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Pistons officially have no respect left for John Kuester

Feb 26, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

IL: Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

Yesterday, the Pistons staged a “sleep-in protest” of John Kuester, with five pistons skipping practice.   Kuester responded by benching those players for last night’s game against the Sixers, and wound up playing just six players. In a shocker, the Pistons lost by a healthy margin. But that wasn’t the surprising part. Kuester was ejected from the game for arguing with officials. And the Pistons who were benched, including Tracy McGrady, Rodney Stuckey, Ben Wallace, and Austin Daye showed the proper respect for such a thing happening to their coach in his hometown in front of his daughter. By laughing. Check out the video.


Not cool, Pistons.

But that’s not all. ESPN reports that the players’ had organized such a move before the All-Star break, but were persuaded not to by assurances Kuester would be fired over the break. After he was not fired, Rip Hamilton not traded and denied a buyout opportunity, the players were moved to go through with whatever they thought yesterday would accomplish. The result is about as close to a mutiny as you’re going to find.

The players’ biggest mistake here was surrendering the high ground publicly. Kuester’s a losing coach who obviously has lost the team. Simply following that line to its natural end would remove him. Even going to the media would have resulted in a better result than yesterday’s fiasco. Because now the media and fans will turn on you. They’ll abide discontent, they won’t abide quitting. If the players were avoiding the press for fear of a fine, that was a pointless pursuit because they’re sure going to be fined or suspended now.

Kuester has not been a good coach in Detroit, but the players shouldn’t have done this. It does make you wonder, though, what would drive a group  of veterans, who, whatever their reputations, have always shown up to work, to take such drastic measures. As executive management, Joe Dumars has to punish the players. But he’s also got to look to the source of such behavior.

The only real victims here are Pistons fans.

  1. kindasporty - Feb 26, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see Joe Dumars make everybody live with each other until the end of the season then blow the whole thing up. That way he wouldn’t be giving in to the players and letting them dictate who the coach is. I’m not saying that’s the right way to handle it but based on the past when Dumars didn’t fire Flip Saunders simply because the players wanted him to, it wouldn’t surprise me if he took the same route here.

  2. zackd2 - Feb 26, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Tracy McGrady is laughing because it brings back memories – he knows what it feels like to sit on the bench in a suit and do nothing to help your team win.

    • goforthanddie - Feb 26, 2011 at 3:23 PM


  3. henryd3rd - Feb 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    The paying fans who forked over their hard earned money to see six players take the court should get a refund for this debacle. Where is the King David Stern while this travesty was going on? No doubt the inmates are running the asylum; but what the hell was John Kuester thinking benching half the team for the entire game? Yeah this was
    really a great object lesson and I am sure those guys really respect you now. Let’s hope Kuester hasn’t purchased a home yet?

    • zackd2 - Feb 26, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      So now coaches can’t discipline players because of the fans? Just hire Mike Brown if you want that.

      • henryd3rd - Feb 26, 2011 at 9:24 PM

        Wrong man for the job. There’s a difference between coaching college athlete and these spoiled pros. Plus what were Kuester’s qualifications before taking the Pistons’ head coaching job? He was an career assistant coach and this job fell in his lap. I blame Joe Dumars for this mess not Kuester.

    • ahealthyscratch - Feb 26, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      Not for nothing, the game was in Philly, and the fans were paying to see this team get to .500. So yeah, as a Sixers fan, I’ll take those six players sitting on the bench

  4. willcoop - Feb 26, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    This is clearly just as much managements fault because they knew this was happening and allowed it to happen. Those players that pulled that crap should be made to give money back, and I would go as far as to see under what violation of their contract that this violated. If these hoofs pulled that working a REAL job they would be looking at their butts through unemployment. T-Mac, you can sit there and laugh when all you have done is slept the last seven years away and collected a bunch of money. Ben Wallace if you couldn’t rebound you would have a job working in the park district as an intramural basketball official. I’m not saying the coach is not culpable, but what I am saying is the organization should have nipped this in the bud before it turned into ringing brothers. It’s clearly a black eye to the league and just watch, when the new CBA comes out I promise this will be something the owners fix right away. The players have waaaaay to much power and the coaches not named Jackson, Popovich, Rivers or the retired Coach Sloan would not accept this.

  5. zackd2 - Feb 26, 2011 at 12:16 PM;_ylt=AsbtKGeTOUKIwVGOCi0NKxe8vLYF?slug=aw-hamiltonpistons022611

    Richard Hamilton – such a classy player.

  6. jsarge99 - Feb 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    He wanted to show that the team could win without them?

  7. heyooooh - Feb 26, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    So gladthe Bulls didn’t sign TMac this offseason. He’s always seemed like a problem child. Never happy with the coach. He’s also been way overrated.

    • henryd3rd - Feb 26, 2011 at 9:26 PM

      T-Mac has never shown he understand the team concept. He looks for his shot and if its not there then and only then will he pass. Has any team he has ever been on gotten past the second round of the playoffs. No!!!!! Nuff Said!

  8. mikeminnc - Feb 26, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    What a surprise that Tracy McGrady is involved. He’s brought excellence and class to every team he’s played for…..

  9. progress2011 - Feb 27, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Many third world countries have better living conditions, than that of Detroit. It is hazardous to walk, drive or even breath the nasty Detroit air. Crime stats mainly capture the homicides but not all the smaller crime such as pick pocket victims, purse snatchings etc. America should be ashamed to have a state within our union as deplorable as Detroit.
    I said all that to say, the players should do EVERYTHING within their legal power, to get outta Detroit…to include sitting out games / faking injuries etc.

    • ahealthyscratch - Feb 27, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      Hey big guy:

      Detroit is a city. Michigan is a state.

    • zackd2 - Feb 27, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      McGrady wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for Detriot, so if he wants out he can go retire.

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