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Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

Posted on: February 26, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2011 4:31 pm
Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox have been fined for missing shootaround without an excuse, but the Pistons are not planning a coaching change in the wake of the perceived mutiny against John Kuester, a person with knowledge of the situation told Saturday.

The team engaged in lengthy organizational meetings Saturday to discuss the latest meltdown in a season that has spiraled out of control. Though sources are downplaying a significant rebellion against Kuester, a proposal to buy out Hamilton -- who had another in a series of confrontations with Kuester recently -- will be presented to ownership before the March 1 deadline for him to be eligible for another team's playoff roster. The chances of a buyout for Hamilton, however, are "slim," a source said, given that he has two years left on his contract.

Hamilton and Wilcox flew back to Detroit with the team after the Pistons -- with only six available players -- lost to the Sixers in Philadelphia. Both players are expected to be available Saturday night against Utah, but whether or not they play will be a "coaching decision," the source said.

Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, and Ben Wallace also missed shootaround Friday prior to the Sixers game, but all three had legitimate excuses, the person said. The Pistons' training staff confirmed to management that McGrady and Prince had been sick. Wallace is dealing with the sudden terminal illness of a close family member, the source said.

Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey were late for shootaround, missing the team bus and catching a cab, the source said. They were fined for being late.

Whatever the reasons, the incident -- and the perception of a team-wide rebellion against Kuester -- has put the Pistons' already miserable season in an even grimmer perspective for the remaining 22 games.

Each of the most sensible resolutions -- buying out Hamilton or firing Kuester -- is complicated by the fact that the team is waiting for an ownership change to be completed. It is unlikely, sources said, that the ownership transfer would be completed in time for Hamilton to be bought out before the March 1 deadline for him to be playoff-eligible with a new team.

"This is not the climate where anybody wants to cut a big check just so a guy can go play somewhere else," said the person familiar with the Pistons' latest controversy.

Hamilton, who has two years and $25 million left on his deal, was close to being shipped to Cleveland at the trade deadline but could not agree to terms of a buyout with the Cavs.

Hamilton and Wilcox apologized for missing shootaround. It was not clear Saturday whether the ill players -- McGrady and Prince -- or Wallace would be available for the Utah game.

Given the ongoing rift between the Pistons' old guard -- led by Hamilton and Prince -- and the younger core, the mere perception of a mutiny against Kuester will be enough to make the remaining six weeks of the regular season close to unbearable. The inability of team president Joe Dumars to take action without ownership clarity has made the situation one that Kuester and the coaching staff will have to navigate the rest of the way.

Tension that has been building for months between Kuester and the veteran players boiled over in an ugly recent confrontation between Hamilton and Kuester, sources said. It was not the first time this season that the two have verbally gone after each other, though this incident was reported to have been a one-way tirade from Hamilton to Kuester in which the former All-Star questioned the coach's decisions and credentials.

In mid-January, Kuester made the decision to move Hamilton to the bench in order to give more playing time to Ben Gordon. Soon after, Hamilton's agent, Leon Rose, attempted to have him included in a trade that would've sent Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey. The trade, like many Melo scenarios, never happened. But Hamilton has remained on the bench ever since, playing only once in the past 23 games.

Hamilton, 33, could be a useful addition to contenders such as the Mavericks and Celtics, who both have internally discussed signing him if he were bought out. It appears that he will instead languish where he's been since Jan. 12, on the Pistons' bench and at a point of no return in a lost season.

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:15 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

I feel for you. I typically take my son up to Auburn Hills to see the Pistons each year from Ohio. It's almost a 2 hour drive, but it is usually a great father and son experience. This year, with all the turmoil and lack of unity and effort, why spend the money. You're right, they need to think about the fans that come to see them play for ridiculously high prices for the good seats and show up to do their jobs. At this point, I am enjoying watching the effort of high school girls and paying $6.00 than contributing to these whiners salaries. Grow up boys!!!

Since: Feb 26, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2011 10:30 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

 I live in NJ. My son is a Piston fan and we go to a game every year.
Friday we went to the Sixers / Pistons game. I work hard for my money
and I try to get him great seats. We sat behind the Piston bench last
night. I was the guy that touched the errant ball that was thrown over
the Piston's bench by a Sixers Player. That was the most excitement for
the night. These players ignore their fans, the five of them that had
Pistons jerseys on. Hey there are lots of times that I don't feel well
or their is a personal issue that I am dealing with, but as a teacher I
have to rise above that. These players and coaches need to get
something straight. They are there as entertainers and make lots of
money. Do your job well and follow the rules. the rest will take care
of itself. So after nearly 900 dollars of hard cash which included
parking and 60 dollar chicken fingers plus 3 hours driving in the car,
I get to see 6 players of a squad of 15 play the whole game. Pistons
players, coaches, and management plus owners who ever they are need to
be ashamed of themselves. On the way home I asked my son if he wanted
to catch another game of the Pistons. He said, Hey their my team but
next time I want to see Kevin Durant. I can't blame him.

Jeff from NJ

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Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 9:26 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

I feel bad for the fans of the Pistons.  Detroit has had it tough with the economy and the unemployment rate is the highest in the country.  Spoiled Multimillionaires sitting out a shoot around.

I know I am being extreme, but if I coached or was in management, these guys would be running sprints everyday.  When they refused, I would fine them and keep fining them...  These guys are all "me" guys and should look in the mirror. 

A lookout needs to happen in the NBA and get rid of the guaranteed contracts. 

Rip, I know Boston was interested, but I would boo the sh*t out of you and be disappointed if the C's picked you up.

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2011 9:10 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

yea, my lord pal.  How dare you go around making remarks like this without taking into consideration the seating capacity of each arena!  How irresponsible can you be in your comments?  That is some babyback BS, and if you were in the same room as me right now so help me god I would slap the living bejesus out of you so hard your mom would feel it.  If I had a stadium that seated 50 i could probably sell it out every night.  How can you be so dang stupid as to say such a thing.  Only a retard thinks the Celtics have more fans than the Pistons these days.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2011 8:30 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

Hey dipshit, its not that the celtics fan dont buy tickets the damn arena is alot smaller then the Palace in det...fucking ignorant fool

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2011 8:14 pm

Chris Who?

Wilcox and McGrady. Two ultra talented nobodies that never won anything in the NBA. Nothin but cancer to their team. Laghin' as your coach gets tossed. These 2 "Gangsta losers" will be broke in a few years. Wanna be Sprewells.  We dont listen to the "man" cause we are the man. So what u got money and no respect . Worst of luck to you!

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2011 7:31 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

Rip goes from "class act" to "class clown.....what a dufus!

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 7:25 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

The Pistons are about as relevant as Cleveland right now ...  noone cares about this pathetic team, not even their mutonous players or their bandwagon "fans"   YAWN
Bandwagon fans..what? The Pistons led the league in attendence for 8 straight season from 2002-2009. They beat your Celtics in attendence every year except this year including your championship year...and the Pistons beat the Celtics in attendance last year when the Celtics finished 1st the and  Pistons last. So your teams good and the games dont sell out your fans must really suck.  

Since: Dec 30, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

I don't know, man... if anyone sounds miersable, it's you. Rip has been a class act his entire career. I'll definitely take his side over an unproven coach has not accomplished anything at the NBA level.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2011 7:09 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

2 years, 25 million and you dare to skip a shootaround? Good grief what are these players thinking? In Libya and Egypt they are protesting years of poverty and corruption. NBA millionaires protest "evil coaches".

I miss MJ. Bird, Magic, Dr. J. These players today are far too spoiled.

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