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Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum: We weren’t criticizing Lawrence Frank

Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum each recently made statements that were framed as critical of Lawrence Frank, but those might not have been fair portrayals. Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum both said their comments about Pistons coach Lawrence Frank’s substitution patterns were misinterpreted.

Prince was not available during pregame media access. However, Bynum said later in the team’s Palace locker room that the second-team point guard has to adjust to his teammates and his comments had nothing to do with Frank’s substitution patterns.

Kudos to Ellis for reporting that. It’s an awkward situation, because he, like the rest of the media, framed the statements as critical, but the public should should know Prince’s and Bynum’s responses.

There is room for players and coaches to disagree about strategy and still respect each other, and there’s even room to discuss those disagreements with the media. Players can also discuss the downsides of decisions and still agree with those decisions.

I don’t know whether any of the above was the case here or whether Prince and Bynum are simply backtracking. For now, I’ll accept that Prince and Bynum didn’t intend to criticize Frank, but if they say something else that sounds critical, it might be harder to give them the benefit of the doubt.

17 Comments

  • Nov 27, 20125:59 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Well I was criticizing Laurence Frank and I will continue to do so until he starts to act like a real coach. Play Drummond with Monroe more. I don’t care that he starts just give them minutes together so they can develop chemistry. Oh and by the way good win the other day coach.

  • Nov 27, 20127:28 pm
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    My reading was not that Prince was being critical of Franks, but rather he was being critical of the starters (including himself) for laying such a big egg. And a little bit of self criticism can be healthy.

    • Nov 27, 20127:33 pm
      by gordbrown

      Reply

      Frank, slip of the fingers there.

  • Nov 27, 20127:36 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    I dont like Frank not playing drummond for no reason and i almost want him fired because of it..but.  I will say i think in this situation frank went to prince and bynum and asked them about the comments.  Not in a confrontational way but more like” hey guys if you have ideas and/or concerns you know my door is open”.  I think from there both those guys wanted to pull back from the critical part of their comments.  This is the one area i think is a strength for frank  — Communication.  None of the players seem to be confused about whose playing and why.  (Even though we shout for Drummond).  from Jonas to now CV communicated well.  stuckey for bynum at backup pg communicated well.  even though stucky said he would come off the bench its good he can go to the coach with something like that and was communicated well.  Frank even appears pretty blunt when dissecting his team, not biting his tongue.  I think this is an underrated aspect of coaching which Frank is good at,  

  • Nov 27, 20127:40 pm
    by Haan

    Reply

    For what it’s worth, I believe Bynum’s denial but not Prince’s.  Bynum knows that he’s struggling and that his status is in jeapardy, so he tried to explain what’s going on.  I thought it was a bit forced to draw a critique of the coach out of his comments.  Prince spoke out in order to stand up for the guys on an off day, to be a leader.  That’s laudable, but in this instance that means he did indeed go after the coach.  He can’t just own it, because he knows the media would have a fieldday with Mutiny II and maybe because he knows Frank stands strong for the season.  The price of not owning it is sounding deceptive though.

  • Nov 27, 20128:13 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Ladies and gentlemen… your 2012-2013 Pistons!
     

