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Tracy McGrady sitting out the rest of the preseason bothers me

Tracy McGrady will likely miss the rest of the preseason. So, of course, Keith Langlois penned an article for a pistons.com titled, “T-Mac: ‘It Feels Good’.”

The propaganda machine is in full force. Yes, the story about why McGrady can’t play is actually called “T-Mac: ‘It Feels Good’.” I understand the Pistons want to spin news to be as positive as possible, but can’t they use even a little subtlety?

McGrady spent a lot of time at media day talking about how good he felt. He said he was back in shape. He said, without question, he was the healthiest he’s been in the last three years. He even joked that it’s like he’s 29, not his real age of 31, because he hadn’t played the last two seasons.

A couple weeks later, the tune out of Auburn Hills has changed. And it’s not just pistons.com. The rest of the media has eagerly picked up the company line.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

T-Mac has hardly played in two seasons. Would be unrealistic to think he would be completely ready to go. #Pistons

Now that McGrady playing hasn’t worked, it was the plan all along? Really?

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

The bigger picture, he believes, is not proving he can play in exhibitions. Which is why Pistons strength-and-conditioning coach Arnie Kander didn’t take him through the gamut over the summer.

It seems the two are taking a more gradual approach.

McGrady didn’t agree to terms with the with the Pistons until Aug. 10. Even if he began working with Kander immediately, it’s disingenuous to say Kander had a significant impact on McGrady’s summer workout regimen.

But it obviously benefits the Pistons to plant that seed. Fans trust Kander. If he said McGrady needed to take it easy this summer, well, McGrady needed to take it easy this summer.

Is it the knee?

Maybe there’s more than meets the eye here. Maybe McGrady’s knee is actually the problem. If you want to make that case, this McGrady quote, via Goodwill, at the beginning of training camp would be Exhibit A:

"Can’t put the knee aside, that’s the major issue," he said. "If I didn’t have any problems with my knee, I would be myself."

I don’t think the Pistons would rush to admit McGrady’s knee still bothers him. I think that would embarrass them, especially given how the Bulls very publicly passed on McGrady after a workout:

According to two people who witnessed the workout, McGrady shot the ball well but didn’t move with much fluidity or exhibit superior conditioning.

Rare time this matters

Most of the time, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s no secret: the NBA regular season is pretty meaningless relative to other sports. The preseason is even more meaningless. Players use training camp, the preseason and even the regular season to get into shape all the time.

But McGrady is a fringe rotation player on this team. Coming to camp out of shape is a big deal, especially in a preseason where the team is preaching competition and accountability.

In theory, the Pistons shouldn’t give McGrady special treatment. In practicality, with Austin Daye playing so well, they don’t need to. They owe us a better explanation than they’ve given.

Maybe McGrady couldn’t get into proper shape because his knee was bothering him prior to camp. I think that would be a reasonable excuse for him sitting out. But that probably opens another can of worms about why they signed him.

Maybe, after so much time away from the game, McGrady underestimated the conditioning necessary to be ready for the season. I don’t think that would be a reasonable excuse for McGrady sitting out.

Either way, the Pistons’ message can’t be: McGrady is fine, he just can’t play basketball. That’s not reasonable.

Someone has some explaining to do.

42 Comments

  • Oct 15, 20105:08 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    A+

  • Oct 15, 20106:04 pm
    by Dhruv

    Reply

    Guys, I’m lookin for an affiliation http://netssn.wordpress.com/ can you check me out and let me know if that would be possible.

