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Member of Pistons organization: Some players “talked openly about mutiny”

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:

"In all fairness, some who missed shootaround actually said they weren’t feeling good," one member of the Pistons organization told me over the weekend. "They had legitimate reasons. But there were others who talked openly about mutiny. Nobody appreciates the way Rip Hamilton has been treated, along with some other things.

"Bottom line: The players can’t stand the coach. They don’t respect him because they don’t believe he relates to players. But no matter how you feel about him, you don’t pull the kind of nonsense we displayed on the bench in Philadelphia on Friday night. It was embarrassing, humiliating. Dudes are lucky they’re still wearing an NBA uniform after that."

This person wasn’t talking just about players spewing profanity at Kuester or ignoring him in huddles during games, as some have done — or their finding time to call him the worst coach they’ve ever seen to his face because they feel he’s not personable and that he’s scared of players, which has also happened. This particular member of the Pistons was alluding to witnessing several of the players laughing openly on the Pistons’ bench as Kuester was being ejected from the game in Philadelphia on Friday.

That’s the most excerptable and juiciest part of Smith’s article. I know and understand his reputation for being loud at the expense of nuance, but this piece gets into a fairly deep discussion of race, power and how the Pistons’ latest chaos affects perception of the NBA. It’s well worth the read.


  • Feb 27, 201110:47 pm
    by Kamal


    The source said that nobody appreciated the way Rip was being treated.  If that’s the case, I think Kuester is doing this (benching Rip) out of spite.  I think he realizes that he’s in a losing situation and will be fired at the end of the season.  So, he’d rather go out on his own terms.  He’ll keep Rip on the bench as long as he’s the coach and doesn’t care what the team does to him.  Kuester, as much as I think he’s a terrible coach and a petty man, I have to say is sticking to his guns.  I can actually respect that.

    • Feb 28, 20119:34 am
      by Dan Feldman


      Kamal, what’s the line between spite and Hamilton deserving to be benched?

  • Feb 27, 201110:48 pm
    by Rodman4Life


    Get McGrady out of town on the next train! He has undone any good with his actions and he needs to go.  Dumars has been the model of sportsmanship for this league, I would appreciate if you could get a direct quote from him about this whole debacle.

  • Feb 28, 201112:24 am
    by Laser


    ok this will be my last post for a while. i may check in from time to time, since i’m not boycotting this site just because i’m boycotting the team. but i read a little bit of people’s comments on threads down below, and i get the feeling that people are doing a good job of pointing the finger in the right direction on this one: squarely at joe dumars. that’s really the only sentiment i’d really have to offer.
    it’s entirely joe’s fault. too bad he has nice scapegoats and distractions like rip hamilton (who, if he only left $9 million on the table, also deserves what’s coming to him, too) and ownership issues. but as long as people know where the buck needs to stop, i really wouldn’t be able to add much to the conversation. hayes might say i never did, but he’d be wrong. i’ll leave you with this:
    if there’s one thing that’s made me happy about this mess, it’s that this mutiny is dumars’ reward for deciding to keep tracy and tayshaun around through the end of the season rather than cashing out on two of this team’s only real trade assets before they walk in the summer for nothing at all. it’s just a nice piece of poetic justice. similar story with stuckey, but stuckey probably has a future with this team, so this mutiny will be a blip on the radar. for tayshaun and t-mac, it just underscores the ridiculousness of holding onto these guys for any reason at all.
    if there’s one thing that’s made me angry about it, it’s that the True Blue Pistons blog actually salutes joe for having the courage to stand pat. and it somehow describes the result of not pulling the trigger as having more “bullets” for the future. only the bullets just reached their expiration date. we rehabilitated t-mac’s career for absolutely nothing; tayshaun will get us nothing worthwhile in a sign-and-trade (and i still have no idea why another team would even involve the pistons and give them anything); stuckey’s about to get paid like a franchise cornerstone. what other “assets” does this team have? everyone else on the roster is a prospect or a liability. there’s a reason this trade deadline was when my patience for this team wore off. the team’s future just got a LOT darker.
    nice knowing you guys (most of you, anyways). i’ll be back when this team’s worth talking about. for now i’m going to root for one or more of the 29 teams in the league more deserving of support.

