boring just sitting on the piston bench.

Blink
02-26-2011, 05:19 PM
I just got deja vu

idioteque
02-26-2011, 05:28 PM
...and they don't. However, what they can do is threaten to make whatever team that wants them miserable in an attempt to scare them off, which is apparently what Rip did.

That's an incredibly ****ty thing to do, these players really should have little say in where they're traded especially if they're acting up.

What Rip is doing is wrong on so many levels.

Is there a way to just suspend these guys for the rest of the year and sign a bunch of NBDL guys at the minimum or will that not work financially? I'm trying to think if the Pacers were under the cap after the brawl suspensions, if not, how did they sign all those cast offs like Britton Johnsen to fill up roster spots?

idioteque
02-26-2011, 05:30 PM
I just got deja vu

Really? This situation makes it look like JOB was our Phil Jackson. And that's basically because the Pacers have an extraordinary percentage of guys with great heads on their shoulders.

BringJackBack
02-26-2011, 05:33 PM
Why wouldn't Kuester just resign?

pacer4ever
02-26-2011, 05:36 PM
Why wouldn't Kuester just resign?

He would then lose his pay check. When they fire him he gets his full pay of the contract.

vnzla81
02-26-2011, 05:36 PM
Why wouldn't Kuester just resign?

Because he is like Jim, stubborn.

pacer4ever
02-26-2011, 05:37 PM
Because he is like Jim, stubborn.

No its all about $$$$

vnzla81
02-26-2011, 05:39 PM
KBerg_CBS The Pistons fined Rip Hamilton and Chris Wilcox for missing shootaround without an excuse, but are not contemplating a coaching change.

idioteque
02-26-2011, 05:40 PM
As a fan of the Pacers who will never forget John Green and his classless ilk it makes me laugh, but as a fan of the NBA it scares the **** out of me.

shags
02-26-2011, 05:46 PM
KBerg_CBS The Pistons fined Rip Hamilton and Chris Wilcox for missing shootaround without an excuse, but are not contemplating a coaching change.

Pistons need to change coaches. It must have been really bad for it to get to that point.

That said, what I would do is fire Kuester (or have him "resign" while receiving his full paycheck, as suggested by Marc Stein) and make Joe Dumars coach the team (as suggested by Terry Foster of the Detroit News). He created this mess.

Then, I'd banish Hamilton for the rest of the season, at a minimum. He's the ringleader of this crap, so it'd be ironic for the Pistons to change coaches and have him be unable to play.

Swish
02-26-2011, 06:21 PM
Sources say the alleged player boycott was actually a "perfect storm" that resulted in half the team not showing up or showing up late. Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady were both ill. Ben Wallace has a brother who is gravely ill and has been emotionally distraught for several days. Chris Wilcox overslept. Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey missed the team bus because the departure time was moved up from 11 to 10:30 a.m. They have insisted to team officials they did not receive notification of the change.

The only player who actually missed shootaround without explanation, one source said, was Hamilton.

"The team boycott idea is being overblown," said the source. "It was more miscommunication than defiance."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6161438

Kstat
02-26-2011, 06:40 PM
All one big coincidence. Yep. That's all it was....

speakout4
02-26-2011, 07:44 PM
Some suspensions are in order. i am surprised that Joe Dumas would have let things get out of hand.

Blink
02-26-2011, 08:54 PM
Really? This situation makes it look like JOB was our Phil Jackson. And that's basically because the Pacers have an extraordinary percentage of guys with great heads on their shoulders.

I wasn't referring to JOB, I literally felt deja vu and it seemed like this happened to the Pistons before.

PaceBalls
02-26-2011, 09:04 PM
Cleveland wanted him to take $18 million in the buyout, arguing that he could secure his 2011-12 salary now when it’s possible that money wouldn’t be paid him during a lockout next season.

Ok, he might be a dick and all, but which one of you guys is going to leave 18 million on the table because of that argument?

I wouldn't.

wintermute
02-26-2011, 09:42 PM
Ok, he might be a dick and all, but which one of you guys is going to leave 18 million on the table because of that argument?


No, Rip gets to keep $18m out of the roughly $27m owed to him. So that's a 66% buyout, as compared to the usual going rate of 80%.

IMO he should have taken the buyout and try to make it up elsewhere. Chicago still had cap space - they could have given him a deal starting at $3m. If he performs well, he could easily make up the buyout discount.

PaceBalls
02-26-2011, 10:03 PM
No, Rip gets to keep $18m out of the roughly $27m owed to him. So that's a 66% buyout, as compared to the usual going rate of 80%.

IMO he should have taken the buyout and try to make it up elsewhere. Chicago still had cap space - they could have given him a deal starting at $3m. If he performs well, he could easily make up the buyout discount.

Oh I thought he was owed more than that... Still, that is leaving at least 9m on the table and hoping someone signs him for 9m over the length of the current contract and that is just to break even... that still doesn't make sense to me.

idioteque
02-26-2011, 10:08 PM
By the way, why is Cleveland taking on 18mil for a 1st round pick? this makes no sence.

I've read that Gilbert is willing to spend whatever it takes to make Cleveland a contender again. Whether or not that will work given the team's location and history, I don't know, but I guess it helps.

