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Ben Wallace: “Coaches and players usually don’t like each other”

Ben Wallace seems to be the go-to guy for great quotes lately. After delivering a passionate defense of Rip Hamilton a few days ago, he pointed out to Vince Ellis of the Free Press that it’s pretty commonplace for coaches and players to not be on the same page:

“Players don’t like coaches telling them what to do. Coaches don’t like players telling them what they’re not going to do.You just got to find a way to go out there and get the job done.”

As Ellis points out, that’s certainly been the case in the Pistons’ locker room with Rick Carlisle, Flip Saunders and Michael Curry all feuding with certain players on the roster. But it was John Kuester‘s quote in the piece that I found funniest. Ellis pointed out that with Rodney Stuckey potentially returning, it will be difficult to play three shooting guards. Here was Kuester’s response:

“It’s simple math,” Kuester said. “We’ve tried to make sure that guys know exactly where they stood.”

What a revelation! Hopefully, this is true and Kuester has communicated better with all parties since, you know, he didn’t seem to communicate where guys stood at all prior to this.

16 Comments

  • Feb 8, 201110:28 am
    by Jason

    Reply

    What a hilarious comment from Kuester.. What he’s really saying is that as soon as Stuck is healthy, Rip will be back to the bench.. Because it’s simple math, right?

  • Feb 8, 201111:17 am
    by Travis

    Reply

    What are our guesses for the game tonight if stuckey plays tonight for the rotation?

    • Feb 8, 201111:26 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I would guess that Hamilton doesn’t play if Stuckey does, if Stuckey is 100 percent healthy and able to play his typical minutes I guess being the only factor that could sway things.

  • Feb 8, 201112:07 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    as far as “simple math” goes, why is it so hard to figure out that you don’t commit to three shooting guards? or that you move one of them once you’ve made that mistake? it’s so simple now, but not when we were handing out these contracts and building a bridge to nowhere?? simple math. right.
     
    also, yeah maybe you don’t have to like your coach, but this team hasn’t even RESPECTED their coach since 2005. and they haven’t had one who deserves a SHRED of respect since 2008. i’d give any commenter on this blog a shot at coaching this team over curry or kuester.

  • Feb 8, 201112:50 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    Agreed, Laser. Funny thing is that i think Dumars hired these fools purposely, so that he has a fall man for his terrible signings. lol. What he fails to recognize is that “Coach signings” are almost as important as players signings..

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Raul Takahashi, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: New @PistonPowered: Ben Wallace: “Coaches and players usually don’t like each other” http://bit.ly/gRxmDg #Pistons #NBA [...]

  • Feb 8, 20111:07 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    So what if stuckey is not 100%, he backs up tmac. Ben Gordon starts, and Rip backs him up. Squeezing Bynum

    • Feb 8, 20112:01 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      plenty wrong with this, trav. 1) you’ve still ended up pairing stuckey with rip, which we’ve seen more than enough of to know it doesn’t work. 2) stuckey’s probably not a good enough facilitator to be a backup PG. as instant offense off the bench with a unit that was utterly dependent on him for scoring, maybe. but we’re better off having a point guard on the floor. 3) the only thing stuckey does better than bynum is “be taller.” i know you hate bynum, but it’s just not rational. he’s not perfect, but he’s a fine backup point guard. 4) you’ve still got like $30 some million dollars committed to a mediocre backcourt once you extend stuckey, which is beyond comprehension. i’m less concerned with how we align the current batch of guards on the roster, which seems like a lost cause, as with what trades we can make to improve the team. what difference does it make which combinations of these guys we use? we’ve tried almost everything and the team still stinks. anything short of a personnel change is a waste of time.

  • Feb 8, 20114:32 pm
    by Tim

    Reply

    Do you honestly believe that any GM would intentionally hire poor coaches just to have fall guys? Dumars has made some pretty poor decisions, but there’s no way I think he would look for bad coaching hires.
    I just wish that the players hadn’t been so headstrong with Flip Saunders. He did an incredible job with the Pistons. But they only heeded him begrudgingly in the regular season. Once playoffs hit, they shut him out entirely. They were a good enough bunch with strong enough chemistry to still live up to their cumulative talent. But they were no longer overachieving like they did in the regular season and in the playoffs under Brown. So they consistently got beat in the ECFs by either a better team (Boston) or a superstar hell bent on carrying his team (Lebron/Wade).

