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Austin Daye says mother’s illness distracted him last season

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

Dealing with myriad issues last season, including his mother’s battle with multiple sclerosis, weighed on him. He admitted he couldn’t compartmentalize as well as he should’ve and instead of the game being his sanctuary, it became another source of something he couldn’t control as well as he’d like.

"It was a lot of stress, a lot of stuff, issues," said Daye, 24. "And also the basketball, it’s life. I think a lot of people think because you’re a basketball player you don’t have real problems."

More than anything, I empathize with Daye. He’s taken plenty of criticism about his mental makeup, including from me. This is a good reminder that we don’t always know what’s going on with these players, and it’s unfortunate Daye had go through what have been a challenging season regardless with the added weight of his mother’s illness.

But in professional sports, the athletes who succeed are the ones who can get past issues like these. There is a never-ending supply of people who want to play in the NBA, and some of that group can handle personal setbacks better than others. The NBA isn’t waiting for those who can’t, especially players like Daye, who haven’t fully proven themselves as viable NBA players in the long term.

I’m not saying that’s right. I’m saying that what is.

There is plenty of room for  a discussion about the role of humanity in sports and how different the workplace should be treated than in other industries. I’d like to have that discussion. I’d like to see change.

But for Daye’s sake, I hope he can adjust – because he can do it quicker than the league’s culture.


  • Jan 3, 201312:11 pm
    by MNM


    But what is the excuse for every other season..?

    • Jan 3, 20134:28 pm
      by tarsier


      This is only his 4th season. His first season he was a rookie (and one expected to be a project). His second season actually wasn’t half bad, it just wasn’t particularly amazing. But if he had followed up his rookie to sophomore improvement with a similar one going from his second to third season, he would have actually been a legitimate asset. But instead, he played worse than almost anyone ever has.

      I’m not yet sold, but there may be hope for him as a rotation player. Last year, he shot 13-62 on threes. This season, so far, he is 13-20. He could be an Anthony Morrow/Dorell Wright/Kyle Korver type if last season really was nothing more than an aberration. 

      • Jan 4, 201310:49 am
        by MNM


        “This is only his 4th season.”     That isn’t an excuse. That’s more than enough time to get your shit together..  And Jerebko was expected to be more of a project than than Daye when that draft was finished. 
        but there may be hope for him as a rotation player. “   -Then it might as well be somewhere else..if he keeps this up, then his trade value will peak this season.. Joe had the chance to trade him a couple of years ago and didn’t pull the trigger. Then it dwindled to nothing… Get whatever value you can this season while you can.

    • Jan 3, 20134:29 pm
      by tarsier


      His mark this year of 12-35 from two is unacceptable though.

  • Jan 3, 201312:30 pm
    by Daye and Knight (Team Redemption)


    Austin Daye brings that TEAM REDEMPTION spirit to every game!

  • Jan 3, 20131:09 pm
    by Derek


    I wish the kid the best.  Perhaps being brought to the brink last year, will help in the future.  Hopefully his struggles are something that he can use to encourage others who struggle, as well as something that will allow him to reclaim his once fading career.

  • Jan 3, 20132:15 pm
    by Mone


    Probably my fav Piston..

  • Jan 3, 20134:19 pm
    by apa8ren9


    These types of experiences sometimes make you reflect on how selfish and immature you may have been.  To see a loved one go through things like can sometimes let you see how others feel instead of feeling yourself all of the time with planking and tweeting.  Sometimes it can bring about an inner growth and understanding of the world, your role in it and how to deal with it.  

  • Jan 3, 20135:43 pm
    by Scott Free


    I’m going to use this tidbit of information to psychoanalyze a young man going through a difficult time in his life vis-a-vis basketball performance… oh wait, no, I’m not a d-bag.

    • Jan 4, 20139:24 am
      by apa8ren9


        First off dont imply that you know me, cause you dont.  I will give my opinion about this because I have gone through this same thing with my family.  Im sure you arent a d-bag.  But how would I know for sure.  I’ve given my opinion on Daye lots of times.  I dont think its a secret that he is/was immature.  Ive been saying that on this blog for quite awhile.  He has the opportunity to improve each day he takes a breath.  Leave it at that.

  • Jan 4, 20139:55 am


    My only beef with dumars is the idea of lettting coaches coach….you are the GM…when Dumars drafted Daye I remember dumars saying he believe Daye had a special talent in shooting the ball…

    He believed Daye was versatile, and could play multiple positions.

    Sometimes as a GM, make sure the guys you drafted get a real chance to play…especially when you are switching coaches up every other year…

    Daye had he one poor year as a piston, and most players would struggle dealing with off court issues, physically issues, and mental on court issues…

    He has bounced back and kept himself ready….is he the answer for us as a future SF? probably not “THE” answer but can he solve some problems at SF yes he can…it all depends on whats Dumars vision for this team

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