    • Feb 28, 20111:52 am
      by Jason


      It’s one thing to be frustrated with your team, the GM, Coach, players, pick your poison.
      But when you declare you are “boycotting” the team, just because things aren’t going the way ANY fan of ANY team hopes, you shouldn’t even be watching the sport. You are the epitome of a bandwagon fan; and your constant “farewells” are just plain hilarious.

    • Feb 28, 20112:33 am
      by gmehl1977


      Jason as much as Laser can annoy the hell out of you i don’t think he is a bandwagon fan. If you have been around here long enough to read his posts then you would think different. He is just frustrated with situation that we call ‘the pistons’ of the last 2 years and has been threatening to boycott them ever since we signed 4 shooting guards and 10 small forwards. Stay away from any rope laying around there Laser.

      • Feb 28, 20112:41 am
        by Dan Feldman


        Gmehl, ignoring a debate about what Laser brings to the conversation, this is practically the definition of a bandwagon fan:

        “for now i’m going to root for one or more of the 29 teams in the league more deserving of support.”

        • Feb 28, 20114:21 am
          by Laser


          look, i’m objectively not a bandwagon fan. i’m a die hard. i just went into a coma or something. have i not made a compelling enough case that this team is HELL BENT on driving itself into the ground. when i think about red white and blue, i think pistons first and america second. i love(d) the pistons. but i don’t love a picture of a red basketball with white and blue words in front of it; i love the team, the tradition, what you’d think of when you think pistons basketball.
          but this isn’t pistons basketball. everything joe dumars has done has been predictably bad. he’s held onto his assets (world champions in 2004, four all-stars and a snub in 2006) too long or dumped them for nothing. he made major and un i had this team figured out all season. this is not about the team’s record. it’s about a pattern i’ve seen emerge, and i don’t like it. and i won’t support it.
          thing is, i’d pay GOOD MONEY to watch a 27 win team if it was promising, on the right track, had a high ceiling, was fun to watch, made any sense in general. but this team has been on a downward spiral, with many opportunities to help itself. and i cannot imagine how it’s going to be any better next year minus tayshaun and tracy. think about that for a second. and these guys walk away for nothing because draft picks aren’t “good enough.” battier went for thabeet and a pick! tayshaun goes for nothing, because joe would rather have nothing than “not as much as he wants” for a player who’s as good as gone, will have significantly less value, and where you have no leverage whatsoever. and i won’t even talk about tracy, whom joe is too stupid to see he’s walking… or apparently just likes to have around. and he wants to marry rodney stuckey.
          people blame this on rebuilding on the fly, like that’s why this went wrong. but it’s all about bad decisions. major mistakes that sounded bad and were. major, seemingly unbreakable commitments to three shooting guards, drafting to replace your rock solid SF, finding two replacements but not giving sufficient minutes to the one who doesn’t tear his achilles, and failing to roll over the asset of your best player.
          if you think i’m a bandwagon fan, you’re objectively wrong. but joe refuses to help himself or us. i like several of the players and think this could be a decent team if joe did a decent job of GM’ing. but he’s kept an untenable situation for too long, and this thing is not going to get any better anytime soon. they’re officially rebuilding through the draft, but just good enough to keep themselves from landing a franchise-altering pick. the winning tradition is dead, and look what’s happened. the iverson drama was a dream compared to this, because the iverson drama was temporary. there’s no end in sight here. it’s insane to think this has to do with a bandwagon. i’ve been a conscientious objector to everything this team’s done for three years, and i decided two years ago that this year’s trade deadline was it for me if this team wasn’t headed in some direction or another. i never could have imagined it would get this bad. and the players had the same boycott as i did, coincidentally.
          only wanted to defend this bogus claim that i’m some kind of bandwagoner. you’re nuts if you think that. real fans aren’t just cheerleaders. thanks for your take, gmehl. you get it. i won’t hang myself, and i hope to be a regular contributor in the future. chances are joe dumars will be a memory by then. i’ll certainly give the next one a chance.

