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Corey Maggette’s benching makes perfect sense

David Mayo of MLive wrote an article headlined, “Detroit Pistons’ Corey Maggette understandably bewildered by three-month benching with no end.” In it, Corey Maggette doesn’t really say anything too controversial. Here’s a fair representation of what Maggette said:

"You see me every day," Maggette said.  "I’m working — working with the young guys, out on the court, in the weight room, doing everything I can do to be able to play on this team.  But situations happen the way they’re going to happen.  Do I know why?  No.  Is there a reason why I shouldn’t be playing?  No.  It’s tough, because I am a competitor.  But there’s nothing I can do about it.

"I’m not going to talk bad about my situation because it’s not professional.  It’s not what you’re supposed to do.  To me, the thing is just to keep working.  A professional, to me, is helping the young guys, who are able to make me better.  And working with Arnie (Kander, strength and conditioning coach) has been great.  It’s really helped my body out."

NBA players are human beings with real emotions, drives and ambitions. It would be unreasonable to expect Maggette to happily accept his demotion. But to his credit, Maggette appears to be making the best of the situation. That’s really all we can ask.

Mayo seems to be pushing a juicier story, though:

Why it happened — why it really happened — is anyone’s guess.

Lawrence Frank said the team just decided to go another direction so he opted against using a player making just less than $11 million this year, in favor of those who might be part of the team’s future.

Except Maggette hasn’t seen the court in more than three months and the mixed message from his head coach has muddled his situation for anyone watching it.

Maggette’s last game was Dec. 15, at a time when Frank already was getting hammered with questions about playing for the future, and regularly offered the rote response that the Pistons would use their best available players in a quest to win games, and if the focus shifted to the future at some point, then it is a coach’s responsibility to say as much and be honest with his team.

That’s the confusing dichotomy.

There is no mystery here.

Maggette is done as an NBA player with any value. That’s no knock on Maggette, who’s been an all-time great foul-drawer. It’s just what happens to players his age who rely so much on their athleticism.

Khris Middleton and Kim English, as shaky as both rookies can be, are already better than Maggette. It’s reasonable to expect Middleton and English will improve throughout the season, but the same can’t be said for Maggette.

The Pistons might be sitting Maggette as part of a youth movement. But if they were committed to using their best players, they’d be sitting Maggette, anyway.

9 Comments

  • Apr 1, 201312:53 pm
    by G

    Reply

    Mayo’s an idiot if Maggette’s benching confuses him. Every time Frank trotted him out, it felt forced. It always felt like they were trying to get something out of that Ben Gordon trade (other than a salary dump) that wasn’t there. No D, his shot was gone, and he couldn’t draw the fouls anymore because he couldn’t get by his man.

  • Apr 1, 20131:30 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Nothing to see here.

  • Apr 1, 20132:19 pm
    by lisa

    Reply

    I hate having to pay a guy 11million to do nothing!! This is on Joe shoulders.

    • Apr 1, 20132:34 pm
      by G

      Reply

      They didn’t pick up Maggette to do anything, they picked him up to be an expiring contract. So far he’s been successful. 

  • Apr 1, 20134:35 pm
    by Keith

    Reply

    The last two sentences here say it all. We should have been playing for the future since day one. We figured it out eventually. Maggette hasn’t been any good in a couple years now. If anyone is confused why he was benched, it should be because they were confused why he played in the first place. If they can’t figure out why exactly he doesn’t play, it’s because there are too many reasons to just pick one.

  • Apr 1, 20135:57 pm
    by sloppy joe

    Reply

    Maggette would be more valuable playing for us if we were fighting for the 8 seed.  Still, you have to feel for the guy. It wasn’t long ago that he was a star, and he has taken the demotion in stride.

    Competitors are always going to compete.  He has earned this contract through his outstanding career, and deserves every dollar that he earns this year.

  • Apr 1, 20137:26 pm
    by James Jones

    Reply

    Khris Middleton and Kim English, as shaky as both rookies can be, are already better than Maggette. It’s reasonable to expect Middleton and English will improve throughout the season, but the same can’t be said for Maggette.”
     
    Short of FAIL, I don’t know what else to say about this sentence.  There are a 100 reasons why K&K should play over Meggette and you stretch out for possibly one of the worst I’ve read this year.

  • Apr 2, 20131:45 pm
    by Gabe

    Reply

    sorry khris middleton and kim english are not better than Corey Maggette, maybe put together, but Corey Maggette gets Buckets!!! and avg 20 ppg a season once, kim and khris will be luckey to avg 10ppg a game 

    • Apr 3, 20132:32 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Key word in that comment: “once”. As in “once upon a time”. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

      The athleticism is gone. Maggette can’t get to the bucket anymore, can’t draw fouls, and never really could play D but is worse now.

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