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Josh Smith on Maurice Cheeks benching him: ‘I take real offense to it’

Josh Smith on Maurice Cheeks benching him for the second half of the Pistons’ loss to the Wizards, via David Mayo of MLive:

"It’s an honor for me to play, you know what I’m saying?  So when anybody challenges — or anything about the fact that, you know, about me not wanting to play — then I take real offense to it," Smith said.

Smith, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:

"I’m an aggressive person. I’m not passive. So maybe a passive person that takes life that way won’t understand an aggressive person. I really can’t worry about what people perceive of me because they don’t know me on a day-to-day basis so I’m really not concerned about what people perceive about me at all."

"To me it is over with. But you know some people hold grudges longer than others. I don’t know. I’m not saying he does. I’m not the type of person that really likes to go all the time in coach’s office and have a one-on-one sitdown. I’m more of a team morale guy."

You can read my thoughts at ProBasketballTalk.


  • Dec 29, 20138:59 am
    by gmehl


    I don’t know why Cheeks was so mad I mean our big 3 scored one more point combined  than the the Magic game… SMH. Seriously though if we start stringing some losses together surely it will force Dumars hand into making a change/s… right? Otis??

  • Dec 29, 20139:25 am
    by JJ


    Josh is full of crap. He rarely plays with effort/intensity- he has been trash the past few games. Nearly every good thing he does on defense is cancelled out by his lousy offensive game. He’s such a selfish and low IQ ball player, no wonder why the Hawks wanted nothing to do with him. 

  • Dec 29, 20139:27 am
    by Georgio


    If you looked at the game closely you would have noticed that Smith, other than a few early possessions, was hanging out in the corner or out by the 3pt line. I’m sure that’s not what Cheeks wanted. Ariza could not check Smith in the post but he refused to go there. On one play Smith was behind the 3pt line calling for the ball and Jennings would not pass it to him, then he finally did and of course he shot it and of course he missed it. First play of the game, Smith in the post, double teamed, contested shot, Andre putback. On two other post possession, Smith got fouled on one and he scored on the other.  I think his disregard of the game plan is what got him benched, as it should have. 

    • Dec 29, 20132:44 pm
      by frankie d


      one play fairly early smith caught the ball behind the 3 point line, pump faked, took one dribble and ended up firing a long 2.  he had an open lane to the basket, not a defender between him and, say about 5 or 6 feet of the basket.  instead of putting the ball on the floor and doing something to make the defense react and/or to get a better shot, he tossed up a lazy, 18 foot brick. 
      i’m sure it is that type of thing that even cheeks is getting tired of watching.
      now detroit fans know why atlanta fans would boo whenever smith got set to throw up one of those bricks.

  • Dec 29, 201310:08 am
    by Hazen


    The behind the back passes and trying to dribble too much didn’t help. Time to call Houston and ask about Chandler Parsons…..

  • Dec 29, 20131:24 pm
    by gtg2013


    Get rid of him. Now.
    I like the Chandler Parsons idea but I doubt Houston would.

  • Dec 29, 20133:00 pm
    by frankie d


    the post over at the other blog appears to assign equal blame for the incident on both smith and cheeks, noting that cheeks has a history of “sparring” with players.
    the implication is that cheeks is as much to blame for this discord as smith is.
    if that is the analysis, i would beg to differ.  cheeks’ problem in the past has been that he bends over backwards to accommodate players and then players take full advantage of the room he gives them.  often to the detriment of the team.
    i’ve seen nothing to indicate that the same thing has not happened here. 
    cheeks is simply doing his job – trying to coach the team and get it in the best position to win, as inept as he might be – while smith is doing what he has been doing his entire career – playing his game the way he wants to play it, regardless of how dumb it may be or how much it may hurt the team.
    in that type of situation, one party is clearly more culpable than the other.

