Pistons won’t fire John Kuester, but they will fine Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox, Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey
Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox have been fined for missing shootaround without an excuse, but the Pistons are not planning a coaching change in the wake of the perceived mutiny against John Kuester, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com Saturday.
The team engaged in lengthy organizational meetings Saturday to discuss the latest meltdown in a season that has spiraled out of control. Though sources are downplaying a significant rebellion against Kuester, a proposal to buy out Hamilton — who had another in a series of confrontations with Kuester recently — will be presented to ownership before the March 1 deadline for him to be eligible for another team’s playoff roster. The chances of a buyout for Hamilton, however, are "slim," a source said, given that he has two years left on his contract.
Hamilton and Wilcox flew back to Detroit with the team after the Pistons — with only six available players — lost to the Sixers in Philadelphia. Both players are expected to be available Saturday night against Utah, but whether or not they play will be a "coaching decision," the source said.
Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, and Ben Wallace also missed shootaround Friday prior to the Sixers game, but all three had legitimate excuses, the person said. The Pistons’ training staff confirmed to management that McGrady and Prince had been sick. Wallace is dealing with the sudden terminal illness of a close family member, the source said.
Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey were late for shootaround, missing the team bus and catching a cab, the source said. They were fined for being late.
I don’t really buy the other players’ excuses, especially because there are reports that the Pistons planned a shootaround boycott last week. I’m sorry to hear to hear about Ben Wallace’s family member, and I mean that. Dealing with that affects everyone in different ways, and if he needed to miss games or practices to handle the situation, I’d have no problem with that. But he was last night’s 76ers game. At that point, I think it’s fair to question
A hypothetical reason Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince and Wallace avoided fines: they were granted permission to miss the shootaround before John Kuester realized some of his players were staging a protest. If that were the case, and the Pistons fined those players, I think the NBA Players Association could build a strong case to appeal the fines. The Pistons can’t approve a player missing practice then fine him for it.
Leave a Reply