  • Nov 28, 201212:11 am
    by Pratik

    Reply

    Bottom line is Frank should use the rookies a lot more! And not put them in the game when the other team is making a run. Rookies obviously will be turnover prone, but we need to develop them.
    I would rather start: Knight, Singler, Middleton, Monroe, and Drummond or bring Kim English in at the 2 and switch Singler at the 3. Take Risks….try it out. The Starting  lineup should be changing until we find a solid group that plays well together and puts the other team out of the game as early as the first quarter, and finding a group who plays well in the 4th Quarter! Learn from Greg Pop, when he rested all of his veteren players and started his bench all of last season. Yes that was for a different reason, and it was a shortened season, but he took a CHANCE.
    Also, I know people are starting to doubt Rodney and want him to stay on the bench. Actually, more then critics and fans, Rodney has created doubt in his mind and hasn’t been able to play with any confidence yet. But when you look back to last season, he really played well against elite teams. And we all expected him to do that this year. Yes, it hasn’t gone there way and obviously a 0-8 start hasn’t helped. But hopefully he can bring the same energy off the bench as he did in his rookie season under Chauncey, he was very effective, even in the playoffs, when Chauncey got hurt. It was exciting to see him play and drive to the hoop with ease. More then his driving, his jump shot has suffered so much, giving him only one strength, and that is to drive hard and hope to get fouled. If he could start shooting the ball more, his defenders would give more respect allowing them to be vulnerable to against the drive. I just don’t understand that when a player is struggling, why haven’t coaches gotten them some help? They all get paid so much money, he should be sitting in video sessions, watching games from last year, and especially the month in which he was scoring 20 + points a game. Again, I’m all about the team winning, and playing the players who are doing well on the current day, but Stuckey was suppose to be part of the future, we were invested in him after last season, and all of sudden you give up on him? I like the move to take Bynum out of the rotation and put him at backup PG, hopefully he can “find himself” and become an impact player. Also, ditto about Jonas. What’s happened to him all of a sudden? This all goes back to defining the role of a player, and this doesn’t happen during the season, it happens during training camp. There was so much hype about the Pistons coming in early and working so hard before camp. There play has been extremely poor so far. Winning 4 out of 15 games played so far. How many times are they going to put pressure on themselves by chasing .500. Not saying they can’t do it, but the organization certainly needs to do a better job preparing the team, and developing players. I like how Charlie V is getting minutes, but a better shooter then him Kim English and even Austin Daye are left out?
    Frank’s argument to this would probably be, “oh it has to do with the rotation of the other team as well, and changes on any given night”, why? Why can’t we play whatever rotation we want, and make teams adapt to playing big against us, by playing Drummond and Monroe together ALWAYS.
    We don’t have star caliber talent on this team, besides Monroe’s ability, and possibly Knight and Drummond. But until then why not make this team into a high percentage jump shooting team. Frank’s philosophy has always been attack the paint, we win the rebounding battle, and “get more layups then the other team” we win. That clearly hasn’t been the case. The fact of the matter is, we sucked at shooting with the lineup of Knight, Stuckey, Prince, Monroe, and Max. Okay so you bring in Kyle in to fix that. It helps that Max is shooting much better, but there are no game changers in the lineup, who can get on fire and just take over the game with there shooting. You have to develop Kim English and Khris Middleton, who can shoot the ball WELL, since the franchise have given up on Austin Daye (who shoots it just fine), but apparently can’t play defense? Your in the NBA…WTF

    PLAY THE ROOKIES, PLAY SLAVA, PLAY MIDDLETON, PLAY KIM ENGLISH, TRADE TAYSHAUN, GET RID OF CHARLIE, AND TRADE MAXIELL.  PLEASE. Get some good shooters and defenders on this team. Improve the 3 point shooting. So frustrated with MANAGEMENT. 

  • Nov 28, 201212:58 am
    by Otis

    Reply

    Tayshaun was obviously criticizing the coach. He said if he was the coach he would have done things differently. That doesn’t leave much room for interpretation.

    Bynum might have been trying to explain his struggles, but I did take his comments as a criticism of separating the first and second units. I may have read it that way because I share that same criticism, but I doubt it…

  • Nov 28, 20129:27 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    why is the media justifying a 0-8 start, we are a 4-11 team, that 4 wins out of 15 games! But they want to celebrate that we are 4-3 in the last 7 games. I guess theres alot of ways to make 4 wins look good.

    How about:
    2-1 in the last 3 games
    3-2 in the last 5 games
    3-0 in out last 3 home games
    4-0 in the games that we out score our opponent

    I read the article in the Detroit News today, (like I do every day)and Franks says we lost games because we didnt put defensive effort into it every game. FRANK this is why I HATE U! You BEST DEFENSIVE HOPE IS ON THE BENCH! You have a guy that rebounds, blks, protects the rim, you’d think that a coach who says he wants to be a defense first team, would look to find more minutes for Drummond, But you’ll watch 6-6, 6-7 Jason Maxiell get lit up game after game, but its okay, because he’ll throws down a MAD MAX DUNK!!!  on a putback or get a blk ever other game

    Jonas is another solid-good defender, even if his shot isnt falling he hustles on defense, no ones ever questions his effort play after play,Jonas fights and gets more loose balls than any other piston, but you’ll now find minutes for Charlie V.

    Kim English, just might be our best perimeter defender, he has great footwork and active hands, but you cant find minutes for him, however you find minutes for Maggette who has years of wear and tear on his body, and he’s not even in game shape, and when have Maggette and defensive energy been put into the wrong sentence.

    Frank your actions and decisions, dont match your words!

