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John Kuester didn’t have to pick winning or Richard Hamilton’s feelings

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit wrote a column called “Pistons coach is right: Winning trumps Richard Hamilton’s feelings,” and it case you think an editor mis-headlined it, the article also includes this line:

But what it all comes down to is this:Management has to look out for the team, not one individual.

I have a simple question. Why was the choice between winning and Richard Hamilton’s feelings?

The key issue is John Kuester refusing to speak with Richard Hamilton, not the coach removing Hamilton from the lineup. Indications are Hamilton has the same priority.

Even if he believes he shouldn’t have been pulled from the rotation, Hamilton hasn’t publicly articulated that belief. That shows restraint, and when you feel strongly about something, showing restraint is difficult. That’s the same reason Hamilton couldn’t restrain himself from telling Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press he felt offended Kuester didn’t come to him directly – because Hamilton felt strongly about what he felt was a sign of disrespect.

So, I’ll go back to my original question. In what possible way does Kuester refusing to speak with Hamilton help the Pistons win?


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  • Jan 28, 201110:14 am
    by JoshB


    Aside from your love of those rodents from ann arbor, I agree with you on this. If I remember correctly I read that kuester essentially pointed out that mostly everyone else on the team has had a dnp-cd as if that justified his methods, but the only person who has been somewhat of a longterm starter and got benched at all was stuckey, and that was obviously for discipline reasons. I commend kuester for trying to make sure that it’s obvious who’s team this is, but you can still show someone respect in a situation even though your word is final. We talk about rip being a baby in the situation and to some extent he has been, but I really wonder if anyone can imagine how difficult a position that has to be. This guy has had a ton of success in this organization, and lets not forget that as much as we all love Chauncey, he got finals mvp because that was probably his most favorable match-up in the league. Against another team that probably would have been rip’s accolade. No matter how much any of us wanna make this be about money I find it hard to believe that a lot of us wouldn’t react the same

  • Jan 28, 201112:05 pm
    by Jason


    Exactly!!! All it would have taken was a conversation, it’s truly that simple.. I’ll even be willing to admit that in a normal situation, most players don’t necessarily deserve an explanation. In a normal situation, the coach has the right to bench someone, with no explanation whatsoever.
    This is no normal situation. This is a team that went through a handful of coaches in recent years because of problems with veteran players. This is a team that tried the Iverson experiment, and watched it fail miserably in front of their eyes. This situation is different in that Rip is the teams leading scorer over 8 years, and happens to also be the highest paid player on the team. Again, he is the highest paid player on the team……. Did we also forget that he is a team captain???
    This isn’t the way you treat someone who has put so much into this organization. I agree with you, Feldman. Im sure Rip wouldn’t be happy with being benched, but had Kuester sat down and said . “We want to shake things up, try something new.. ” etc, something tells me it would be that less hard for Rip to stomach. He may not agree with it, but at least he wouldn’t feel disrespected..

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