AesopRockOn
02-26-2011, 11:54 PM
How do you pronounce his name?

bulldog
02-27-2011, 01:52 AM
All one big coincidence. Yep. That's all it was....

Seriously, some PR person somewhere should be fired. Their alternate explanation is such a terrible hatchet job.

Heisenberg
02-27-2011, 04:24 AM
How do you pronounce his name?
cue-ster

Kstat
02-27-2011, 08:47 AM
I still don't like Kuester, but it felt really good to see him high-five all the players that went out last night and got him a W against a team we hadn't beaten in 6 years.

The silver lining I suppose, is that we found out the young players on the team were not affected by Rip's childishness. They acted more like professionals than the guys with championship rings.

I think it also may have given Kuester the opening needed to let Rip and his his buddies know that they may as well not show up to work from now on.


Bob Wojnowski
Young Pistons show veterans how to act and win

Auburn Hills -- Someone stood up, finally, even as others still sat. The Pistons certainly didn't end their crisis Saturday night, but at least they showed a spirited effort to push past it.

The players' disgusting mini-mutiny has passed and their coach is still standing, and what has been gained? Not much. Maybe a new appreciation for teamwork, unity and respect. Or maybe just a desire to stop embarrassing a franchise and themselves.

Still without veterans Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace, the Pistons' youngsters powered past Utah 120-116 at The Palace, and for one night, there was a boost in the building, and even a little remorse.

Rodney Stuckey scored 28 points and said it was his fault he missed the morning practice Friday, along with six teammates. He said he overslept, simple as that, and was not making a statement against coach John Kuester.

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"I take full responsibility, and it won't happen again," Stuckey said. "Coach did the right thing, suspending me for a game. I respect that."

Austin Daye, who scored 18 points, had the exact same story and the exact same contriteness. He said he overslept and had no excuse for it. It seemed this was the new theme -- accountability -- and it was much-needed.

"I apologize to the Pistons fans and the Pistons family for being late," Daye said. "That's not a mistake I'm gonna make again. For me personally, I have no problem with coach. He's been playing me, so why would I protest someone that's playing me?"

So it's over for now, although not really. None of the veteran players spoke Saturday night, and McGrady wasn't even around.
Kuester becomes victim

If any perspective was gained, plenty still was lost, which is the enduring shame of this. Kuester probably won't be fired until after the season, and there's an irony here. By being unprofessional and insubordinate, players turned Kuester from an overmatched coach into a quasi-victim.

Joe Dumars can't fire him yet, not with the ownership in flux, not with only 21 games remaining, not with the message it'd send, that players are running the show. Hamilton feels mistreated and discarded and some veterans apparently agree.

Seven players missed a workout in Philadelphia, although McGrady (headache), Prince (upset stomach) and Wallace (family issue) were excused. Hamilton was not, and neither were Daye, Stuckey and Chris Wilcox.

So players can shift the focus, and they should, but they can't undo the message. I asked Dumars if Kuester definitely was still his coach.

"Yes, he is," Dumars said, declining to address the topic further.

He added: "This is not how we do business here. I just want us to get back to Piston basketball -- hard work, professionalism and character."

Again, without the veterans on the floor, the energy was ratcheted Saturday night. I suppose that means precisely what we think it means, that the young guys were hungry.

It's still hard to see this melding into a unified team, with all that toxicity. Prince, who had played well, was in uniform but was still sick and didn't play. Hamilton sat behind the Pistons bench in street clothes again. Wallace was excused and rightly so -- his brother passed away after a lengthy illness. McGrady wasn't on the bench at all.

"There was a cohesiveness we hadn't had, and an energy we hadn't had on a consistent basis," Kuester said. "I tip my hat to these guys. They gave me everything they had."

The Pistons (22-39) still aren't going anywhere, limping to the end of the season. But if these guys want respect and futures, how about scrapping for them?

That's what has to happen, and let me say this: Good for Kuester. Again, he's not blameless in this, but he has handled the mess a lot better than others. And this victory had to mean far more than most.

Before the game, Kuester appeared bothered but determined.

"There's a right way and a wrong way to do things," he said. "For me personally, it's over. We've got to move on."
No future for Hamilton

Hamilton needs to go home and stay home because it doesn't matter how right he thinks he is. He's going about this wrong, still saying he has a sore groin, still displaying a sour disposition.

If Hamilton has no desire to make this work, he should be sent away permanently. The Pistons tried, but he reportedly nixed a deal to Cleveland by refusing to accept a $16 million buyout, even though the Cavaliers would have let him go, leaving him free to sign with contenders Boston or Chicago as a free agent.

If that's not what happened, Hamilton is entitled to set the record straight. He wasn't around to talk with the media after the game, his absence filled by young guys who wanted to play. After a horrible couple of days in which a proud franchise was embarrassed, and a nice-guy coach was not-so-subtly attacked, there actually was solid effort and something to see.

Take responsibility, admit mistakes, move on. What concepts, huh?

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110226/OPINION03/102260403/Young-Pistons-show-veterans-how-to-act-and-win#ixzz1FA9F2dv7

Kstat
02-27-2011, 08:55 AM
My guess is Stuckey and Daye got phone calls and were told they would go down in flames along with Rip and the veterans if they didn't show up to practice, and ultimately relented.