    We had no excuses for an 0-8 start, in the last 42 games of the season, our main players were Greg, Stuckey, Knight, Prince, Maxiell, Jonas, and Gordon. The only player no with the team is Gordon. So six of your key players return, throw in 5 rookies (only 2 of which are playing any quaility minutes), and Cory Maggette …. No lock out, no injuries, a full offseason to game plan, a full offseason to work with the players, Including Summer leagues, Basktball camps, training session, pre-season basketball …. and You as a coach have the nerve to say “We will get it once we are all looking through the same prism,”  PRISM!!!! WHO ARE YOU “BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY”

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121128/OPINION03/211280330#ixzz2DWgkEzq6

    im happy that we are not the Wizards, but atleast they have an excuse with no John Wall, they traded their best defensive big last year, and they have almost a completely new starting 5.

    It kills me that a coach or the media hangs its hat on a 21-21 finish to the season, after a 4-20 start from last year. Especially when in that 21-21 run, I saw team throw games against us to get better draft positioning, I saw play-off teams rest starters, us win games that we shouldnt have won.

    But HEY! we’re 4-3 in the last 7 games with the Suns coming to TOWN!

    • Nov 28, 201212:02 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      So much of this made me laugh.

    • Nov 29, 20122:09 am
      by Mrshourite

      Reply

      Awesome post! I feel you on Frank, starting to remind me of Rod Marinelli with all that nonsense coach speak. “Let’s keep pounding the rock!” Lol

  • Nov 28, 201211:22 am
    by TSPENCER

    Reply

    I am a long time Piston fan Tired of seeing the looses, it;s beginning to sound like excuses that this team can’t turn it around. The Owner needs to step in and start making moves. Firing the coaches will be a start even Joe D if needed. We need a hard nose coach to get in these guy’s faces , and knowes how to win, Frank is not that guy don’t know what Joe saw in him anyway.  Joe’s loosing it or he is not into it anymore, Frank had a simular start in NJ going 0-16 to start the season what more proof do you need. Pistons owner if you are foreal about this team show us you are and makes moves do it now don;t wait til the end of the season make them now!! Everything starts with you, it’s your team.  Folks only come out to see a half time show, that is utterly, utterly rediculas. I agree with other comments about the rotation let these young guy’s play, Tayshaun is a bench player I guarentee any where else in the leauge that would be his role. Start Singler at #2, Middleton at #3 Monroe and Drummond with of course B Knight running the show. Get rid of some of these guy’s that are useless Charlie V, Will B, stuckey, I would even get Jonas out of here if he doesn’t shap up, he’s been around to long to be in a slump. I do believe Magette could produce from the bench, even though he’s defense is shakey. he’s still a decent shooter, not the best but good enough for the bench.  Kim english, Slave these guy’s are young and ready,  play them. Maxiell he’s to small for what he play’s here a Monster Dunk every 10 Mins is not going to get it. Also stop using Greg as a center he’s not one let him Play Power Foward which has a more natural fit for his game AND HE WOULD BE ABLE TO DOMINATE IT BETTER.  Listen only beast can be centers in this leauge and drummond with the PT will be one. Slava a 7 footer that can get up and down the court as his backup. WTF JOE-D, and the New owner whatever his name is are you guy’s FOREAL? Let me Coach!!!!                                             

  • Nov 28, 201211:32 am
    by Derek

    Reply

    Prince has been criticizing and second guessing his coaches throughout his career.  He is a perpetual whiner with the track record to prove it, so his denial lacks credibility.  Bynum has presented himself as a guy fighting for opportunities who has scarcely said things like “buffoonery” and “if I were the coach”, so he gets a pass from me.

    I think Bynum was looking to explain his poor performance as something somewhat out of his control without throwing Frank under the bus.

    We need to be able to decrease Prince’s minutes and find a trade partner for him.
    We need to ship Bynum out somewhere where he can get an opportunity.

    Can we package them both and send them to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe?

  • Nov 28, 201212:06 pm
    by XstreamINsanity

    Reply

    Some of the people who comment on here are hilarious.  But I’ll get to that in a second.  As for the article, Will Bynum has always seemed like a cordial type guy, so I can believe his sincerity. As for Prince, his statements were direct but at the same time limited to one instance.  It’s not like he was saying how he consistently does this, but he was pointing to one instance.  And at the same time, it did sound like he was taking some responsibility for them not playing well.  He didn’t say that the plays that they were running were bad, just that the starters didn’t have it. So for that, I’ll give him a LITTLE leeway.  :)

    @bugsygod – Completely agree.

