Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars has issued a statement of support for coach John Kuester.
It has been a rocky week for the Detroit Pistons, after reports surfaced that multiple players skipped shootaround as a protest against coach John Kuester last Friday. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported over the weekend that the team fined both Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox for their unexecused absences, and then video surfaced of multiple players laughing when Kuester was ejected from Friday night’s game.
On Monday, Pistons president Joe Dumars moved to tamp down the drama, issuing a statement of support for Kuester.
“First of all, John Kuester has my full support as we try to make a push towards the postseason over these last 21 games. We’ve had a long and proud history of being a first class organization that handles its business the right way. We expect everyone that represents the Detroit Pistons to do so in a first class manner and that will continue as we move forward.”
Also, on Monday, the Associated Press reported that Hamilton and Kuester have apparently patched things up.
Detroit’s Richard Hamilton says he met with coach John Kuester recently in an effort to repair their relationship. Hamilton wouldn’t specify when he and Kuester spoke. He took passes from the coach while shooting at the end of practice Monday.
Dumars’ hands are likely tied by ongoing ownership uncertainty, as negotiations for the sale of the team continue to drag on. While cutting ties with Kuester was the most obvious play, that’s easier said than done because it puts his successor in a tough spot, knowing that the players were able to bully their coach out of a job.
Really, this statement reads like someone trying to buy time. In effect: Let’s just get through this season and figure things out this summer. You can almost hear Dumars counting down those last 21 games, can’t you? 21 … 20 … 19 … 18 …
One thing was obvious: Dumars had to act to stop the endless onslaught of negative headlines. It’s not clear whether this statement of support will accomplish anything meaningful, but it should ease tensions in the short-term. That’s better than nothing.