  • Oct 15, 20106:49 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    ditto nuetes. well done.
     
    my only gripe about this blog entry is this: the pistons have had a lot of explaining to do about EVERYTHING they’ve done for the past three years, and i don’t suspect any are forthcoming. the spin machine has been in full force for two solid seasons and a summer. i don’t hold this against langlois personally because his job is to be a living, breathing spin factory for his employers, but i’ve called him out a few times on contradictory statements and ridiculous excuses. at the very least, i don’t think a little consistency with the bullsh*t they spew is too much to ask.
     
    i have a bigger problem with vincent goodwill, who writes the most useless, disingenuous sports articles known to man. i haven’t got a shred of respect for him or what he does, because his loyalty should be to the detroit news first and the readership second. instead, he pumps out the same kind of bogus blogs the pistons do. langlois is mandated to toe the company line, but goodwill should have more respect for his readership and his profession. his “articles” are relentlessly positive and offer nothing to critical thinkers who live in the real world. he should be ashamed of himself. and if he isn’t, he should be doubly ashamed for not being ashamed. off the top of my head it’s hard to think of a journalist i respect less.

  • Oct 15, 20108:13 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    When I read about T-Mac and the Pistons (and the price) my first thought was how will he fit in.  I’ve thought about this awhile and come to my own personal conclusion as to where T-Mac fits in and I’ll share it with you.  I see him starting at SG in a post-Rip world.  HANG ON A SECOND.  Ben Gordon gets the lionshare of the minutes but doesn’t start.  The 6th man position is where Ben Gordon belongs, he is awesome at it.  I don’t care if we have Aflalo or White, Rip, or McGrady, I want to see Ben Gordon getting plenty of minutes as the 6th man.  So, it doesn’t bother me so much that T-Mac is not playing.  Though, I can see why it would bother other Piston fans and I appreciate Feldman’s article.
     
    As an aside this forum should be about Pistons threads and they may lead to complimenting or critiquing the writers.  It shouldn’t be about calling out a writer (IMHO).

  • Oct 15, 20108:50 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Is Laser writing Bill Simmons columns now? This sounds very familiar:
    http://www.detroitbadboys.com/2010/10/15/1753427/bill-simmons-on-jod

  • Oct 15, 20109:20 pm
    by markbutter in SoCal

    Reply

    It’s the preseason and it’s an 82 game schedule. The most important thing is the MRI saying it’s structurally sound. That just means you have to get the “fast twitch” muscles used to working again at an NBA level while still getting the strength muscles along the process. At this point, since the knee is structurally sound, it’s all mental.  Picture Gale Sayers in Brian’s Song until he falls over the garbage can when they’re racing.  He’s still working on the no thought process.

    Even though the micro was in Feb 2009, he’s still going to have to get the knee back to NBA basketball. And really, his relationship with the Rockets means he didn’t have NBA caliber coaching/trainer during rehab process. The worst thing to do now is throw him in there because he’s making 1.3M. . . that’s peanuts. The pistons probably make that in parking every game. His knee is never going to be right. But getting it to respond to 60-70 high quality games and the playoffs is what this is about. The pistons did their due diligence and with Kandhar, they should have no problem getting him ready. Plus he’s antsy, he’s on a one year deal. He wants to be out there to show he can contribute, play 82+ and sign another deal longer than a year.

    Besides, with JJ out Daye gets more time and experience, that’s a good thing. People know what TMac can do. . given his limitations. Let’s see how big Daye can blow up (hopefully). But at the end of the day, game 82 and TMac is playing in his 60th game, he’s going to get the call before Daye does driving to the basket. And that’s what this is about. .. . I hope.

  • Oct 15, 20109:25 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Good column

    McGrady won’t be ready until December – don’t know if that was the plan but with the late signing, i expect it was given consideration. Basically, there is no risk here. The price was too cheap. Daye will get T-Mac’s minutes until T-Mac is ready and if Daye performs the way i think he can – he may just make T-Mac’s health a superfluous issue. Then, if healthy, McGrady is trade deadline bait. Or, as Alan suggests, starter or backup if Rip or Ben Gordon or Prince get moved instead.

  • Oct 15, 201010:53 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    That could be counted as copyright there Laser ;-)

  • Oct 16, 20103:10 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I’m going to pick on Simmons. First off Al Jefferson is not that great. The Timberwolves weren’t in the market for players, they were in the market for cap space. Utah used their trade exception for Jefferson, not players. They also traded some draft picks. There is no way Dumars could have met what they were looking for. I’m not sure Prince and Monroe are worth Jefferson even if that is what they were looking for.
     