          • Feb 28, 20119:30 am
            by Dan Feldman

            That doesn’t mean you didn’t support the Pistons before, and it doesn’t mean you won’t support them in the past. Being a bandwagon fan has nothing to do with being a cheerleader or criticizing the team you support.

            When you say you’re going to root for another team, that makes you a bandwagon fan. Period.

        • Feb 28, 20115:49 am
          by gmehl1977


          I still don’t think he is a bandwagon fan Dan because a bandwagon fan would not put as much passion into his comments the last 2-3 years as he has done. I have had many disagreements/debates with him and he has one thing in common with all the commenters here at pistonpowered and that is frustration. I will be the first to admit that i have been one of the biggest Dumars apologists the last 2 seasons but have lost a lot of faith in him. I commented a while back that i would give Joe until the trade deadline or the pistons pending sale to turn this ship around. Now i will never boycott this team but he is making it very hard to root for them. I am starting to think that maybe a lockout (full season) would be the best thing for the pistons so they can ride out Rips contract and start again.

          • Feb 28, 20119:32 am
            by Dan Feldman

            Being a bandwagon fan has nothing to do with passion. If you switch allegiances, you’re a bandwagon fan. I say that without judgement. That’s just what those words mean.

          • Feb 28, 20113:57 pm
            by Laser

            you’re just plain wrong, dan. it’s a shame you can’t tell the difference between a bandwagon fan and one who’s reached his breaking point.
            a bandwagon fan is one who’s behind the team when the team’s doing well and quits when they’re down. that’s not what i’m doing here. i’m just not going to watch something i love get driven into the ground by its own poor decisions and a staunch commitment to a losing formula. as i’ve said before, i’d happily support a pistons team that lost 80 games, so long as there was some hope for the future, some rhyme or reason to how they operated.
            this team’s looking at 50 losses for the foreseeable future, and it was predictable (as evidenced by the fact that i’ve predicted it) and completely avoidable. all i needed was a glimpse of something that made sense for this team’s future. tayshaun for butler and a first rounder would have probably done it. tracy for a pick might have too. but we got nothing.
            a smart guy like you should know the difference between a bandwagon fan and a die hard who’s just reached the end of his rope. if you can’t see it, nothing i can say here will change your mind.
            would you rather i just keep watching and going to games and buying beers and nachos and jerseys and complaining about what joe’s done to the team?? that doesn’t make sense. ok, peace out.

          • Feb 28, 20114:32 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            a bandwagon fan is one who’s behind the team when the team’s doing well and quits when they’re down. that’s not what i’m doing here.”


          • Feb 28, 20117:38 pm
            by Laser

            feldman, being wrong is fine. no need to be obnoxious about it. i’m not quitting the team because they suck. i’m quitting because of HOW they got that way and how they’ve REFUSED to make even the smallest attempt to reverse their fortunes. you’re not dumb, so this must make some sense to you.\
            i’m not going to keep enabling this team. for an extreme example, what if the team decided to sign a few more shooting guards and small forwards, firmly entrenched stuckey in the starting PG spot, handed out a bunch more rich extensions to players who aren’t good enough (max contracts for gordon, villanueva and maxiell), and changed the pistons logo from a red basketball to a swastika just for kicks? at what point do you pull the trigger and move on with your life? when you give a team three years to show you a GLIMMER of hope, i think that’s more than fair. there’s almost nothing about this team i believe in anymore. the players don’t care, the parade of rubbish coaches can’t push the right buttons, and joe stays the course. have some respect for yourself.
            think for yourself, feldman. you’re a special case because you’ll be blogging about this team forever, no matter how much they continue to self-destruct. but most people will be able to distinguish between someone who just wants their team to win and someone who just wants the team to OPERATE IN A WAY THAT MAKES SENSE ON ANY LEVEL. even hayes would understand that. so long.

