From the outside looking in, the Detroit Pistons were a god-forsaken mess last season. A coach the players didn’t respect, a near mutiny at one point with players skipping a practice in protest and losses piling up fast on a proud franchise.
To put it in Detroit terms, they looked worse than the automotive industry. I’d say they were one of the biggest disasters in Detroit sports history, but the Lions have secured all the top spots on that list.
But as bad as it looked from the outside, it was worse on the inside.
That’s what Ben Gordon told Jonathan Abrams of Grantland.
“Last year, everything that possibly could have went wrong, went wrong. We had a lot of talent. There were a lot of issues in the front office, on the floor, with coaches, with players. It was just a mess. People from the outside looking in don’t realize how bad it was. It wasn’t conducive for playing basketball at a high level and it showed. It was pretty much what everybody saw. Some guys showed up to play. Some guys didn’t show up to play. Whatever point people were trying to prove by showing up or nothing showing up, those points were taken. Six guys showed up. Six guys played and a few other guys decided not to play that night. That was one of the uglier moments during the season. Moving forward, I don’t see that happening anymore. That was probably one of the lowest basketball moments I’ve ever been a part of. Because we’re all a team and we all shared that negative light. Regardless of who played that night, it was bad. But moving forward, I think the emphasis will be much different.”
Lawrence Frank is going to change some things about the franchise, and work ethic and attitude will be one of them. Guaranteed.
By the way, you should be checking out Abrams at Grantland. We can debate the overall value of that site, but Abrams has been killing it.
Will the players from any team be as happy to have a new coach as the Detroit Pistons?
There was serious infighting between the coach and the players last season, including players skipping practices and more.
Pistons forward Austin Daye doesn’t exactly say “don’t let the door hit you’re a– on the way out” but he didn’t shed a tear for Kuester in a conversation with the Daily Pilot.
“A new coach and a new system might be beneficial for me,” Daye said, who also said he is trying to bulk up and increase his weight, listed at 205 pounds last season. I’m definitely gaining weight,” Daye said. “It’s been a priority of mine.”
He could use to bulk up a little, but Kuester used him poorly — at the start of the season he had Tayshaun Prince at the three, Daye — all 205 pounds of him — at the four. It was a bad matchup, and Daye saw his minuted drop as the season wore on. Prince may well leave via free agency, and Daye should get a longer look at the three, where he is a more natural fit.
Daye’s new role will depend heavily on the new coach. What Pistons fans need to hope for is an organization that from new owner Tom Gores down through the coach to the equipment manager are on the same page. They are rebuilding, so pick the style of tem they want to be, hire a coach that can execute it and start building with players that fit the system.
Daye has the advantage of being versatile, he would fit in nearly any system.
The sale of the Detroit Pistons to Tom Gores has finally gone through, and he has taken only a few days to start the process of rebuilding the franchise.
That starts by firing coach John Kuester, as reported by a number of sources including ESPN.
“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” team president Joe Dumars said. “I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years, however, at this time we have decided to make a change.”
This was a change that needed to happen. Kuester was 57-105 in two seasons, and this past season the only headlines the Pistons made were as the team’s veteran rebelled against him, with internal squabbling and even missed practices.
Kuester was the assistant coach behind the offensive improvements in the Cavaliers offense during the LeBron James era there (although improved players had a lot to do with that, too). He likely will land somewhere as an assistant (back with Mike Brown, now in Los Angeles?). But as a head coach he clearly lost the team and would have lost his job more quickly had it not been for the sale of the team taking most of the season.
As for who is next, former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson was a Pistons assistant before. Aside that, expect the usual suspects, but it depends on what direction Gores wants to take the franchise in terms of style of play.