    On the other hand. The Pistons should have sold the farm for Cousins. Whatever Sacramento wanted should have been theirs because Cousins is exactly what the Pistons needed and everybody knew it. Cousins is going to rebound like crazy. Look at his college numbers and look at the preseason. The guy is going to pull down the boards regardless of anything else he provides. He’s physical, he rebounds, and he’s a big man. Check, check, and check. If Dumars had any shot at that 5th pick he should have taken it. Whatever Monroe turns out to be Cousins will be better. 10 times better. In the NBA that is such a monumental difference it’s not even funny. I’d be too upset if I actually thought Dumars had a chance to get that pick, so I’m going to assume the Kings weren’t going to trade it under any circumstance just to make myself feel better.

  • Oct 16, 20103:30 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    @hayes: i’m confused.
     
    @everyone else: t-mac offers little reward. low-risk low-reward. unless he’s trade bait. if he can contribute after rip’s gone he’ll get paid ACTUAL money. money we can’t afford to throw at a shooting guard. and he’ll want to play for a winner. you think he WANTS to be on this sorry pistons team? nobody else would take him.
    This quote shows exactly what i saw at open practice: “McGrady shot the ball well but didn’t move with much fluidity or exhibit superior conditioning.” t-mac was ineffective and didn’t appear able to keep up. add to that contributors at his position like rip, gordon, stuckey, tayshaun and daye, and i just don’t see what t-mac could possibly add. great shooting in a bad body? it’s not enough. and even if he was healthy and productive, he’s only really valuable or worth a shot if we can trade him for something.

  • Oct 16, 20108:53 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Cousins would have been the answer to our problem. Like nuetes, i assume Joe did everything he could to pry that pick from Sacramento. The real fault lies with Q and his inexplicable win against Minnesota on the last day of the season.
     
    Daye had 18 points and 11 rebounds last night in 37 minutes. Greg Monroe looks turnover prone. He absolutely must get stronger. Like Daye last year, he is a year away from being ready to contribute on a nightly basis. Didn’t see the game but Cv had a nice stat line. Kevin Love just killed the Pistons. They have no answers on the roster for a talented big who can shoot. Unless a trade is made it is going to be a long season for the Pistons on the defensive end.

  • Oct 16, 201011:37 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Daye had another good game making the Mcgrady signing more questionable by the day. Monroe played a pretty lackluster 30 minutes. Ugh. The team shot horribly last night. That would tend to be the case when you have no inside game. Hit or miss. No Ben Wallace or Prince. No answer for Love, but I don’t think many teams are going to have an answer for him this year. He’s going to have a huge season.
     
    Is Monroe a year away? He has a ways to go, and he’s not the most athletic individual there is. He has to gain some muscle or fat I don’t care which. It looks like he has to get bigger to battle down there because he has no vertical.

  • Oct 17, 201010:07 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    same problems as last year. First Kevin Love kills them, then last night its Ty Thomas. The Pistons have no answer defensively to other teams big men. Both big strong shooting big men like Love or active athletic big men like Thomas.

    Gorat & Bass for CV & Wilcox

  • Oct 17, 20106:18 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    pcb are you on pcp? orlando would never make that trade. don’t waste people’s time with absurd trade proposals. you look ridiculous.

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  • Oct 18, 20109:32 am
    by H-town

    Reply

    Rockets fan here.  What you are witnessing is nothing more than what rockets fans experienced last year.  Lots of hype around mcgrady, but he never played and the explanations were always a little fuzzy.  Tmac some how gets special treatment in that regard.  Still to this day Im not certain if Tmac’s absences last year were due to conditioning, injury, attitude or all of the above.  Although Im leaning toward all of the above.
    My advice having dealt with this: Dont get your hopes up until he has play about 10-15 games of consistent play.  Only then will you really know what you have.  We actually never got that after his surgery, nor did New york.