          • Feb 28, 20119:44 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Did I ever judge you for being a bandwagon fan? You defined a bandwagon fan. That’s definition fits precisely what you’re doing. You don’t think this team is worth discussing anymore? No problem. See ya. You want to talk about them? Cool, we’ll be here.

            If you want to make a case that being a bandwagon fan can have merit, that you have valid reason for quitting on your fanhood for the team, that’s fine. But don’t pretend you’re not a bandwagon fan.

  • Feb 28, 20118:21 am
    by gordbrown


    To get this story back on track. Smith is a tool and a fool. His basic thesis is: black folk gots to be careful because whitey has it in for them. Therefore the Piston players are in the wrong. Which players though? Doesn’t say. I repeat. McGrady is not doing anything for Hamilton. Either there is something else going on, or a headache is really a headache. And let’s put this in perspective. Nobody didn’t show up for a game. Kuester is the one who threw a game, you could just as easily argue this was out of spite. He could have just as easily held Stuckey and Daye out of another game for missing practice and made the same point. Who’s fault is that? But my bottom line is that no one should read Smith. It’s a waste of time and probably kills brain cells.

  • Feb 28, 20118:39 am
    by gordbrown


    Just read Michael Rosenberg’s piece of toilet paper today. He should be ashamed of himself. Nothing but speculation and innuendo wrapped in self aggrandizing bullshit. He’s the one should be suspended.

    • Feb 28, 20119:34 am
      by Dan Feldman


      I have a post scheduled for later this morning that addresses Rosenberg’s column.

  • Feb 28, 20119:22 am
    by neutes


    Steven A usually has an agenda, and that’s fine. Whatever. I’m more concerned about losing the Pistons most beloved fan Laser. I’m gonna miss his comments that usually end up 1000 words more than the actual article. Don’t go Laser! It’s pretty funny that almost everyone sees the folly in Dumars’ moves, or lack of moves, but him. I’ll be done once we resign Stuckey and Prince to new 5 year deals and draft Montejunas. Until then I can hang around and watch Monroe clean up the glass. I’m too eager to find out how bad Dumars truly wants to live in no mans land.

  • Feb 28, 20119:57 am
    by gmehl1977


    I am guessing you have the power to not let commenters reply Feldman. I know what a bandwagon fan is but i was just pointing out that Laser is obviously frustrated enough to say that he will follow another team which i don’t totally believe he would. I will always be piston fan but i still love watching any nba game cause i just love watching the game of basketball. If you can seriously tell me that you have for the last 2 or so years enjoy watching the pistons more than any other match up just because your a piston fan then you have got issues. It really kills me to see how the pistons have been winning 1st halves only to lose them in the  2nd half. What ever happened to playing the right way like Larry Brown used to say. How many times have we done that this year. I am guessing it would be close to 50% which is just unacceptable.

    • Feb 28, 20117:51 pm
      by Laser


      plain and simple, being a fan of this team has been a source of grief and misery for me. it’s lowered my quality of life. just thinking about it puts me in a foul mood. i gave up on this season before it even started, understanding full well that wins and losses were meaningless (since we’d likely win 27 anyways), and hoping for some payoff to the few remaining expiring assets we had. joe did nothing. i leave with a clear conscience. i really appreciate that you get that.
      for the record, i love the game of basketball, and there are teams i enjoy watching. i was in LA a year and some ago and will be back later this year, so i’m already half a clipper’s fan. and i just plain like the way the bulls have built their team. it’s not like i’m going to go out and buy gear and hop on their bandwagons or anything, but i’m not going to quit watching basketball just because joe dumars decided to murder the team i love.
      it’s absurd that someone could find anything wrong with a fan who’s principled, passionate and knowledgeable, who set reasonable standards for how his team is managed, and takes an indefinite hiatus until the team is recognizable again? is it better to watch every game, wave the flag just because it says “pistons” on it, and support joe through thick and thin, even though he’s obviously incapable of doing his job anymore? how is that a better fan than someone who sets limits and abides by them??

