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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: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 7:06 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

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2011 6:25 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

Gawd it's satisfying watching Hamilton rot on the bench. Rip is still paid the same salary whether he plays or not, so he's got no complaint. He's still "gettin paid", and he's still "takin care of his family", he just ain't representin anymore.  This is sooooo great. Playing time is the only weapon left to a coach, and oh how Kuester is using it. Detroit should not trade him, and give him what he wants. Because of the way he has acted, they should simply continue to twist in the wind. Should Hamilton push the envelope and not show up for work, the Pistons should dock his pay accordingly. They cannot let Hamilton even come close to controlling this situation. Hamilton can collect a check, but he has absolutely no control of his playing time. Beautiful. If under contract, the Pistons should let Hamilton rot until the contract runs out, evn if it means keeping him on the roster next year. It's not money that's important to these guys. Flashing their feathers like peacocks, and living the glamorous th*g life with an entourage is what these guys really want. Not playing is the equivalent of impotence to these guys, because their "game" is all they have, and it's what defines them. Without it, they're just another intellectually challenged young man on the streets, with his pocket full of money. Good grief. Look at Jordan. At 48 years old with all the money in the world, he's still a miserable human being, because his "game" is his identity. He's not Air Jordan anymore. He's just Michael Jordan. He had to dress for practice a couple weeks ago, in a pathetic effort to show that he "still had it". It was one of the lamest acts in the history of sports. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. These guys should have spent more time developing their brains, and less time hanging on metal rims. They would be much happier after forty.  

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 6:22 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

You can't bash Mcgrady, he's been nothing but solid for the Pistons this year.  I actually hope they can work something out and bring him back.  I was praying that he wasn't part of the "revolt', and this article confirms that he wasn't.

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: February 26, 2011 6:06 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

Do not feel sorry for Hamilton.  He is well past his prime, an overpayed jerk, just like Mcgrady.

Since: Oct 31, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:54 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

Why did it get to this stage?  Can someone that follows this team tell me why Hamilton doesn't even get 2nd team minutes? HE's basically in jail.  22 DNP coaches decision in 23 games... What gives?

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:51 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

These guys should not act like this they deserve fines.  Rip is lucky he is still with the pistons.  I wish dumars would've traded him.  Wilcox and McGrady are lucky they even have jobs in the league.  Pistons are the only ones that offered contracts for them.  I can't wait for the new owner to come and clean some house.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

I will always love Dumars, but call it like it is.  He has put us and our coach into this position.  We gave up Chauncy for Iverson, who is out of the NBA.  He took Darko instead of about 10 other studs and 10 other contributors.  Joe let Mehmet Okur walk and received nothing in return.  The Pistons were lucky when Rasheed fell in Joe's lap for nothing.  These are just a couple of the blown opportunities.  He hasn't gotten it done and this season is an embarrassment on top of an epic failure.  At least the rook Monroe is starting to look solid, hopefully Joe gets it together.

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:39 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

I saw McGrady and Ben Wallace sitting on the bench, laughing as their coach was ejected.  McGrady is such a loser, I guess this is how he re-pays the only team that would take a chance on him.  He's never won at any level.  The dude is a lazy ass, with a lazy eye!-philsfan1

I also saw that and was, quite frankly, disgusted.  It was disrespectful.  The Pistons older players are behaving like petulant children.  They need to be punished, and the only thing these guys understand is money.  The don't need 25K fines or 50K fines.  That would ruin me or you, but to these guys, it's hilarious.  It's comparable to a gang member going to jail.  It gives them street-cred.  It needs to end.  Stern needs to grow some and put his foot down.  He needs to pick up the phone and put one of these guys on a lengthy suspension and show the rest of the league that the NBA means business.  It's not playground ball with huge paychecks anymore.  He needs to take the power back, and impress the public.  We're waiting.

In the meantime, please enjoy this;

It's Tracy McGrady's world. We're just living in it, and it sucks. But once we learn to accept that everything is his fault, it gets a bit easier each day.

Since: Nov 28, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:33 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

I only have 2 words that describe the Detroit Pistons,

It is depressing to see how bad they have gotten over the passed 4 years. I watched my first game the other night and they screen, they dont rebound, they dont drive, they dont play D, they dont call out each others picks, They Dont Have Any Heart!

Detroit deserves a better basketball team! These guys are pathetic!
3 things need to get done for them to rebuild:
1. Ownership change needs to be finalized, but they need a buyer first.
2. New Coach. I didnt think Kuester would be able to do a good job coaching this team.
3. Get rid ofTayshaun and Rip. As depressing as it is to say that, they were instrumental in 2004 and again in 2005, but theseguys think they are still in 2004! Get new blood in and also figure out what to do with Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon. These bums are paid WAY too much for what they do. They really arent good ball players.

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:30 pm

Hamilton, Wilcox fined; Kuester safe for now

This is exactly why they want to fix this mess.  The players should not run the ship.  Look at Melo, tell your boss what to do and watch what happens..your fired.  They need to fix this awful game.  Im still waiting for a nba player to say "WE" not me.  When a piece of shit like Deron williams pulls that ..enough said.

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