  • Oct 18, 201010:47 am
    by Alan

    Reply

    @ H-town
    Google Arnie Kander and you will see why this time will be different.

    @ Those calling for Will Bynum to start
    …have to realize that the Bobcats game may have been Bynums worst game as a Piston.
    1.)  He had as many TOs as AST
    2.)  He made DJ Augustin look like Deron Williams
    3.)  Rodney Stuckey absolutely carved up Bobcats 2nd team and pretty much their 1st team as well.

    It almost doesn’t matter who starts for Detroit at PG because the backup will always look better.

  • Oct 18, 201010:52 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    The only value McGrady ever had, currently has, or will have to the Pistons is if he’s part of a larger trade. And this has been my opinion since we signed him: if he takes even one minute from Austin Daye’s development, he’s actually done harm to the organization.
     
    It was a bad move. It is a bad move. There’s time to redeem it if we can move him for something useful.

  • Oct 18, 201011:09 am
    by DoctorDaveT.com

    Reply

    Hey, PP,
    Alan:
    about Bynum starting, you wrote: “It almost doesn’t mater who starts for Detroit at PG because the backup will always look better.” Truer words were never spoken!
    That about sums up three positions in Detroit: QB, PG, & Goalie. Look back over the last 20 years, and how many “Quarterback (PG/Goalie) Controversies” have their been? Unless you’ve had a bona fide all-star (just ask Osgood about this) at the “QB” position, everyone’s favorite player has always been “the second string QB.” It’s our sad human nature to always believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
    Stuckey isn’t the answer as PG on most championship teams; but Bynum isn’t either. Who is the better player (not PG, just player)? Isn’t that Stuckey? In a perfect world, wouldn’t we have two less SGs and wouldn’t Stuckey start (or perhaps backup Rip)?
    Until then, our starting unit is going to be:
    PG – Stuckey
    SG – Rip
    C – Ben
    PF – CV
    SF – Prince
    with these guys getting major minutes:
    Gordon, Daye (he’s earning it on the court), Monroe (with JJ out, he’s going to play IF he can stay out of foul trouble). I like Bynum, but he’s not going to get major minutes. 10-15 a game is all he’ll get.
    Tmac? Kander is a legend, but I’m no longer even hopeful about him.
    I like Max, but I don’t see him with major minutes.
     

  • Oct 18, 201012:18 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @alan: 1) i’m not as high on arnie kander these days as i used to be. when thing go this bad, it’s easy to look at past success as having a lot to do with “luck.” sort of like the joe dumars situation. we’ll see what happens this season, and what kander can do with t-mac, but i no longer put these guys on a pedestal. they’ve both got a fair amount of work to do.
    2) if it doesn’t matter who starts as far as individual performance (and i don’t agree with that), i’d rather pair bynum with ripper, initiate the offense and get the ball moving to start games. stuckey is a prototypical “spark off the bench,” and when he comes in the game he can just be in attack mode. the only thing he does well is score, so put him in there after a few minutes and let him focus on that. he can’t rightly start games in attack mode and take all the shots if we want to win games.
     
    @brgulker: i generally agree with you. i don’t know what “a larger trade” means, but theoretically: if we could establish that he’s healthy and productive, we might be able to get a pick for him. and maybe that’s the wrong thing for the pistons to say publicly, but the man has nothing to offer this team as constructed.
     
    @doctordave: i don’t want to sound TOO rude, but i think most of your opinions are bogus, and based on the bulk of your generally shoddy and flawed analysis, i doubt you’re even a real doctor. there’s a chance you’re right about bynum getting 10-15 minutes, but that’s far less than he deserves as the best point guard we have, and it will be a reflection on how packed we are on the perimeter. but if you think rip, stuckey and gordon are a recipe for backcourt success, you should go back to med school. and if you don’t think max will get major minutes, you have WAAAAAY too much faith that CV and G-Money will be able to stay out of foul trouble. max is going to get MAJOR minutes out of necessity this season, since he’s somehow the surest thing we have up front. but none of your analysis surprises me, because i don’t think you generally get the analysis right at all. just my 2 cents.