  • Feb 28, 201110:44 am
    by Quin


    Laser, don’t Go!  Complaining is the best reason to post anyway.  If the Pistons org wasn’t screwing up, we’d just be a bunch of smiling cheerleaders.  No fun.
    I agree with whoever said Stephen A. isn’t worth reading.  Dude is always pointing out players for being a discredit to their race, but I think that’s hypocritical.  If he would like to improve the public’s perception of Black players, he would write articles about the challenges they face as Black athletes.  He doesn’t, however.  I’m curious if his news organization would publish such writing.  There’s irony there.  He is handcuffed to a way of writing by his organization but speaks against athletes for openly displaying dissatisfaction towards their organizations.  The only way he can criticize establishments and bigoted fans is to first criticize the players, but I’d rather someone represent my true feelings than suggest I take a stance I don’t respect just so he can express himself.  We need more Bomani Jones.

    • Feb 28, 20117:53 pm
      by Laser


      sorry, quin, but everyone already knows my complaints, and they could figure out my new ones as dumars continues to make terrible decisions and bury the franchise. see you on the other side, maybe.

  • Feb 28, 201111:48 am
    by detroitpcb


    I always take Smith’s comments with a dose of salt but his perception that there is both a racial dimension and a new society wide preference and respect for businessmen, capitalists, and owners over labor is not to be discarded. That part of his column is on point.

    On the Laser note – Joe Dumars deserves complete blame for the current situation. He hired Q. He dismantled the old team. He inexplicably gave Rip a new contract while doing that. He signed Ben Gordon & CV as free agents. He drafted the young players. He did not, or could not, make a trade at the deadline to improve the team.

    Where i disagree with Laser and others, is to call these Pistons bankrupt. They have a core of nice young talent in Stuckey, Monroe, Daye, & JJ that any GM in the league would be glad to have. One or two additions via draft, trade, or free agengy and this team will be contending again. A period of 3 down years after 6 consecutive trips to the ECF’s is probably something that could not be avoided – if you know of examples of teams that have rebuilt without losing seasons please post a reply.

    • Feb 28, 20115:05 pm
      by gmehl1977


      Problem is you need financial flexibility to sign any free agents that will make an impact which the pistons clearly do not have. I agree with Laser that Joe should of done everything in his power to get something out of Tay and McGrady before they walk this summer for nothing. I just can’t see either wanting to stay here for a rebuild which the pistons are clearly doing so why not cash in and get something for them. I just don’t understand it. The Joe of 2001-2002 would of done that in a heart beat.

      • Feb 28, 20118:05 pm
        by Laser


        1) gmehl is right about free agency. and the other rotten side effect of this mess is that detroit’s name is mud now. we were never a destination, but not long ago, when we were winning, we could get vets like chris webber to come here for the vet’s minimum. those days are done. this team, locker room, front office… it’s all a mess. nobody in their right mind would want to come here to have their career ruined. so our midlevel exception (if the team even spends it in the near future) is worth significantly less than almost everyone else’s. who would ever take our MLE to play here when it’s the minimum amount any team could offer, and there are 29 better organizations? if we had dumped gordon and/or villanueva and cleared some cap space to sign a zach randolph who might want to actually play here, that’s one thing. but the price you’re going to have to pay someone to come here just got a LOT heftier.
        2) the young core is “good.” but not good enough. not a single one who you could sensibly project as a future all-star. and you’ve got no real way of improving the team around these guys. nobody’s going to make a trade with detroit that’s going to upgrade the team when all we have to offer are guys like rip, gordon, villanueva, maxiell and will bynum. one of the biggest problem among fans is this vague optimism based on sheer fantasy. this team’s only avenue for significant improvement is the draft. and they’ll never lose enough games to land a franchise pick unless they win the lottery.
        3) i repeat: HOW IS THIS TEAM GOING TO GET ANY BETTER OTHERWISE???? someone’s going to hand us a franchise cornerstone for one of our overpaid, mediocre veterans?? someone’s going to jump at our midlevel exception to come play for joe dumars and john kuester?? things are going to get worse before they get better.

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