HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Things have gone from bad to worse for the Detroit Pistons after Thursday’s trade deadline.
Several Pistons missed this morning’s shootaround practice in Philadelphia in some sort of “player protest” against coach John Kuester, per the Detroit Free Press.
Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox all missed the shootaround. But that’s just the start. More from the Vince Ellis of the Free Press:
Team spokesman Cletus Lewis said Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye missed the team bus as well, but they did arrive toward the end of the media session.
Lewis said McGrady had a headache, Prince had an upset stomach and Hamilton and Wilcox missed the bus from the team hotel.
Ben Wallace also missed the shootaround. Lewis said Wallace was dealing with a family matter. Wallace has missed games and practices over the past month because of the issue.
Only Greg Monroe, Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers were full participants in the morning shootaround.
Sources indicated that the discontent is directed at Pistons coach John Kuester, who has clashed with players repeatedly this season. The organization downplayed the absences, insisting Prince and McGrady were ill.
One source, who asked not to be identified, said he didn’t know what the next step would be, and didn’t say who organized the absences. But he said it was an organized protest, with some players deciding it was best to show up anyway.
Has it come to this for the Pistons?
Have things really gotten this bad for this Kuester, who said he will go with whoever is available for tonight’s game against the Sixers?
Maybe the players thought there was going to be some mass exodus at the trade deadline. And when that didn’t happen, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Either way, this is a disastrous start to the stretch run of the season for a Pistons team that certainly didn’t need any more distractions.