  • Oct 18, 20101:09 pm
    by kalorama

    Reply

     

    Nicely written piece. I agree that the smokescreen surrounding McGrady is troublesome, largely because it leads me to believe that the Pistons have already started drinking his kool-aid before the ice has even started to melt. And the other thing is, it’s not like his knee is the only physical problem he has on his resume. He also has a history of back problems which tend not to just go away. McGrady is a player who, in his prime, depended hugely on his physical superiority and athleticism to succeed. Having been stripped of those due to age and injury, he’s nothing special. If the Pistons were a vet team angling for a title run, I could see them rolling the dice on a guy like McGrady in hopes that he’ll have one last bounce back season in him. But given that they’re a rebuilding team with a young core and several developing players, McGrady’s addition to an already crowded backcourt makes no sense, esp. when you consider his rep as a something less that a locker room leader.

  • Oct 18, 20102:13 pm
    by DontDoCurses

    Reply

    how about this conspiracy…. T-Mac was signed to give the Pistons a superstar to help with the sale of the franchise… and maybe that’s why there’s no forthcoming info.
    i’m willing to trust Kander… he has performed miracles before.  and if it takes a month or 3 longer to see results, SO BE IT.  its not like T-mac is costing the Pistons anything.
    compare T-Mac to Chris Wilcox

  • Oct 18, 20103:15 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    T-mac could potentially be costing Daye time, and that is a problem imo. Even if he gets healthy he’s never going to be what he was. Daye should be on the court. He’s been the best Piston this preseason. Mcgrady may not be costing the Pistons that much, but I find it hard to believe even at his price they are going to get a return on that investment. If he plays Daye doesn’t, and that is a cost in itself. Can’t trade him til december anyway. He’s going to rot either on the bench, on his couch, or on the court at least until then.

  • Oct 18, 20103:57 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    @Laser,

    1.)  Let me clarify about McGrady.  Gone are the days where he dominates the league and plays in All-star games.  Gone is the huge contracts and highlight reels but the guy is ONLY 31.  There’s everyone reason to believe that he can re-invent himself in a 2nd-career manner just like McDyess.  I mean, McGrady is 18-months removed from microfracture surgery on his knees which takes 24-months (minimum) to heal from.  The very fact that they won’t let this guy play and insist on him dragging a cart of weights around the practice facility gives me confidence the Pistons have their arms around the situation.  For sure, there are no guarantees this thing works out but if the expectations are manageable (for him to contribute, not to STAR) and the team diagnoses the issue is more injury-related than “T-Mac is DONE”-related than there’s reason for hope. 

    I’ll trust Arnie Kander over whomever the Knicks are fielding for anyday.

    2.) Bynum is better than Stuckey at getting shooters the ball “in their spots.” So, I agree with your asessment that Bynum should be paired with Rip.  At the same time, I disagree that all Stuckey can do is score.  Bynum’s the fan favorite (this fan included) but maybe we give him too much credit.  At the same time, if it weren’t for Charlie V, Stuckey would be the target of much of the fanbase’s ire.  Stuckey is an alright passer and an above average rebounder and defender.  He can also play more positions than Bynum, he’s more versatile.

  • Oct 18, 20106:12 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    1) we’ll see what happens with kander. but like dumars, no matter what he does he’ll never shake his reputation. if there’s one thing dumars has taught me, it’s that (whether good or bad) you can’t shake a reputation. people will lick his feet until eternity, no matter how far he drives this team into the ground.
     
    but the bigger issue here is that i don’t think even a healthy t-mac is going to help this team as constructed. he might be a good contributor on a team that needs wing depth and scoring, but we have PLENTY of that. perhaps too much of it for our own good. let’s see how many minutes ben gordon manages to play before we start throwing minutes and shots at t-mac.
     
