Unfortunately for the Pistons, the new season has picked up right where the old one left off — lots of injuries and losses.
And now, the infighting.
After the Pistons were manhandled by the Boston Celtics Wednesday, coach John Kuester called out his players for a lack of leadership, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
After saying no one is going to have sympathy for the injury-depleted Pistons, he said: “We have to collectively someway or somehow find another voice besides my own that is going to lead us.”
Tayshaun Prince said he was right… sort of. But if Kuester wants change he needs to heed Michael Jackson’s advice and start with the man in the mirror.
“… He’s right, but at the same time it goes both ways,” Prince said. “We can sit here and continue to get on each other and be vocal, but like I said, the right thing has got to come from him as well as us.
“It goes both ways. He says we got to be more vocal, he has to do some things better, too. Obviously, we’re 0-4 so it ain’t just the team.”
Ben Gordon questioned the coach adjustments the Pistons made on a hot Derrick Rose when the Bulls stormed back from 21 down to beat the Pistons just a few days ago.
Four games in and the finger-pointing has started in Detroit. Not good, not good at all. This has the potential to get really ugly really fast.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.