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Detroit Pistons deny they’ve decided to fire John Kuester

The Pistons’ front office hasn’t made many moves lately, but it’s been busy refuting ESPN reports in the last few days. After denying involvement in a three-team trade with the Cavaliers and Timberwolves, the Pistons are saying they haven’t decided to fire John Kuester (at least, not yet).

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

The Pistons have not made a decision on coach John Kuester’s future, according to multiple team sources.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

A team source with firsthand knowledge of the situation said today that no major decisions will be made until the sale of the franchise to Los Angeles-based financier Tom Gores is complete and that nothing has changed since the end of the regular season. The source requested anonymity because he isn’t authorized to speak for Gores, who is expected to gain control sometime this week.

If the Pistons fire Kuester now, whether Karen Davidson or Tom Gores would pay the final year of his contract becomes another point for the lawyers to deal handle. For simplicity’s sake, waiting makes sense.

That doesn’t mean Joe Dumars hasn’t had discussions about firing Kuester. Ric Bucher’s report came from somewhere. But that means the Pistons can’t publicly say Kuester has been fired.


  • May 31, 201112:25 am
    by rob


    Why does Woodsons name keep coming up as Dumars’ first choice?

    He should be the last choice when guys like Adelman, Sloan, Van Gundy, and LB are available.

    How could he possibly justify another LB retread assistant after what happened with Kuester?

    Does Joe not learn from any mistakes anymore?

    First he tried to fit two ball dominant SG’s together in Rip and AI. When that didnt work after 1 year, he thought it would be a good idea to try another ball dominant SG next to Rip for 5 more yrs, just to be certain it doesnt work.


    Now after 2 years of Kuester, he still hasnt learned his lesson that a poor mans LB is not the real thing?

    Not to mention that the real LB is out there looking for a job, and he prefers the LB knock-off? 

    Joe should not be allowed to choose this next coach. He obviously doesnt know how. I get not bringing LB back, but if Adelman, Sloan, and Van Gundy are at least not interviewed and courted to be the next coach, Joe should join in Kuester in LA.

    Woodson would just be Joe taking the easy way out once again, and thats inexcusable anymore with Gores now the owner.

    • May 31, 20117:51 am
      by tarsier


      A couple things:
      1) There are no indications that Sloan is available. And if he is, he will get offers for much more desirable coaching gigs than the Pistons.
      2)Van Gundy!?!?!? Are you kidding me? Why would anyone want that man to coach their team. It would be a tough call which would be worse between keeping Kuester on and inking JVG.
      3)Adelman or Shaw would be great choices. I’d be fine with LB too because odds are Prince is gone so the only remaining bad blood is between him and Rip, who also might be gone.
      4)Woodson is a significant step up from Curry or Kuester because he actually has head coaching eperience. He’s only mediocre and certainly wouldn’t be my first choice, but he wouldn’t be worth complaining about.

    • May 31, 20111:07 pm
      by Tony


      Glad I’m not the only one pointing out Joe D’s horrible coaching hires, his draft picks have been only slightly less horrible recently w/Monroe and a couple others showing potential.  But Charlie V and Gordon were a complete waste of money and an abandonment of the Pistons’ traditional defense first approach in past championship years.

  • May 31, 201112:44 am
    by Daniel


    Wow, I really couldn’t disagree more.  Woodson has been linked to Detroit so frequently because he is exactly what the Pistons need right now.  He has successful head coaching experience, is defensive-minded by nature, is already familiar with the Joe D and the organization, and won’t demand nearly as much compensation as someone like Sloan or Adelman.  Seems like a good fit to me

    • May 31, 20112:26 am
      by rob


      How can you possibly say Woodson has succesful coaching experience when he has only had TWO winning seasons in his entire career?

      Thats success?

      I need more evidence than that before I’m rushing into hiring a coach.

      He has 4 playoff wins in his entire postseason career too. How is that success?

      Being familiar with Joe and the Pistons and coming cheap should be the last reason why a coach is hired. Michael Curry and John Kuester were familiar and cheap too.

      Flip Saunders seemed like a good fit.

      Why are we being forced to skimp on a coach still when we just got a new owner who is a billionaire?

      Woodson should be a last resort. The Pistons can and should be trying to do much better than this.

      What about going after Izzo or one of the many high profile college coaches? There are so many better options that need to be explored first.

      After all the bad coaching hires by Dumars, you would think he would’ve learned by now not rush into hiring a coach. This should be a long drawn out process with many candidates being interviewed.