    2) stuckey is an “alright” passer for a 2 guard; he’s a disgrace as a point guard. he doesn’t make anyone better. anyone. ever. above average rebounder? maybe. but rebounding ranks pretty low on my list of priorities for a point guard. and i don’t think he’s an above average defender AT ALL. not even close. totally average if i’m being nice. just because the pistons won’t shut up about his defensive potential, doesn’t mean he’s actually any good. he stinks. and WOW OBOY he can play a ton of positions. every position but point. big whoop. what this team needs is point play, and he just doesn’t have it. we’ve got more 2s and 3s than we know what to do with. let’s use all his versatility and potential to TRADE him while we can still get something.

  • Oct 18, 20107:22 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Why are you always bashing Langlois? He is the beat writer for the Pistons – it’s his job to put a positive spin on things..
    But if you actually read his articles, or mailbag posts for instance, he is very straight forward with MOST of his pieces. He doesn’t try to say the Pistons are going to be Great, or fail to recognize weaknesses. In fact, he points out flaws and weaknesses quite regularly.
    I love reading your blog – have for quite some time. But I also enjoy reading all Pistons.com articles as well. I just wish you’d leave the Langlois hate at home – he’s a good guy…

  • Oct 19, 20101:18 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    he isn’t straightforward about anything. it’s all sugarcoated and intellectualized, and he often contradicts himself from one question to another, in order to satisfy good questions from skeptical fans. he points out the team’s flaws in the most sanitized, minimized way imaginable (for instance, recently calling the fact that we have around $25 million tied to two SGs for the next three seasons “not ideal,” and this was BY FAR the most damning description he’s given to the situation). yes, his job is to write bogus company line articles. i’ve said that i don’t hold it against him personally. i’m sure i’d be bashing anyone who came out and spitted a bunch of garbage and spin about how everything isn’t so bad in pistons land. give me a break.

  • Oct 19, 20101:25 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    also, he gets at least hundreds of letters every week, asking legitimate questions that this organization should address. and each week we get a dozen or so “softballs” about some esoteric nonsense one person cares about. and mixed in with that are maybe one or two good questions that he barely answers (and ALWAYS intellectualizes). what you don’t see are all the letters that ask tough questions where the answer is “joe blew it.”
     
    i’ve said before i don’t envy him having to do this week in and week out, churning out blog after blog of BS to distract from the team’s problems. it’s got to absolutely GALL a trained and prideful journalist. but he’s out there putting his name on it, so i’ll put his name in my comments. what’s the big deal?
     
    PS: have you noticed that everything wrong with this team is a “good problem to have,” and yet the result of all these “good” problems are a 39 win season followed by 27 wins followed by probably 20? it’s a joke. he’s an adult, and he’s not reading this anyways, so what’s the difference what i say? it’s nothing personal.

  • Oct 19, 20109:23 am
    by kalorama

    Reply

    People really need to stop bringing up McGrady’s salary as a defense for his signing. What difference does it make what he’s getting paid? It’s not our money. There are (many) other issues that determine a players’ value to a team beyond his paycheck.
    Besides, just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

  • Oct 19, 201012:05 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Laser-
    Well said, and I’ll admit there is legitimacy in your opinion. It’s just that, YOUR opinion – so who am I to question it? For that I concede defeat.. lol.
    I was more wondering if it was something personal between the two of you, or truly your opinion towards his writing.
    I will concede that the more I think about it, your right in that he puts an OVERLY optimistic spin on very big concerns. The SG situation in particular, while I understand that in a perfect world, competition is a great thing – at every position. BUT – That perfect world would also mean we have VIABLE options at EVERY position – which we do not.
    I would completely agree with this logic IF we had another defender or two in the front court, but the reality is that we don’t. Because of this, we should try to clear the log jam, and make a move – but you rarely see Langlois agree to this notion, at least even in theory.
    I understand your opinion now though, and will do a little more research next time before I make a comment.