  • Dec 29, 20133:01 pm
    by Kornkat2020


    I say

    Josh smith and Charlie V for Afflalo and Hedo. They get stretch 4 assistance to compliment Vucevic as well as a dynamic wing defender/scorer (leaves them a little dry at the SG spot though). Pistons get a proven shooter/defender in Afflalo, and some lump to shed once his contract expires in Hedo, and the flexibility to go after a good SG/SF in free agency

  • Dec 29, 20133:26 pm
    by Kamal


    I think words were exchanged at halftime.  Smith said too much and Cheeks punished him for it. Pope said that whatever was said in the locker room is between the team.  Something happened.  i don’t believe he just benched Smith for his poor play.

  • Dec 29, 20133:31 pm
    by Vic


    This team doesn’t lack talent or effort, this team lacks strategic decision making.
    I said this last summer, the 3 positions you need smart decision makers are coach, point guard, and small forward.
    - I love Cheeks in between games and courage to make changes, but he had a losing record coming in, and he gets out game planned by smart coaches regularly.
    - Jennings is known for being talented but questionable in decision making.
    - Smith is known for being talented but questionable in decision making.
    This unfortunately goes back to Joe Dumars, who made these decisions to undervalue intelligence (even though he did want Calderon back but Calderon wouldn’t come). I’m usually a Joe d supporter, but I do say this is his doing.
    A talented team that can be outsmarted easily is what he has.
    Getting rid of Monroe would be another colossally dumb move. He’s the most efficient scorer and defensive rebounder on the team. Not a good team defender but a great tool to have.
    How to stop the bleeding:
    1. Play Singler/Jerebko at 3
    2. Play Monroe/Smith at 4
    3. Emphasize ball movement
    4. Get a new defensive strategy that the team can understand

    • Dec 29, 20133:41 pm
      by frankie d


      agree with most of what you say.
      i would, however simply establish a 3 man rotation at the 4/5 spots with smith coming off the bench.  it just seems to work better to have  guy with his versatility coming in to spell either monroe or drummond.
      i am not as big a mo cheeks fan.  nice guy, but very mediocre coach. i really don’t know how much he actually does between games, either.  the team’s offense is prehistoric.  on a recent blazer’s broadcast, one of the announcers was talking about the cheeks era and mentioned that one of the players told him that the team had 2 plays.  2 plays!  i know it sounds ridiculous, but after watching the team this year, it certainly seems plausible.

      • Dec 29, 20135:45 pm
        by Vic


        Totally agreed on the 3 man 4/5 rotation, I’ve been saying that since before the seasonstarted 
        Ideally Monroe is the offensive hub and Smith is theoffensive hub when he plays 4. Both Smith and Drummond can make up for Monroe defensively, especially if there is areal 3 playing the 3
        Basically, any Gm, coach or pg would salivate at the talent the pistons have and develop a working gameplan around it. It really takes a lot of stubbornness and money politics to mess this up consistently

    • Dec 29, 20133:52 pm
      by Ryan


      I agree with most everything you two are saying. I would like to see Vic’s plan implemented so that we can salvage Josh Smith’s value and then look to trade him for a real small forward and/or picks.

      The way we’ve gone away from Greg Monroe this year is inexcusable, unless we’re trying to drive down his value so we can resign him cheaply, he’s a proven scorer and developing leader. It kills me when Josh shoots 20 shots and Monroe has got 9. Greg’s going to make half of his, at least and draw fouls. Josh is going to make between 25 and 40% and he doesn’t draw fouls. It’s a simple choice.

      So use him off the bench, get his value back up and see what we can get for him in the coming months.

      • Dec 29, 20137:18 pm
        by Vic


        Right it totally baffles me how he can be afraid of the 3 point line on defense but camp out there on offense… If we could reverse that this season could turn around like it did when we beat Indiana and almost beat Portland

    • Dec 29, 20136:20 pm
      by CityofKlompton


      I don’t think getting rid of Monroe would be as colossal of a dumb move as we make it out to be. Greg Monroe is essentially David Lee, and I never hear anyone gushing over Lee as much as us Pistons fans gush over Monroe. He is the best player we had through one of the weakest era’s of Pistons basketball, but he isn’t an all-star. If we can move him now, while his stock is high, for a quality wing player or draft pick(s) to balance this roster and move Smith back to the four-spot where he wouldn’t be sitting at the three-point line all the time, I think that would be worthwhile. We’re probably not going to have the cap space to keep Monroe & Drummond AND significantly upgrade our roster at any position, and we’re certainly not going to be getting a quality wing back by trading Smith either.

