Blog Entry

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Posted on: June 5, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 6:34 am
 
Posted by Royce Young

It was expected, but John Kuester was relieved of his head coaching position in Detroit, the team announced today.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” said general manager Joe Dumars in a statement. “I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years, however, at this time we have decided to make a change.”

Kuester became Detroit's head coach in July of 2009, replacing Michael Curry. In two seasons on the bench, Kuester led Detroit to just a record of 57-107.  As an assistant on Larry Brown's staff, he helped lead the Pistons to their 2004 championship.

It was a pretty rocky season in Detroit for Kuester and not just because the team stunk. At one point late in the year, the team arranged a bit of a protest against him as players were upset with him. It appeared Kuester had lost control of his team as veterans such as Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Charlie Villanueva publicly voiced dissenting opinions.

Kuester butted heads with both Prince and Hamilton over playing time, sitting both for extended periods including a deactivation of Hamilton for nearly a month. Late in March, the team had even privately nicknamed Kuester "Sean Penn" because of the Penn movie "Dead Man Walking."

This firing was entirely expected, but the Pistons wanted to wait until the ownership transfer with Tom Gores' group was finished up. After David Stern announced before Game 1 of the NBA Finals that the sale was complete, it was only a matter of time. As is protocol, the new ownership group first met with Kuester and Dumars to decide any future plans. Once that meeting happened, Kuester was out.

Kuester was an assistant to new Laker head coach Mike Brown in Cleveland and is expected to join Brown's staff in Los Angeles. As for who the Pistons are looking at, reportedly former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson is an early leading candidate along with the usual list we've come to know -- Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey, Mark Jackson, Mike Budenholzer.

Woodson though was an assistant under Larry Brown in Detroit and with a pretty solid tenure in Atlanta, would likely be a good fit for the Pistons.

Comments

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 8:01 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Because Joe Dumars REFUSED TO REBUILD... that's the biggest problem I have with Dumars.


I agree with that. But it's also something easy to say in hindsight. Everyone wanted that team to stay together for as long as they could when they kept going to conference final after conference final and even though I don't really think public opinion and alalysts have much to do with decisions Dumars makes if there ever was a time it affected him I think it was during those years. I by no means think he's the greatest GM and his drafts and FA moves have left a lot to be desired, but he has really been handcuffed these last couple years and instead of doing the rebuilding he had to stand pat and wait for the sale of the team. One thing about Dumars is that he doesnt like to sit idle if he can make some moves, if he doesnt get the ship righted here now then Im fine with him being replaced

. just my opinion but I'm sick of head coaches taking the fall when GM's like Joe do a lousy job of providing coaches with good players.....


Totally, unfortunately this goes on in all sports. It's like coaches are just figureheads for GM's




Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:49 pm
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Analysts dont draft so saying all that is no excuse. There were 4 players taken in the top 5 that were/are stars. I dont blame Joe for everything else necessarily though. 

I never meant to imply that a GM should listen specifically to analysts when deciding whom they're going to draft.... what I was saying is you can't expect a GM to ignore every expert in the country including scouts, analysts and others when making decisions.   A GM relies heavily on information provided to him by others...  the bottom line is drafting Darko wasn't something only Joe Dumars would have done... Darko was going top 5 no matter what... and most had the opinion he was going 2nd or 3rd at the latest. 

Does he know how to build a winner , I think so. Is it possible he got lucky with those guys, yes. I still give him the benefit of the doubt and keep in mind the Pistons didnt pick high in a lot of those years so it wasnt like the Darko year where there was a potential franchise cornerstone where they picked

That's the problem though and it's Joe's fault.  Why haven't the Pistons had the opportunity to pick that high again?  Because Joe Dumars REFUSED TO REBUILD... that's the biggest problem I have with Dumars....  In today's NBA and in the NBA of the last few years you won't even find one team capable of contending for a championship that doesn't have at least one superstar on that team... one dominating player to build around.  Sure, a GM can get lucky and find that player later in the draft but that's highly unlikely..... doesn't normally work that way.  Free agency is another way but good luck convincing UFA's to play for a team that doesn't have any support.... give that UFA superstar some proven and outstanding talent to play with and you've got a chance...  what I'm saying is if Joe Dumars would have agreed to rebuild 4 or 5 years ago when he guys like Rip, Prince and even Rasheed before he got traded were worth something maybe we would be a contender today.  Maybe if Joe trades away those guys when other teams wanted them and actually gave some minutes to younger players we would have picked high in the draft while developing young players.  And maybe we would have that superstar in Detroit we lack today....  But instead Joe Dumars decided that he didn't want to rebuild.. he decided that being mediocre or bad for years was the way to go.... and then he has the nerve to today to publicly talk about how his hands were tied for the last year or 18 months?  

