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Therapy helped Rodney Stuckey find a better state of mind

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has a nice profile of Rodney Stuckey today, discussing reasons for his improved play. Turns out, it has a lot to do with Stuckey working on his approach to the game:

“It was frustrating for the past couple of years, just mentally not being where you want to be as a team. All that stuff took a toll,” Stuckey said.

He clashed with former coach John Kuester, who was fired after last season and is now a Los Angeles Lakers assistant.

But Stuckey decided to make a change. He credits family and friends for his turnaround, and he also went to a psychologist, “Just to clear my mind,” he said.

“I think it was good for me. It wasn’t someone inside my inner circle, and they didn’t care,” Stuckey said of therapy. “I was going to get the feedback I needed to hear. That really helped out a lot. It was just positive energy. There was too much negative energy.”

That’s really interesting to read and, I think, reinforces what most who follow the Pistons closely have observed over the years. Stuckey’s issues have had little to do with his on-court talent and more to do with him playing with a consistent positive energy level and effort. A more calm mental state and just simply maturing seem to have finally allowed Stuckey start to realize his immense potential this year.


  • Mar 29, 20126:23 pm
    by Jacob


    Yeah I read this earlier too. That’s pretty cool, I think more athletes should use these resources. How many times do we hear about otherworldly talent that just could not put it together mentally? Stuckey has definitely improved his attitude this year along with his play.

    • Mar 30, 20122:03 am
      by Mike Payne


      Two Words: Andre Agassi.  Could Rodney Stuckey be the Andre Agassi of the NBA?  I’m waiting for him to prove me right before I examine that in article form.

  • Mar 29, 20126:55 pm
    by labatts


    “… John Kuester, who was fired after last season and is now a Los Angeles Lakers assistant.”
    Anyone noticed the Laker’s Bryant and Bynum dogging it and getting benched?  That’s hilarious.
    Seriously, though, I agree with Jacob.  I was not excited about Stuckey being resigned, but I admit I was wrong.  He is a different person this year, and I don’t mean because he is a better player.

  • Mar 29, 20127:14 pm
    by Mark


    Not only is his contract looking like a great deal, but he’s also looking like one of the steals of the ’07 draft.

    Up until now, he’s pretty much played like a 15th pick. But based on this season, if we did that draft over he might go top 5. I’d probably rank that draft like this today

    1. Durant
    2. Gasol
    3. Horford
    4. Stuckey
    5. Noah

    I’d put Stuckey ahead of Noah because of his limitations on offense, whereas Stuckey is a complete 2-way player. Great on both ends.

    When you add in Afflalo who shouldve probably went top 10 in that draft, Monroe who should’ve went top 3, maybe #1 overall, Knight, Jerebko, Tay, and Memo who all should’ve gone higher, Dumars has actually done a fantastic job at finding out who are the best players in the draft and getting them low. I think Sinlger and Macklin are going to turn out to be the next 2 that you look back on as Joe getting 2 more players that should’ve gone higher.

    • Mar 30, 20121:59 am
      by oats


      I’d take Noah ahead of him since big men have a premium attached to them. Noah is a center, and a great defender, and those are far more rare than talented combo guards (which is why we have 3 combo guards with some talent, if you buy into BG, and 0 centers who can defend unless you count a very old Ben Wallace. Even then, it’s at least a 2-1 ratio). I can buy arguments that Stuckey is the better player even though they are both roughly all star caliber players, but center just has more value than a wing player. There are a bunch of guys who give you 90% of what Stuckey does, but very few that can give you 90% of Noah. Depending on how worried you are about Horford’s injuries, Noah could actually go ahead of him in a redraft. I would have Stuckey 5, but Mike Conley is close on heels for that spot and I wouldn’t complain about someone arguing for him knocking Stuckey out of the top 5.

    • Mar 30, 20129:28 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah, agree with Oats. Stuckey hasn’t passed Noah yet and Conley is still right there with him as one of the more steady PGs in the league. But you’re right, Stuckey is right around the top 5-6 range and still could potentially move up if he keeps this up next season.

  • Mar 29, 201210:47 pm
    by Giles mills


    Don’t forget amir, he is so much better than a last pick of the draft

  • Mar 30, 201212:17 am
    by Tiko


    Stuckey’s style of play is prone to a lot of injuries.  I cant see him having a long career.  Joe should consider trading him before that contract runs up

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