  • Oct 19, 20104:22 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    well i used to be a fairly regular contributor to the mailbag before i got fed up with the team. he and i have had many personal back-and-forths over the past few seasons, and he’s never been anything less than professional and courteous to me. my frustration with the organization probably soured my “relationship” with him, because my questions got less and less patient as joe dumars continued to scream from the highest mountaintop that change was a-comin’, and then nothing happened. ever. no changes. ever. just the same sorry team and the same sorry excuses. so you’re certainly astute to notice there’s a bit more than just your average fan ire, but it really isn’t anything personal. he’s quite a nice guy; it’s too bad he isn’t being given the chance to write legitimate articles about a legitimate basketball team.
     
    also, as i think about it, i think this is where things went south for me and mr. langlois… i wrote him a few letters about the problems i had with his assessment of the guard situation. everything this organization says is presented in a vacuum, ignoring all context, because in context none of this works. it went something like this: he wrote an article about the drafting of terrico white, comparing the draft to when the pistons picked vinnie johnson when they already had isiah, dumars and some other guy who i can’t remember. only it’s not a fair comparison, because (A) by the time the bad boys were winning, they’d already jettisoned that other guy whose name i never remember, and rip/gordon are unmovable on their contracts, and (B) he’s completely ignoring will bynum. the bad boys were great with a core guard rotation of three, and he’s making a comparison as we draft our FIFTH guard, none of whom are particularly good at running an offense (and the best one by a mile, bynum, is the fourth guard on the depth chart and fourth in line for minutes). so there’s no comparison.
     
    in more-or-less the same time frame, he wrote an article about the signing of mcgrady where he was talking all about how t-mac was comfortable coming off the bench “behind tayshaun and rip,” but ben gordon’s name was nowhere to be found in the article. considering the MASSIVE commitment we made to him A YEAR AGO, how could we possibly ignore the fact that (unless he’s back to his absolute peak, which he won’t be), he’s signed on to be the FOURTH wing man on the depth chart. and that’s if daye, who is at worst relevant to the future of the team and at best one of our future cornerstones, takes a back seat.
     
    you’ve touched on another one with the competition thing. a competitive training camp is fine, but when there’s virtually NO distinction between the talent level of your starters and your bench, and NOT enough minutes to satisfy everyone, you’re going to have a mess on your hands. because everyone’s equally deserving of minutes, but there aren’t enough to go around. plus, of course they’re competitive practices, because nobody’s good enough to dominate anyone else.
     
    everything is a “good” problem, no matter what a nightmare the problem really is. nothing’s so bad. you’ll note that joe hasn’t made a move “because no move has been presented that would be an upgrade.” not that JOE HASN’T BEEN PRESENTED WITH A GOOD TRADE BECAUSE HE’S HANDCUFFED HIMSELF WITH A ROTTEN ROSTER LOADED WITH BAD, LONG-TERM CONTRACTS. *achem*
     
    in summary, the only way to put a positive spin about this team is to isolate specific elements and players while ignoring everything else, but it’s not a “fair” representation of the realities of the team. i basically called him out on this and have been persona non grata ever since. but i made fair points, and i argued them in an impersonal way. so credit to you for sniffing this out. but it’s really nothing personal against the guy. he’s just being asked to do a very sh*tty and unenviable job. and he’s sure doing it.

  • Oct 20, 20106:21 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Laser, are you confusing Goodwill and Kulfan, who covered the Pistons for The Detroit News last year? I had many of those same problems you mention with Kulfan, but Goodwill, although not perfect, has been much better.

  • Oct 20, 20106:24 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Markbutter, whose fault is it that McGrady didn’t get NBA-caliber help in his rehab? Don’t you think if he wanted it, it would have been available to him?

  • Oct 20, 20106:31 am
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Jason, I don’t think I’ve ever bashed Langlois personally, and I certainly wouldn’t. Every indication I’ve seen suggests he’s a good guy.

    He has a good, steady job, and in journalism that’s a rarity. If offered, I would have taken it, too.

