Now it is getting really ridiculous.
Pistons coach John Kuester has lost all control of his team and is essentially facing a mutiny. Kuester’s ongoing rift with Rip Hamilton has festered all year and now it seems evident the coach is not respected by his players. And when that happens, right or wrong, the coach has to go.
On Friday morning Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamiliton, and Chris Wilcox failed to show up at the mandatory shootaround, Ben Wallace wasn’t present while Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey showed up as the shoot around ended. The Detroit News reported that a team source called it a “player protest.”
In the Friday night loss to Philadelphia, Kuester got back at his rebels by only playing six players, all of whom appeared at the shootaround. During the game Kuester was ejected and right after it happened the benched players were seen laughing on camera.
The Piston situation is now extremely embarrassing and if Joe Dumars doesn’t fire Kuester now, perhaps Dumars should also hit the road which might happen anyway when a new owner is announced.
This sad situation reminds of the Red Wings 40 years ago when the players signed a letter stating that they could no longer play for head coach Ned Harkness.
Like the Pistons, the Red Wing players lost all respect for their coach. Harkness was a former successful college coach who was way over his head in the NHL. In a bizarre move, Red Wing owner Bruce Norris removed Harkness as coach but two days after the mutiny letter was delivered he promoted Harkness to General Manager where he got his revenge by trading away half the team as the Wings entered the “Dead Wing Era” for the next two decades.
It will be very interesting to see what transpires in the next couple of days based upon this incident. With sagging attendance, the franchise can’t afford to implode any further live in living color throughout the country.
If I were a betting man, I believe Kuester will be gone within 48 hours. And he should be gone because right or wrong his players won’t play for him.