    @Pratik – Most of your argument is a very vague assessment of how to beef up any team, not just the Pistons.  Don’t have great shooters, get better shooters.  That’s a no brainer.  But there was something you said that I kind of like but see both the good and bad in it.  Like you said, we don’t have game changers.  If we had two PG type players who could average 18 PPG and 7 APG then we could possibly play them together and make the other team adapt to our lineup.  But we don’t.  Most of our players are average skilled players.  Singler isn’t going to contain a start SG/SF with his defense and he’s not going to light up a quality defending SG/SF with his offense either.  The same can be said for the rest of this team.  If we had game changers, I agree, make the other team adapt to our lineup.  But until we have major game changers (Moose and Brahma Bull may become those types of players, but they aren’t there yet), we can’t do that.  It would more than likely result in more losses.

    @I HATE FRANK – No, there are no excuses for an 0-8 start.  And Frank has had conflicting messages and actions at times.  But why dwell on 4-3 over the last seven games?  Because that’s what everyone does. How many times have you heard “The Pistons haven’t been to the playoffs in 3 years.”?  And then you hear someone say “But they’ve been in the playoffs 7 of the last 10 years.”  Also, it shows momentum.  If we won our first, then lost three, won the next, then lost 3 more, then won two, then lost the next five, that’s worse actually.  Going 4-3 in the last seven shows that there is progress being made.  And even though there aren’t excuses for going 0-8 to start the season, there are many things that can be shown to show why that was a VERY likely possibility between schedule (number of games in number of nights, miles traveled, etc.), player personnel, quality of opponents, etc.  If this was the 2003-04 team that started out 0-8, yeah, we’d be like “WFT?”, but this isn’t even close to that team, so it’s more understandable.  Look at the Lakers, they lost their first four with a not so hard start to the season which a beast of a lineup.  THAT is worse.

    @TSPENCER – For the most part, see my response to @I HATE FRANK, but you’re already ready for the coaches head?  Technically, we’ve started out better this year (to this point) than we did last year, and all of that with 6 new players, 5 of them being rookies, on the team.  I agree, Joe D needs to be working on some deals, but what were you really expecting from the team this season?  Who would we trade for a superstar to change this team around?  The players we COULD give up for that superstar could end up turning into superstars themselves.  This team is counting on some internal improvement this year to go along with the cap space available this summer.  Yeah, they want to make the playoffs to please the owner and everyone to keep their jobs, but they know making a huge move right now could be more detrimental later.

    Patience is a virtue.  Of the 30 teams in the NBA, over the last 25 years, there have been what, 6 different teams who have won a championship.  We’ve won 3 of those.  Well, I guess maybe that’s the problem.  Because we’re 1/6 of the teams that have won championships recently, maybe everyone has their hopes set too high (and believe me, I want us to get back up there, but know it’s a process).  But look at where our team is headed past just this season.  Moose, Knight, Brahma Bull, Buckets, English, Jerebko and maybe even Ctrl-V (if he ever gets to play).  Maxiell, Bynum, Maggette, Daye and Villanueva are likely gone after this season if not sooner.  Prince and Stuckey are available for trade as well.  I understand wanting to see wins and entertaining basketball.  It’s coming, and Singler has already made some of that happen.

  • Nov 28, 201212:40 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Boy, I’ve never seen this many LONG responses.  Normally I just skip over them, but am glad I read them.  They were quite entertaining.

    I think you are right to say that we as Pistons fans have to be patient.  Hopefully the playing time that some of our veterans are getting now might help us in trade value.  If they are still playing as many minutes after the trade deadline, then it’s time to start the fire Frank & Dumars chants.

    I don’t think the Pistons need a superstar.  Most don’t want to come here or we would have to give up too much to get one.

  • Nov 28, 20121:27 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    the words of both players are what they are.
    period. 
    bynum said what he said, and his words can reasonably be construed to be critical of the coach.
    the coach, after all, is the person who determines when a player gets on the court and who he is paired with.  and it is the coach who is responsible for putting a player in a position where he can succeed.
    obviously, bynum was directly referencing those duties.
    who else is responsible?
    as far as tay’s comments are concerned, they don’t even need addressing.
    i’ll give ellis credit for his follow up report.
    he simply reported that the players had objections to the original story.  and he let the reader make his/her own judgments.
    and again, the players’ own words say everything. 

  • Nov 28, 20122:20 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    It sounds like Stuckey is taking Bynum’s role as backup PG. Also Jerebko may get time at backup SF tonight. The pieces are finally coming together into their correct roles.

    Stuckey is not a SG because he can’t shoot. But he’s also not good enough of a PG to be a starting PG. Backup PG though may fit him perfect. 
     
    And Jerebko is not a PF whether as a starter or off the bench. His only chance for success in this league is likely as a backup SF.

    Now we just have to get Drummond into the starting lineup and English minutes at backup SG, and the rotation will be good

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