      To just rush into hiring Woodson would be a terrible move. The only coaches you rush into hiring are guys like Phil, LB, and Riley, not a coach with 2 winning seasons on his resume.

      • May 31, 20117:56 am
        by tarsier


        Consider the team he had to work with. It was a poor man’s OKC. They started really bad and gradually improved, eventually becoming a pretty decent squad. He didn’t way overachieve, but one could easily predict much worse results from a rebuilding Hawks team than those he got. Measuring a coach’s aptitude by win% is a horrible metric, just like it is for players. It way overrates those in fortunate circumstances like Phil Jackson or Derek Fisher and doesn’t show enough respect for the amazing jobs done by people like George Karl.

      • May 31, 20119:49 am
        by Jacob


        Woodson has actually had 11 wins in the playoffs. And in 6 seasons with Atlanta they improved in wins every year going from 13 in 04-05 to 53 in 09-10. 53 wins with Joe Johnson as your best player – not bad. Not a bad choice as a head coach.

  • May 31, 201112:47 am
    by Jay


    I agree that Adelman should be interviewed, because I think that he is the best choice for Detriot. There is too much bad blood to bring back Larry Brown and I don’t believe it to be a good idea anyway. His day is done. Sloan is retired. However, even if he was not retired, his type of coaching has past for the current NBA. I would choose Woodson over Van Gundy. I like Van Gundy. He is a good coach and good man. However, he is not the right man for this team. Woodson is the right man. It’s probably the best choice for this team.

  • May 31, 20118:37 am
    by DSV


    Bottom Line: Need for good players >>>>>>>(far outweighs>>>>>>Need for a good coach
    Good players + mediocre coach = chance to wint
    Mediocre players + ‘Good coach’ = <35 wins a year

  • May 31, 20119:35 am
    by gmehl1977


    I totally agree DSV but i was kind of hoping we could aim to eventually have both…a good coach and good players. Realistically I would hope that Joe tries to build a team similar to the 2001-2002 Pistons where they fought tooth and nail for a 50-32 record with a roster of miss match players that included:

    Victor Alexander
    Chucky Atkins
    Dana Barros
    Jon Barry
    Brian Cardinal
    Michael Curry
    Damon Jones
    Mikki Moore
    Zeljko Rebraca
    Clifford Robinson
    Jerry Stackhouse
    Ratko Varda
    Ben Wallace
    Rodney White
    Corliss Williamson

    None of those guys were really all-stars caliber players apart from Stackhouse but they were guys that were hungry to succeed and played as a team. I suppose you could say that the teams whole was worth more than the sum of its parts. They all had defined roles which the new coach coming in needs to implement. This to me is what i think all piston fans want to see happen. Guys that might not be superstars but that hungry team players that together well. This is where you can sacrifice talent for heart which this team clearly has lacked.
    Next season (if there is one) will be where i pass final judgement on Joe. He has proved in the past (2001-2002) that if you are willing to trade guys for better fitting ones that might not be as good that are a little cheaper then you can turn things around quickly.

  • May 31, 20119:51 am
    by ergatai


    <p>Larry Brown is the last coach this team needs. &nbsp;His MO is to crush young players, stick them on the bench and go with decent veterans who give a lot of effort. &nbsp;We have a young team now not a veteran team. &nbsp;We have a lot of players who still need to figure it out and we will be drafting more. &nbsp;We aren’t in win now mode and getting rid of our youth for vets that can get us to 40+ wins really doesn’t make a lot of sense. &nbsp;Ask Charlotte how they enjoyed their LB experience? He wanted to trade away anyone who didn’t play his way and now they are stuck with a bunch of overpaid veterans and he’s gone.</p><p>Woodson may be a defensive coach but his isolation offense and lack of creativity or adjustments is frightening. &nbsp;His teams improved every year as they got more comfortable with each other but they flamed out because they were so predictable. &nbsp;And, as sad as it is to say, we don’t even have a Joe Johnson level player on our team.</p>

  • May 31, 201111:37 am
    by DSV


    @gmehl – truth! What a throwback lineup that is, talk about deja vu! I agree and I guess all I was getting at was some of the adamant folks on here about this coach or that… I’ve become so disappointed with this roster that in my mind we could trot out a high school coach and it wouldn’t make a difference. Between the poor roster and the poor coaching/management of that roster it’s easy to forget what can happen with a few guys who wanna play hard and the right coach. Even that seems so difficult to accomplish right now with the contracts we have on our roster. Maybe the whole CBA business this summer will give us a break…

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