I think Joe Dumars needs to go..... just my opinion but I'm sick of head coaches taking the fall when GM's like Joe do a lousy job of providing coaches with good players..... 



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:47 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Analysts dont draft so saying all that is no excuse. There were 4 players taken in the top 5 that were/are stars. I dont blame Joe for everything else necessarily though.


Charlie V - terrible signing
Ben Gorden - terrible signing, even though I would have done this myself at that time
Nazr Mohammed - terrible signing
Mike James- not being resigned

free agents havent been his forte and I also blame him for this


Ben Wallace acquired from Washington - great move helped us win a championship
Richard Hamilton - ditto
Rasheed Wallace- ditto
Chauncey Billups-ditto


Does he know how to build a winner , I think so. Is it possible he got lucky with those guys, yes. I still give him the benefit of the doubt and keep in mind the Pistons didnt pick high in a lot of those years so it wasnt like the Darko year where there was a potential franchise cornerstone where they picked



Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:43 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Berger, the wonderful writer he is, is suggesting that Sampson, the former coach of Oklahoma and IU, might be the next coach.  If they sign him, leave the team in Auburn Hills because no one wants to watch em with that tool at the helm.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:15 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Almost forgot one thing. One thing I will defend Dumars for is the drafting of Darko.... that was NOT Joe's fault at all.... there wasn't even ONE analsyt or scout anywhere that had Darko ranked out of the top 5.... most had him at number 2 and most of the rest had him at number 3 overall... sometimes everybody is wrong and a player is a bust... that wasn't Joe's fault....  but like I said in my other post, I blame Joe for mostly everything else that's gone wrong...... to blame him for Darko though is stupid.  Darko was going ridiculously high regardless of who was drafting in the top 5...... 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:12 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Dumars is a huge problem too. A clean house top to bottom, as well as inside and out is called for. Joe got a little lucky on the front end of his tenure, but at this point his debacles have piled too high. Darko was the worst, but was overlooked because of the success they were having. Now I see a long string of terrible choices that lead a line right back to that one. Thanks Joe the player, but Joe the GM has worn out his welcome with this fan. I just want to know... whats next?

I agree with most of what you said.  One thing for sure is Joe Dumars really needed to get fired as well.  He did the cowardly thing and let John Kuester take the fall when in reality he didn't give the coach a chance in hell with the players he handed to him.  Sorry but aside from Greg Monroe I don't see what Joe has done at the draft that's worth talking about.  Free agents? Garbage signings to say the least. Trades? Zero.... 

I lost ALL respect for Joe Dumars when he made excuses after the change of ownership.  He used the excuse that his hands were tied the last year or 18 months when in reality the team sucked because of what Joe DIDN'T DO 3 and 4 years ago.  Anybody with a brain knew 3 and 4 years ago the Pistons were on their way down... his hands were not tied 3 and 4 seasons ago...Guys like Prince and Hamilton were worth a lot in the trade market back then but Joe did nothing... Joe Dumars REFUSED TO RE-BUILD OR EVEN RE-TOOL.... he sat back and did nothing at all.... he was happy with mediocrity... Joe Dumars has been a useless gm... people complain about Kuester but who hired him?  I'm thinking Joe had a pretty good say in that hiring as well....he made the final call there as well....

Only 4 players on this team are worth playing as much as possible... I'd trade the rest for a truckload of basketballs and start over... the 4 players worth keeping with potential to do anything from good to great things in the NBA are Daye, Monroe, Stuckey and Jerebko.... maybe add a 5th guy in there in Will Bynum..... if he had any brains he would give those guys all the minutes they could handle... win or lose he should play them a lot all year long, give them all the experience they need to get better and to find out what their capablities are.... if they are good, ink them quickly to an extension... hopefully a couple of those guys turn into star players... if that happens picking up high profile free agents becomes a possibility in the near future.... if not, nobody will want to play in Detroit.... 

 



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:31 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

I hope this is just the beginning. Get rid of that cancer RIP and get what you can for Tay. Unfortunately were stuck with two terrible contracts Joe did with Charlie V n Ben Gordon



Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:26 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

I agree w/ !!!  Joe Dumars seems to be ok, ya got to wonder how much real power Joe D has in making deals.  Too bad Stevie Y played hockey, eh???  Avery Johnson????



Since: Aug 31, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:28 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Detroit is one of the better franchises in the NBA with 3 championships and great history! I don't think they will have any problem finding a top notch coach!



Since: May 24, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:20 am
 

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

So long Kue, HE GONE!


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