      Just food for thought.

      • Dec 29, 20137:29 pm
        by frankie d


        i will ask you what i’ve asked the readership of the blog:
        when was the last time a team traded a guy like monroe?
        i cannot recall a single time – other than maybe al jefferson, whose somewhat similar case actually is the exception that proves the rule – when a team traded a young, healthy 7 footer.  it just doesn’t happen because players with his size and skill are probably the rarest thing in today’s nba. 
        teams wait decades to get a guy like monroe, and to trade him because the team made a horribly stupid move – signing smith – that complicates monroe’s presence is the kind of insane illogic that has gotten the franchise to this point.
        like i said, if it is not a dumb move, name another team that has actually traded a guy like monroe?
        no one is untouchable, but if you trade a guy like monroe, you better get the kind of return that al jefferson has commanded each time he’s been traded.

        • Dec 29, 201310:04 pm
          by Max


          Not a perfect comparison but Chris Webber was traded twice as a young player and they were disastrously bad trades both times.

          • Dec 29, 201310:47 pm
            by frankie d

            Very different in lots of ways but it still proves my point.
            When webber was traded, each time he his team got a ton of talent/picks in return. And webber was a 6-9 PF, while monroe is a 7 foot C/PF.  And you have to go back to find anything remotely comparable.
            Again, teams dont trade young, productive 7 footers.  Especially for pennies on the dollar.

          • Dec 30, 20131:05 pm
            by Jon

            If Al Jefferson is what Monroe is going to be, then the need to trade him becomes more apparent because there is no need for a ground bound defenseless center on the same team that has another center with unlimited defensive potential. 

        • Dec 30, 201310:36 pm
          by CityofKlompton


          I’m not saying we just throw Monroe out there and taking just any deal. Trading Monroe and being successful is not a sure thing, but neither is keeping him. The Smith signing has really complicated keeping both Monroe and Drummond, so the team has to seriously be asking itself how they are going to proceed. It will be incredibly difficult to make any strong improvements if they keep both of them… unless they can pull off a miracle deal before the deadline or are lucky enough to pull a disgruntled player from another team down the line.
          How high is the ceiling with Drummond and Monroe as opposed to Drummond and an improvement to our weakling-wings? That is essentially the question I am posing.

      • Dec 29, 20139:42 pm
        by Max


        I think most fans would trade Monroe for a quality wing player but the problem is defining what a quality wing player and whether any of them are available.  I’ve repeatedly said Monroe should be traded if acquiring Thompson, Beal, Heyward, Leonard, Afflalo, Batum or Parsons is possible.   These seven players are how I’d describe getting a quality return for Monroe.  Also, if you are willing to lower the bar than the value falls of a cliff and I’m not sure why Smith can’t get back such players.   Think of it like this; if you are going to settle for Wesley Johnson, Jodie Meeks or Nick Young for instance than you probably can trade whichever player you want regarding Monroe or Smith so why not just trade Smith and Monroe later when there is actually a market including players the Pistons need who match up with Monroe’s value.   