    • Feb 8, 201110:31 pm
      by Jason

      Reply

      Of course i was jokinng, Tim. Of course I don’t believe Curry or Kuester were hired as fall guys.. I was just lightening up the comment boards is all..

      And i completely agree about Saunders. I LOVED Saunders. 3 Eastern conference finals in a row – that’s impressive, no matter how you look at it…  

  • Feb 8, 20114:59 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Tim is exactly right here.

    I mean, there are two options here. People can use  hindsight, look at moves that haven’t worked out, and say, “OMG … Dumars is so dumb.”

    Or you can actually look at the context surrounding his moves. Saunders? Best coach available at the time, used to coaching veterans in Minnesota and, until McHale blew up the team with Cassell trade and not signing Spree, he had a team that was on the verge of getting out of the Western Conference and to the Finals. He was a good coach who was familiar with Detroit’s best player, Billups, and they had a good relationship.

    Curry? He played with a couple of these guys. He’d been an assistant for one year under Saunders so theoretically, he had some idea of minor tweaks that needed to be made to get the team over whatever internal things kept derailing them in the playoffs. The roster (at least to start the season) was still intact, and they had Billups, who would basically serve as offensive coordinator using key elements of Saunders’ offense. Risky hire? For sure. But poor reasoning behind it? No way.

    Kuester? Well, as Laser said somewhere, Dumars has expressed a desire to return to the tough, defensive-minded style of the previous era teams. So he hired an assistant to Larry Brown, who used that style to win a title here. Risky hire in the sense that Kuester didn’t have experience. But poor reasoning? Nope.

    I get that Dumars has had several moves turn out very badly lately. But to ignore that there were valid reasons he did the things he did or to suggest he purposely hired guys to be his fall guy is just beneath the readers of this blog. You guys are better than that.

    • Feb 9, 20113:34 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      i dunno. you’ve certainly isolated the “pros” for the curry and kuester, but it’s not as easy as “the players played with curry and respected him and kuester was a larry brown disciple, so these were fine choices.” because we’ve all seen what these guys are capable of, and neither has looked like head coaching material for a minute. curry came off like a dullard from day one and was so bad they paid him $5 million dollars to go away, and kuester speaks for himself. maybe he’s a good Xs and Os guy, but he’s miserable at managing personalities, it took him AN ETERNITY to sort out a sensible rotation. he stuck with so many bad combinations so long it boggles the mind. and when interviewed he’s got no air of authority whatsoever. he speaks only in platitudes, talks in circles. he’s obviously not a leader. there isn’t a chance in hell brian hill wouldn’t be a better candidate. from the limited exposure i’ve had to these guys, i can’t imagine what anyone would see in them as potential head coaches.
       
      part of me wants to excuse him for these atrocious hires, since for all we know ownership wouldn’t allow him to get a big name coach, but these guys did make $12 million total over four years. so it’s not like he’s working with no budget. and if brian hill was available to assist, i’m sure he would have taken the first chair. i’d give it to him today if it was up to me.

  • Feb 8, 20115:19 pm
    by steve

    Reply

    hey dumars brought together a team that won a championship and had a chance to win a couple more.  that’s more than you can say for most gm’s.  now we are rebuilding and he isnt allowed to make any trades.  i’m still happy with the job he has done even if some of the moves haven’t worked out.

    • Feb 9, 20113:42 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      there’s nothing i like more than a joe dumars apologists. we all know he built a championship. he’s taken all the credit in the world for it. now it’s time to take the blame. he’s not “not allowed” to make trades, just limited by ownership in what trades he can make. but ownership hasn’t limited his flexibility ONE TENTH as much as the players he assembled and the contracts he gave them. ownership would love for him to make certain trades. get rid of some of these perimeter players, add some big bodies, shed salary, get younger, etc. but joe is unable to make the trades he wants to make, because nobody wants the players he’d like to trade.
       
      the man gets a free pass for not being able to make any trades, but he’s been the GM for a decade. he single-handedly put this team together, and the team F*CKING STINKS. stop pretending like someone else handed him this mess. it’s his mess. ownership isn’t the problem, but ownership isn’t going to bail him out.

  • Feb 8, 20115:22 pm
    by steve

    Reply

    that’s what happens when you take risks… sometimes they pan out and sometimes they don’t.  we were a legit title contender for 5 years, you can’t take that away from him

    • Feb 9, 20113:43 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      yes. best that joe gets all the credit for his successes and no blame whatsoever for his failures. that’s the way the world should work.

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