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John Kuester to blame for Pistons’ problems, according to Terry Foster

The first shots have been fired. In his column today, The Detroit News’ Terry Foster wrote some very harsh words about John Kuester:

Pistons coach John Kuester said he wanted to take a long look at the game film of the Pistons’ stunning 120-116 loss to the Raptors to figure out how they blew a 25-point second-half lead after scoring a season-high 72 points in the first half.

Kuester is wasting his time.

The problems Saturday cannot be found on game film. They are between the ears and are etched inside of a coach who cannot pull the right gears.

Read the whole column. The rest of it isn’t much kinder, but Foster came just short of dropping the f-word – fired.

I don’t recall another mainstream writer taking such a harsh stance on Kuester. I suspect Foster won’t be the last to do so, and this column won’t be strongest to be written.


  • Dec 13, 201011:55 am
    by frankie d


    the article is a joke.
    everything he writes is correct…as far as it goes.
    but for a detroit sports writer to publish that sort of take down of kuester without mentioning joe dumars one single time in the article shows how unserious he is.
    i won’t get into dumars’ performance over the last few years, as that is another complex subject, but the fact remains that dumars is the GM and he is the person who constructed the roster and hired kuester.
    to avoid – and i say avoid, rather than neglect, because such an omission has to be intentional – mentioning the person responsible for the team’s composition shows how ridiculous the article truly is.
    it would be like discussing the bad boys from the ’80′s, praising daly and the players, and not mentioning trader jack mccloskey a single time.

  • Dec 13, 201012:37 pm
    by nuetes


    You could certainly blame Dumars for this, and to not do so would be insane. He’s ultimately responsible for everything. He hired the coach and brought in the players. If the lack of defined roles is Kuester’s fault then Kuester is Dumar’s fault. Some fans would argue this team has talent (not me), but if you want to play that card then Kuester is the one at fault for not utilizing that talent correctly.
    The 4th quarter lineups that Foster brings attention to are probably one of the biggest mistakes. There is a different lineup finishing practically every game. Some games he’ll put the 2nd unit in for the entire 4th quarter. Some games he’ll mix and match. The first half I think we all have a sense of what’s going to happen. He pulls the starters around the 3 minute mark of the 1st and the 2nd unit plays most of the 2nd quarter and then the starters come back in to finish the half. It usually plays out like that. After half-time though it hits the fan.

  • Dec 13, 201012:40 pm
    by Jacob


    frankie d said exactly what I was thinking. I wouldn’t say that this article is a joke but with a roster constructed the way the Pistons is, Coach Q can only do so much. I was optimistic at the beginning of this season that the pieces would somehow fit together but it’s clearly not working. We have a bunch of players who think they can carry the team. There is a reason for the term “role players”….these players know their role and carry it out. Every great team has had invaluable role players. Last season our starting 5 was Atkins, Stuckey, Jerebko, Maxiell, and Wallace for a while and these guys played better than the current team. Nobody on this team knows their role, partially Kuester’s fault, but equally if not more so Dumars’ fault. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved Joe D since he was a player but he can do better for this team. He knows what it takes to win and needs to build a roster that has better chance to do that. I don’t know if his hands are tied because of the ownership situation, but something needs to change. It’s a long season and there is still time to turn it around, but with every demoralizing loss it becomes more and more frustrating to be a fan.

  • Dec 13, 20101:27 pm
    by Laser


    yeah you guys get it. that’s why i like hanging out here.
    foster makes some good points, but his omission of the roster deficiencies is glaring. nobody could turn this thing into a winner. that said, he’s right about kuester deserving the axe. the guy has hardly pushed a single “button” all season. you guys know how i feel, and it sounds like we’re on the same page.
    bottom line: dumars should finally be forced to get his fat ass out of the box and show what he would/could do with this sorry roster. it’s his mess. the buck has to stop with him at some point, doesn’t it? not leastways because he put kuester in this position and has almost certainly mandated some of kuester’s lineup “choices.”
    and maybe ownership had something to do with dumars’s coaching options, but i think joe had the chance to do better than he has, even if he can’t do anything about it now. i mean, you paid flip NOT to coach for one year (any idea how much his salary was? my best research puts it around $5m annually), you paid curry NOT to coach for TWO years ($2.5m annually), and firing kuester at any given time is objectively the right choice ($1.5m annually). so that’s around $12.5m wasted, or half of what we’d have paid avery johnson to do the job for five years. i’m not saying avery’s my guy, but these rookie coaches are obviously not working here. the team didn’t respect flip, you think they’re going to respect joe blow who never accomplished anything in his life?? give me a break.

  • Dec 13, 20102:08 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    “you think they’re going to respect joe blow who never accomplished anything in his life?? give me a break.”

    Maybe that would be true if it were just any assistant/first time head coach. But Curry was hired because they hoped the fact that he played with Prince, Hamilton, Billups would allow him to come in with some credibility.

    And Kuester was a Larry Brown assistant who was a familiar person to Rip, Prince and Wallace.

    So in that sense, if you’re going to go with cheap, short-term hires, those guys did make some sense when they were hired, even if both did turn out to be disasters.