  • Dec 29, 20134:32 pm
    by NBALive14


    play better or get benched …way of life 

  • Dec 29, 20134:42 pm
    by pt



  • Dec 29, 20135:36 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto


    Yep Big JD mess… same as it ever was …  What so frustrating is that the team he put together for the championship was a bit unorthodox  but BALANCED. There are different ways to do it but I can tell you teams with NO good bigs (like a few years back) or No Shooters will never work……   I have always like and thought Joe was a good guy but he has been a terrible JM for the last 5 years, Seems the owner was to unwilling to rock the boat and start fresh when he came it but this should prove to be JD last year.   Even it the skirt in to the playoffs this team and Coach are flawed (AGAIN) and he should not be given any more chances to get it right.
    There were some consensus questions coming in: That Mo Cheeks was a nice guy but could not handle the modern X’s and O’s. ( Check.)  That Smith was not suited for small forward and give there were already issues from have to move Monroe (without much of a shot) The the big 3 would not work (Check) and there must be some chemistry issues with Smith given his long time team really didn’t want him back even at a reasonable price (Check)   Past that the draft …. While i like the idea of KCP (size defense shooting) The one thing he had have was shooting (not so much) After Caldoron wisely headed elsewhere and they passes on Trey Burke  We got Jennings but again had to give up something we could use (3 pointers via Middletown) As much as he is not ideal at least he IS a point guard.     So basically Joe D Ignored what almost everyone   commentators and fans alike COULD SEE and did the same old i’ll go with my gut that done so poorly for the past 6 years…………   

  • Dec 29, 20137:35 pm
    by Otis


    All you goofballs talking about trading Smith for quality players need to check yourselves. You look like idiots. Nobody wanted Smith more than the Pistons or they would have offered him more money and he would be playing for them. Also, his value has gone nowhere but down, and nobody’s value on this team is going anywhere but down given all this Detroit dysfunction that’s ingrained in the culture. Nobody is going to give us quality players AND absorb that contract. Come back to planet earth and make yourselves useful by proposing a realistic way of fixing this mess. Otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re not flexible to propose anything realistic, you’re as bad as Dumars holding out for a miracle that’s not coming.

    • Dec 29, 20139:44 pm
      by Max


      Coming from the man who never sticks his head out far enough to propose any scenarios but wildly says things like there are dozens of viable trade options for Monroe.  

  • Dec 29, 20137:48 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto


    I agree there no quick trades for Smith, Moose has some real trade value but timing and return has to be right and as some have said many teems looking to stay bad this year…..  Stuckey tradable do to expiring contract but we may want that as well…..  Other wise someone needs to sit down with Smith and Moose and get one of them coming off the bench … It will be hard for Smith ego and hard and bad timing for Moose in a contract your BUT you reap what you sow and this is what JD gave us. ….. Smith on a 3-4 year deal so his $ is protected be great for the team if he said he would.  Unfortunately this makes to much sense and i doubt will happen…. Everyone seems stuck in there ways and not able to see what in front of their faces 

  • Dec 29, 20137:57 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto


    Or Start Moose against bigger teams and Smith against quicker teams I don’t care but stop started 2 Centers and a power forward that can’t shoot.  * and yes as far as i can see Moose is a Center! He has not made enough progress with a mid range jumper and is to slow to guard many power forwards.  

  • Dec 29, 20137:58 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto


    Just as bad as when we were essentially started 3 shooting guards at 1/2/3 a few years back .. Would someone tell JD what a balanced team looks like.

  • Dec 29, 20139:37 pm


    • Dec 29, 201310:15 pm
      by T Casey


      Interesting. When only one of them plays, we’ve done better with Monroe but clearly the best lineup we have had has been Smith and Drummond without Monroe. I wonder who the other players in the lineups were and how much that would change the numbers, but the discreptency is so large between Drummond and Smith vs every other combination that it probably wouldn’t change much.
      It would probably be a pipe dream thinking we could keep Monroe for 10 mil or less and somehow manage to acquire a quality wing player when Monroe is our best movable, and apparently most expendable trade asset on the front line, but, if Joe D decides to move him, he’d better get a high quality piece back and, if possible a 1st rounder.

      • Dec 30, 201312:24 am
        by gmehl


        Frank when Otis sees this he’s gonna have a field day. You just gave him more ammo to ease peoples thinking on trading mooses.

