John Kuester Could Be Fired After Pistons Players' Protest, According To Report

Several Detroit Pistons players skipped the team's shootaround on Friday to protest the job coach John Kuester has done this season.

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Rip Hamilton Declined Trade Attempt, Berated John Kuester, According To Report

The Detroit Pistons had an agreement to trade Rip Hamilton all lined up with the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of the NBA trade deadline, only for Hamilton to veto the deal and elect to stay with the Piston. Hamilton was reportedly drawing interest from the Cavs, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls before the trade deadline, but a deal never came to pass. Hamilton could have been able to secure a prominent role with at least one of the interested teams, but was also unwilling to take a buyout in the event things didn’t work out.

According to a report by Yahoo!‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hamilton not only declined the trade offers, but also berated head coach John Kuester. That same report says the feud between the players and Kuester has been overblown, and that it’s only Hamilton attempting to boycott the coach.

As stunned coaches and teammates watched, Hamilton bellowed at Kuester that he had been a failure in his two seasons in Detroit, blown the opportunity the franchise afforded him and was nothing more than a career assistant coach, sources said. Despite Hamilton yelling within inches of him, Kuester didn’t respond.

Wojnarowski added that several of the team’s younger players complained about Hamilton’s actions, and confrontation with Kuester, but were afraid to stand up to the veteran. Hamilton has gotten into it with Kuester at least twice this season, and reportedly tried to organize a boycott of Friday’s shootaround in protest of the coach.

Stay tuned to our StoryStream for the latest as the Pistons deal with the turmoil surrounding Kuester and the feud between the head coach and Hamilton.


John Kuester Could Be Fired After Pistons Players' Protest, According To Report

John Kuester, the head coach of a Detroit Pistons team in shambles, could be fired as early as next week, reports's Marc Stein. Kuester benched five players for Friday's loss in Philadelphia, including Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton, who participated in a protest Friday morning by skipping shoot-around. Kuester was ejected from the game against the 76ers, drawing laughter -- apparently in response to the ejection -- from T-Mac.

Chris Wilcox and Ben Wallace were the other two Pistons reportedly involved in the protest. Wallace, Prince and Hamilton won a championship in Detroit in 2004 under Larry Brown. The veterans are reportedly upset with Kuester's treatment of Hamilton, who has been chained to the bench in all but rare occasions since the New Year.

Stein reports that Pistons management cannot justify keeping Kuester and allowing the situation to continue to spiral out of control. Pistons president Joe Dumars would have liked to made move freeing up Hamilton and Prince at the trade deadline, but Stein reports that the fact that the team is soon to be sold by the Davidson family complicates matters. Kuester has a 48-94 record as coach of the Pistons.

The Pistons have two assistant coaches under Kuester with head coaching experience: Darrell Walker, who went 41-90 in a season and a half at the helm of the Toronto Raptors in the mid-1990s, and Brian Hill, who has a 298-315 record and most notably led the Orlando Magic, starring Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, to the 1995 NBA Finals.

For more on the Pistons' drama, visit Detroit Bad Boys and SB Nation Detroit.


John Kuester Benches Pistons Players That Skipped Practice, Gets Ejected In 110-94 Loss

Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace and Rodney Stuckey were all held out of the Detroit Pistons’ 110-94 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night after skipping the morning shootaround, reportedly in protest of head coach John Kuester. The matter was called an internal decision, leaving the Pistons with just six available players in the loss.

Kuester himself wasn’t long for the game either, earning two technicals in the second quarter as he was ejected for arguing a call. Tracy McGrady was seen laughing at the ejection as he sat on the bench in warmups. Friday’s drama comes as Piston players voiced criticism about Kuester, both actively and passively protesting the head coach.

With only one available bench player, the Pistons were no match for the Sixers in a 16-point loss. Five players were listed as DNP-Coaches’ Decision while the reason given for Prince not playing was listed as a stomach ailment.

For more on the Pistons, check out SB Nation’s Detroit Bad Boys.


Detroit Pistons Players Protest Practice By Skipping Shootaround, According To Report

A number of Detroit Pistons players skipped shootaround Friday before the team's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, reportedly to stage a protest against coach John Kuesteraccording to a report by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News. Four players -- Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady and Chris Wilcox -- did not show up altogether, and two more -- Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye -- only came as the media was being let in after missing the team bus to the shootaround. Ben Wallace also did not show up, though he has been dealing with an ongoing family matter.

It's unclear whether the protest was staged in response to a specific moment or simply an ongoing frustration with the job Kuester has done this season. The Pistons are 21-38 this season after going 27-55 last season in Kuester's first on the job. 

A Pistons team spokesperson said all the players had various ailments that prevented them from attending.

According to team spokesman Cletus Lewis, McGrady was out with a headache, Prince had the stomach flu, while Wilcox and Hamilton apparently missed the bus without a reason. A team source confirmed Prince's and McGrady's illnesses, adding Wilcox overslept.

However, Kuester let slip that the players had "excuses," before later correcting himself to say that they were simply absent. 

Many of the players have protested Kuester's lack of communication with them all season, as the Pistons head toward yet another disappointing campaign. Hamilton, in particular, has been very critical of Kuester, who has buried him on the team's bench as his name has popped up in trade rumors. Hamilton has played just once since January 10. 

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