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Report: Five Pistons players skip practice to protest coach

Feb 25, 2011, 2:34 PM EDT

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The ongoing skirmish between Pistons players and coach John Kuester just ratcheted up a notch. Or five.

Five players were absent from Pistons morning shootaround Friday in Philadelphia in what a source told the Detroit News was a protest of the coach. Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace were not at the shootaround (although Wallace has been out for a few games dealing with a personal issue so his situation is different). Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey showed up as shootaround ended saying they missed the bus.

There were excuses for missing the shootaround — McGrady had a headache, for example — but apparently the message was clear. Kuester said he would start the guys who did show for shootaround.

Kuester and his players have been fighting all season, with Prince and Kuester having words, Wallace basically saying the team doesn’t play hard for the coach and, and the Hamilton train wreck. Now this. And that is just the public stuff, behind closed doors the Pistons players are more than happy to complain about Kuester and how he treats and communicates with players. These are veteran players — ones past their prime, hence the 21-38 record — who expect to be treated a certain way. They feel they are not be, and things have gotten progressively worse as the season has worn on. Just like the Pistons play.

With the Pistons in the midst of an ownership sale, it doesn’t seem likely you’d see a coaching change soon. That means tension will likely continue the rest of the season. And the team will spiral downward with it. Sorry Pistons fans.

  1. chargerdillon - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Congrats Detroit Pistons! You made your first news headline of the season!!!!!

    If it weren’t for this story I wouldn’t have known the Pistons were even playing this season at all

    • steelyres211 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      If you had seen any of their games, you’d know that they really aren’t.

      HEY-OH!

  2. willcoop - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Innmates running the asylum! Out of the group of five that didn’t show, collectively you couldn’t get a bag of spoi
    Ed meat for them. Rip and Prince are the only ones with some value.

    • kindasporty - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      I never liked that phrase when talking about sports. It implies that the players should have no say in who they work for and should just sit back and always do as they’re told. Players are people too and not only that but their careers and how much money they make can be affected by the ability of their coach. Besides it’s not like they’re protesting because they’re coach is asking them to run or play defense, it’s a complete lack of respect for the players that’s the problem.

  3. hollywood26 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    I’ve seen alot of comments about Tmac in my time, but never that he was a knucklehead or a coach killer. At a certain point when EVERYONE (excluding the people who could be cut instantly) seems to be having it up to here with the coach maybe it’s the coach.

    • polegojim - Feb 25, 2011 at 10:04 PM

      That’s exactly the point. Most of these guys were contending for titles, they know how to win.

      Now they need a control freak to show them how to win??? NAH, the coach must go.

      Bye. Take the River. Take 96. Head West. The 313 must be set free.

      Let’s get back to Piston basketball. Bad Boys, Bad Boys.

  4. BC - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Hamilton and Prince are still very good players. This isn’t a playoff team, but they shouldn’t be 17 games under .500.

  5. henryd3rd - Feb 25, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Let us see here. A 21-38 record. Most of the players are past their prime. Avery Johnson choose to coach in New Jersey for the Nets rather then coach these guys. The team is up for sale. And Coach Kuester’s resume’ seems to indicate that he got the job because he was the last candidate standing. And I thought things were horrible with our crazy owner Dolan in NY.

    • polegojim - Feb 25, 2011 at 10:05 PM

      That’s why they need a real coach. These guys have enough in the tank to rebuild and educate the Nex Gen of Piston Champs.

  6. jimsjam33 - Feb 25, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Put down the rebellion now . Trade Prince to the Clippers immediatly ! Oh that’s right . The trade dead line is over. Next season then .

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