  • Dec 29, 201310:17 pm
    by grizz3741


    The experiment of playing Smith-Drummond-Monroe as starters has failed, as I stated it likely would the day the signing of Smith was announced. Other teams are sagging the interior and making life hard for a post up game. We do not have a competent outside shooting SF OR SG on the team, and that is a really damning situation for the team to be in. Smith is a gamer but he cannot shoot outside nor cover SFs on the perimeter. For the past 5 seasons, we have watched many classically bad cases of Dumars forcing his players to play out of position. To compound matters, we also do not defend the perimeter! I like Cheeks because he seems open to finding out what will work best but really .. we absolutely need both a SG and a SF to light it up from the outside and to defend the perimeter.. and these weaknesses are making everyone look like crap .. To find even 1 of these players has to be the next goal, would help the team take the next step forward. .. Right now we have 1 dimensional sometimes players like Singler and Stuckey and KCP whom if we are lucky… can at best 1 out of 2 games defend or shoot but never ever both .. I take back what I said about firing Cheeks … Dumars though .. has once again done the “lets make our players play out of position” bee ess ..

    • Dec 30, 201312:34 am
      by gmehl


      Not defending Cheeks but he’s been given a shit roster to work with. With 2 to 3 guys playing out of position game after game it’s doomed to fail. Even when things work and we manage to build a double digit lead, teams adjust and come firing back and will continue to happen until we get better fitting parts. The way I see things atm our big 3 are ruining each other’s trade value. Monroe’s numbers have dipped and so have Smith’s and I’d say over the last 4-5 games Drummond’s shot at making the all star team has taken a hit in a bad way. They are essentially all ruining each other’s game.

  • Dec 29, 201311:53 pm
    by pistons moribund


    Bullwinkle is not a 4.  He is a center.  The reason this team is better when Dre and Smith plays together is b/c they are playing their natural position and the spacing is better.  Thats why the jumbo lineup is not working.  Bullwinkle may be tall but he cant jump or defend with no outside game.  Teams have figured out how to play him and how to play this team so its going to be tough going with Bullwinkle starting.  Teams have to double Smith sometimes but they dont have to double Bullwinkle.  I would say that his value is plummeting rather quickly.
    How is it possible to assemble a team that cant shoot?  Its not really called a basketball team since the first thing that anyone loves doing when they play this game is learning to shoot?!?  This team needs a shrink.

  • Dec 30, 201312:42 am
    by Ozzie-Moto


    I think that the idea of Moose being a 4 was an easy delusion to fall in to after Dru fell in our laps and we saw what we cvvvvgot…..  JD tends to hang on to players to long…. having to move him to the 6th man not sure if it will work  but if you give it a try now AND it works you could offer pretty good $ for him if it doesn’t then you got to make a move or he is going elsewhere anyway……    The bottom line is a Dru / Moose 4/5 is not great even with a good 3….. 

  • Dec 30, 20137:11 am
    by Lethal Leeroy


    Sadly, this core isn’t going anywhere this year. Unless something amazing falls into Joes lap, he ain’t moving shit.
    I/we all want the 3 man (Dre, smith, Monroe) 4/5 rotation, but the trade for Josh Smith was based on him being successful at the 3, just as much as the $$$. Therefore, JD is unlikely to allow Mo to send one to the bench, nor will he move Smith or Monroe before the deadline.
    And hoping for one or the other is borderline insanity.
    The best we can hope for this year is a nice piece and / or draft pick by moving Stuckey And CV… (not very likely, so we may have to wait to see JD blow the cap space next off season).
    also, we might as well start hoping we get lucky in the weak east playoffs, with a crack at the elite teams where the match ups are potentially in our favour. Don’t get me wrong… I’d much prefer a balanced line up (as I have repeatedly stated) and building slowly for a more sustainable and longer run with a good foundation and core. But I can see that won’t begin to take shape until next seasons summer league.

  • Dec 30, 201311:17 am


    I feel like people are afraid to trade Greg because they feel like we are going to miss something special…
    I really like Greg, but I said from the start the next level to his game was that mid-range game
    …in college they said the same thing…can he develop it YES! …is it guaranteed not at all…you can deal with a big that struggles on defense, when he can be multi-functional as an offensive weapon…
    My fear is that Greg will be Nene or Al Jefferson good solid big men, but over the course of their careers they never took there game to the next level

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