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  • Dec 13, 20102:29 pm


    I think you guys are going overboard with the Joe shit. Be real with yourself and think would Detroit be relevant if not for this man. I understand apathy and all but for you all to constantly go out of your way to bash someone who not only won a title here, but helped bring us another one. Now it is all his fault? Try Karen Davidson, or bad luck that the old man died.Before you wish for something be careful cause he could have went to New Jersey and we would really be shitty. I want someone to name me a viable replacement.I hate losing but I am not stupid enough to believe that 31 other teams are not trying to win either. Joe is not the owner, but general manager. He does what the owner allows him to do. We only know about Joe and his role because of his name and the fact that he played here. His only mistake to me and this is my opinion is he played his poker chip to early, and resigned rasheed expecting to get the same results as he did when he first got there, instead of re-upping with okur(younger more upside) . i read an espn article about 8years ago that said Detroit based off future draft picks and current roster at the time that they should have been competing for the next ten years(til2011-2012 season), this was with Darko, and I do not blame him for that pick. Hindsight is a motherfucker and anybody who says they would taken anyone else is just a fucking liar.

  • Dec 13, 20102:40 pm
    by frankie d


    talk about not dealing with the issue at hand.
    the issue, as i proposed it, was that the author of the article missed the boat by not mentioning joe dumars in an article on the sorry state of the team.
    nothing ricky mack writes addresses that point.
    zip. nada. zilch.

  • Dec 13, 20102:55 pm
    by Larry


    I agree with the majority of comments here that implicitly laying this whole fiasco at Kuester’s feet is ridiculous.  Almost as ridiculous as the player’s complaining that their roles are changing (yes, changing from one dysfunctional role to another to another). Joe’s record for selecting coaches has not been his strong suit.  Trading Billups and almost simultaneously extending Rip with an untradable contract is entirely his doing. Lackluster drafts, stocking up on #2s & #3s.  Well, that Foster could blast the coach without including Joe in the collateral damage is pretty unfair.  I’d guess his motives are continued access to the man who will be left standing the longest, but that would be unfair too.   It’s all pretty depressing.

  • Dec 13, 20103:58 pm
    by Rodman4Life


    Gotta fire Kuester if you want the lens focused back on Dumars, simple as that.  I wasn’t an anti-Kuester guy, but that debacle Saturday was just ridiculous.  Like JV ball or something.  Get rid of Kuester, can him!  Makes me sick seeing games like that.  And this roster does suck.  It’s like some video game assembled roster.  I’m sure many of these players have good video game ratings or something.  But it’s not a video game, and our chemistry stinks.  How can our veterans let games like this slip away?  Unspeakable . . . . .

  • Dec 14, 201011:29 am
    by Laser


    ricky mack is a clown who’s only here to ride joe’s jock.
    truth is that joe and kuester are both basically indefensible at this point, but joe’s the one who put this mess together. larry brown couldn’t have coached this team to a plus-.500 record thus far, but there isn’t a candidate on the planet who couldn’t have won more than 7 games. so if it’s too much to ask for joe’s head, at least give me kuester’s. it’s a sad fact of the business that the coach becomes the sacrificial lamb when the GM is a disaster, but at least in this case kuester earned the hell out of that that pink slip.
    @hayes: i don’t entirely disagree with you that for bargain basement coaches, these guys made a small amount of sense. but curry had a grand total of one year assisting, kuester was a career assistant (and you no longer have to wonder why; he just doesn’t have what it takes), but it didn’t take long watching these guys’ personalities to see that something ain’t right. curry carried himself like a bumbling moron who could offer no proper postgame analysis whatsoever (i do a great curry impression, by the way: “uhh tayshaun played good, will bynum played good, stuckey didn’t play good, we didn’t defend good… uh, and we lost the game.”), and who is it that pointed out that kuester speaks only in platitudes?? was it nuetes? spot on, whoever it was: “i tell ya’, give credit to the magic. they hit shots, we didn’t. stuckey was great at times, i saw some good things out there. [insert PF/C name here] did a heck of a job.” these guys don’t pass the smell test for ten seconds. i know terry porter lasted five minutes in phoenix, but i would have loved if that guy had a chance here. and brian hill at least seems to have a brain between his ears.

  • Dec 14, 20108:18 pm


    Laser sounds like someone just took his candy. You can disagree with me like a man, but to try and denigrate me because I do not agree with you is classless to say the least. Grow up man and when you get that job as a GM let me know about easy it si to assemble a team that you are hamstrung by the fact you are about to be sold. Again  be careful what you wish for . You just watch basketball I go to school for sport management and being a general manager is not the easy job that you think. I respect Joe for the fact he was not in our face like a Mark Cuban who has a team that has won probably 500 games the last ten years with no banner. Stop whining you cannot win them all. Be a man what are we teaching our children nowadays. Joe, when the time is right and ownership has changed will help us win again. Be patient and I jock no one sir, check yo self for you get wrecked. Again name me a GM who owns the team and can do whatever with management having final say so. You cant that why you use trivial diatribe to try an insult because your brain is smaller than a grape. Get a clue you probably was on Joe’s jock when Detroit was winning and like a sore loser crying when they are not winning. Fair weather fans. You sir are part of the blame as much as anyone else. You ride or die with your team no matter what.

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