    But it comes with a price. When you’re paid by the entity you’re covering, your writing loses credibility. That’s the price he paid for taking this job.

    He does a good job, but his job is to spin. My job here is to provide the truth about the Pistons as I see it. Obviously, those two objectives will butt heads frequently.

    But, to me, it’s definitely not anything personal. I hope Langlois feels the same way.

  • Oct 20, 201012:31 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    HOLY CANOLI feldman!! (i’m italian, i can say that) you gotta be kidding me. kulfan was worse??? i swear to god i didn’t think anyone could be a more apologetic homer parading as a journalist than goodwill. his column is an absolute joke. devoid of analysis and always painting the prettiest picture of the team. nearly identical to what the pistons churn out. i can’t say i remember kulfan specifically, but vincent goodwill probably has a free pass to waltz into the palace, see anything, interview anyone. because no matter what they know he’s going to write about how everything is coming up roses. the man’s column is utterly useless.
     
    as for langlois, i am pretty much certain he’s a good guy. he’s been nothing but professional and cordial with me, and written me more than a few personal missives. but i no longer think he does a good job. perhaps less critical readers with shorter attention spans might think so, but i’m not fooled. to his credit, it’s hard to keep up a smoke screen THIS long when things are THIS bad, but i see right through it. go check out my latest post in the latest thread for a prime example on the starting PG “debate.”

  • Oct 20, 20102:01 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    I second Feldman. Kulfan was much worse.
    Goodwill does tend to cheerlead, but I’ll take a writer who loves ball any day over a guy who was clueless about it like many basketball beat writers are (working in a newsroom, I KNOW that most of the old crusty sports writers do not like the NBA beat, and for a lot of them, it really shows in their shoddy work). Every time I read Goodwill, it’s obvious that he loves the game.

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  • Oct 21, 20101:54 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    i dunno. maybe that’s a good thing. but a child-like enthusiasm for absolutely everything pistons-related is grating in a different way. i’m sure it wouldn’t bother me if there were good things about the team, but when there is absolutely nothing to be positive about it’s very frustrating.
     
    and, honestly, you might have guessed this but i think “good” fans question things and truly want what’s best for the team. as opposed to cheerleaders (i like that term. i’m going to borrow it. formerly i was using “flag-wavers.”). i think cheerleaders are BAD fans. if there were no cheerleaders, the people running the show might actually be held accountable and be forced to perform. as long as there are apologists making excuses for bad executives, there’s no accountability.
     
    it bugs me to read langlois’s spin; you can imagine my ire when it feels exactly like langlois is ghost writing for goodwill.

  • Oct 21, 201011:50 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    Feldman,
    Fair enough. As i eluded to in a response to Laser, the more I think about it, the more I see where you are coming from. It was something I was curious about is all, i’ve seen a couple times where you have called him out, but I guess rightfully so.
    I respect it, and definitely understand where your coming from.

  • Oct 21, 201011:54 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    Feldman,
    Have you guys thought about introducing a Mailbag like option here?
    Would love to see a Mailbag, where you can actually comment after questions are answered! One thing i absolutely hate about Pistons.com. I’d love to be able to comment back and forth with fans, after Langlois has answered a question..
    You guys should implement that here -
    Just a thought..

  • Oct 21, 20101:38 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    jason: pistons.com would never do that for reasons that should be self-explanatory given the discussion above. the trick to the mailbag is that there’s an illusion that fans have a forum to interact with the team, but the questions are always harmless and the answers are always useless. imagine giving everyone a forum on pistons.com to call them out on how bogus the mailbag is.
     
    as for implementing it here, that’s basically what we’re doing right now, isn’t it? feldman and hayes aren’t “insiders,” they’re fans like you and me. they blog about the pistons, but it’s not like they have an inside track and can answer the kinds of questions keith langlois spends his life dodging.
     
    in most cases, my guess is as good as theirs. sometimes better! …but sometimes not.

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    by All About Health

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